Response of the Department of Public Safety to Recommendations 6, 8, 9, 10, 13 of the Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 2014 - 2015
- Response of the Correctional Service of Canada to the 42nd Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 2014 - 2015
- Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator 2014-2015
I recommend that the Department of Public Safety commission, in partnership with Health Canada, an independent validation of CSC's 'optimal' model of mental health care and report findings to the Minister of Public Safety.
The Department of Public Safety is working with Health Canada to determine a third party entity to undertake an immediate review of CSC's 'optimal' model of mental health care, which will be provided to the Minister of Public Safety for consideration.
I recommend that the Minister of Public Safety request that the Public Safety and National Security Committee (SECU) of parliament conduct a study and public hearings into policy options for managing the care, custody and safe release of inmates aged 65 and over who no longer pose an ongoing substantiated risk to public safety.
A study by the Public Safety and National Security Committee (SECU) on the issues of inmates aged 65 and over would allow for more in-depth consideration of the pertinent operational, policy and financial implications related to this matter.
It should be noted that SECU adopted a work plan earlier this year, including two studies related to corrections issues (study on Indigenous Peoples in the prison system and a study on administrative segregation).
The Minister of Public Safety has written to the Chairperson of SECU to formally advise him of this recommendation and to support a study on the issues and options for managing the care, custody, and safe release of inmates over 65 years of age.
I recommend that the Government of Canada amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to significantly limit the use of administrative segregation, prohibit its use for inmates who are mentally ill and for younger offenders (up to 21 years of age), impose a ceiling of no more than 30 continuous days, and introduce judicial oversight or independent adjudication for any subsequent stay in segregation beyond the initial 30 day placement.
The Government of Canada is committed to implementing recommendations from the inquest into the death of Ashley Smith regarding the restriction of the use of solitary confinement and the treatment of those with mental illness. The challenges raised by these issues are complex and require careful thought and input from Canadians.
The Minister of Public Safety reiterates the Government’s pledge to address the overreliance on administrative segregation, as well as the need to reconsider time limits, independent external oversight, as well as conditions of confinement. The
Department of Public Safety is working with CSC on options for moving forward with reforms in an expeditious manner.
I recommend that the Department of Public Safety conduct a compliance audit of the CSC's legal obligation to provide accessible, fair and expeditious resolution of offender complaints and grievances.
The Minister of Public Safety agrees that timely and fair resolution of inmate grievances is a key part of an effective correctional system. While it is not within the Department’s purview to undertake audits of CSC operations, CSC is required by law to have its own formal internal audit capacity. Furthermore, in 2015, CSC conducted a compliance review process in order to improve the overall efficiency and efficacy of the inmate complaint and grievance process, and the resulting action plan is being implemented.
I recommend that the Office of the Auditor General of Canada consider a compliance audit of the CSC's use of force review process.
The Minister has written to the Auditor General of Canada to formally advise him of this recommendation for his consideration in planning future audits on corrections issues.
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