Statement from Minister Goodale on the passage of Bill C-83 to strengthen federal corrections and keep communities safe

News release

OTTAWA – June 21 2019 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness issued the following statement on the passage of Bill C-83 in Parliament:

“Correctional institutions must provide a safe and secure environment for staff and inmates, which assists with the rehabilitation of offenders, reducing the risk of re-offending and keeping our communities safe.

Once in effect, Bill C-83, an Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act, will abolish administrative and disciplinary segregation in all federal correctional institutions, increase mental health services and Indigenous supports, and bolster independent oversight in the Canadian correctional system—all backed by $448 million in new investments.

More than $150 million over six years, and $70 million ongoing thereafter, will fund mental health care improvements, including enhanced assessment and early diagnosis of mental health for inmates, patient advocacy services and 24/7 health care at designated institutions.

Another $297.3 million over six years and $71.7 million ongoing will support the implementation of Structured Intervention Units (SIUs) to accommodate offenders who need to be separated from the general inmate population for safety reasons. SIUs will provide access to rehabilitative programming, interventions and targeted mental healthcare. Placement is subject to binding external review and robust internal review.

Following Royal Assent, a regulatory package will support the implementation by establishing processes to provide procedural fairness to inmates, clarify roles and responsibilities and ensure an open and transparent approach to decision-making. It is anticipated that by November 2019 the necessary infrastructure changes and staff hiring for implementation will be complete. The provisions that repeal administrative and disciplinary segregation and introduce SIUs, independent external decision-makers and health care units are anticipated to be in force by this time.

C-83 will also better support victims and survivors by increasing their access to audio recordings of Parole Board of Canada hearings. It will require consideration of systemic and background factors unique to Indigenous offenders in decision-making. And it will help keep contraband out and reduce reliance on strip-searches with new technology.

Bill C-83 will improve the Correctional Service of Canada’s ability to successfully rehabilitate and safely reintegrate people who have broken the law, better protecting Canadians across the country.”

Associated links

Contacts

Scott Bardsley
Manager of Media and Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
613-998-5681
scott.bardsley@canada.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
ps.mediarelations-relationsaveclesmedias.sp@canada.ca


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