Response of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to the Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 2015 – 2016
- Response of the Correctional Service of Canada to the 43rd Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 2015-2016
- Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator 2015-2016
Health Care in Federal Corrections – Management of Complex Mental Health Cases - Recommendation 8
I recommend that the Minister of Public Safety direct CSC to develop additional community partnerships and negotiate exchange of service agreements in all regions that would allow for alternative placement and treatment arrangements other than incarceration for significantly mentally ill federal offenders. These arrangements and agreements should be in place by the end of the current fiscal year.
The Minister of Public Safety is strengthening alternative treatment options for offenders with significant mental illness as part of our Government’s commitment to addressing gaps in services for those with mental illness throughout the criminal justice system. He will raise this issue with his Provincial and Territorial counterparts in regions across the country.
CSC has confirmed a number of existing agreements with external psychiatric facilities, including the Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, the Brockville Mental Health Centre in Ontario, and CSC is finalizing an agreement with a psychiatric hospital in Nova Scotia.
The Service is exploring the feasibility of agreements with community partners and provinces/territories for the provision of care to offenders with significant mental illnesses. Where agreements do not yet exist, the Minister of Public Safety has directed Department officials to keep him apprised regarding the progress of these matters.
Prevention of Deaths in Custody – National Forum for Preventing Deaths in Custody - Recommendation 12
I recommend that the Minister of Public Safety work with provincial and territorial counterparts to create an independent national advisory forum drawn from experts, practitioners and stakeholder groups to review trends, share lessons learned and suggest research that will reduce the number and rate of deaths in custody in Canada.
Reducing the number and rate of deaths in custody in Canada is a priority. The Minister of Public Safety will raise the recommendation of the Correctional Investigator with his provincial and territorial counterparts to discuss the proposed independent national advisory forum.
Furthermore, the Minister of Public Safety agrees that there is value in ensuring this information about the work being done by CSC on this issue is readily available, consolidated and shared more widely for the purpose of reducing deaths in custody. The Minister of Public Safety has asked CSC to ensure that its Annual Report on Deaths in Custody includes information on CSC’s work in the previous year to review trends, shares lessons learned both nationally and internationally, conducts research, and reports any resulting changes to policies and training that will inform measures surrounding the health and safety of offenders in custody in order to reduce the number and rate of deaths in custody in Canada. As part of the next steps in this report, planned activities and research for the coming year will also be outlined.
Conditions of Confinement – Update on the Impact of National Cost-Savings Initiatives on Inmate Services - Recommendation 15
I recommend that the Minister of Public Safety initiate a review of the inmate payment/allowance system in federal corrections.
Our Government has established a mandate to review changes in our criminal justice system over the past decade. Recognizing the important role that inmate payment and allowance plays in encouraging offenders to participate in program assignments and providing financial assistance to offenders to facilitate their reintegration into the community, the Minister of Public Safety has asked CSC to undertake a review of the inmate payment/allowance system in federal corrections. This review will include an assessment of the changes implemented in 2014 that required offenders to assume a greater proportion of the costs of their food and accommodation in order to determine whether or not the existing system is achieving its intended results and whether the current inmate pay/allowance system is aligned with the objectives of the criminal justice system. The Service will provide the Minister of Public Safety with a copy of this report, including recommended next steps, by the end of December 2017.
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