Summary of the Evaluation of the Indigenous Community Corrections Initiative
About the Program
Indigenous offenders continue to be disproportionately represented at all levels of the Canadian criminal justice system and the federal government is committed to addressing this over-representation of Indigenous people.
The Indigenous Community Corrections Initiative (ICCI) was created to help close the gaps in service for Indigenous Peoples in the criminal justice system and address the government commitment to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action, in particular actions 30 and 32 regarding the over-representation of Indigenous offenders in custody.
The objectives of the Initiative are to support the development of alternatives to custody and to provide reintegration support for Indigenous offenders. Public Safety was allocated $10M over 5 years in Budget 2017 for ICCI and funded 16 projects.
What We Examined
The purpose of the evaluation was to examine the relevance, design and implementation, and performance of the ICCI. The evaluation covered the three year period from fiscal year 2017-18 to 2019-20. The evaluation used multiple lines of evidence to ensure triangulation of findings.
- The ICCI is aligned with government priorities, departmental objectives, federal roles and responsibilities, and addresses a continuing need. While GBA+ was considered in program design, no projects geared solely towards women were funded. Funding recipients would appreciate PS' support in liaising with both federal and provincial corrections.
- With respect to funding projects grounded in Indigenous cultural beliefs, the ICCI supports offenders in engaging with their culture and having access to relevant and meaningful support.
- The ICCI has had a positive impact on increasing community awareness of how to support Indigenous offenders returning to the community. Funding has allowed projects to establish best practices and develop resources and tools to support offenders. Despite this, gaps in services continue to exist in many communities.
- The ICCI contributes to an increase in community capacity to support Indigenous offenders returning to the community. The ICCI projects would benefit from increased opportunities to liaise with federal institutions as well as a continued means to support the community of practice.
- Concerns regarding project selection and reporting requirements were raised by both recipients and program staff, while the uncertainty of funding was also an issue of importance for recipients. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on recipients' activities and their clients.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Safety and Countering Crime Branch, should, as part of program renewal:
- Assess project selection criteria, with the goal of including projects aligned with GBA+ considerations.
- Engage with inter-departmental stakeholders to support projects in liaising with provincial and/or federal correctional systems to better support projects' activities.
- Assess performance measurement and reporting requirements at both the program and recipient level in line with an updated performance measurement strategy.
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