Evaluation of the Indigenous Community Corrections Initiative
Page 11, an unclear quote was removed.
This report presents the results of the evaluation of the Indigenous Community Corrections Initiative (ICCI).
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.
What we found
- 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 stakeholder 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.
Management Action Plan
Program Management accepts all recommendations and will implement an action plan.
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 Canada (PS) was allocated $10M over 5 years in Budget 2017 for the ICCI. While the target population for the Initiative was Indigenous federal offenders, the Department accepted proposals that included Indigenous adult offenders who had been convicted of an offence with a sentence of less than two years (generally classified as provincial offenders).
The call for proposals closed in November 2017 and Public Safety (PS) received 126 submissions. An initial assessment screened out 62 proposals that did not meet the objectives of the ICCI and a secondary assessment of the remaining proposals ended with 15 projects selected for funding.
Due to the program being approved late in the 2017-18 fiscal year, the program was not able to fund projects until 2018-19. After a successful re-profiling of funds, the ICCI was able to add an additional project in 2018 which brought the total to 16 funded projects.
The 16 projects selected for funding cover a wide range of services and supports for Indigenous offenders. Three project descriptions are provided below as examples of the services offered:
(Osoyoos Indian Band)
An offender reintegration project that provides direct support to offenders in the Okanagan Correctional Centre prior to release, followed by community-based rehabilitative supports that include traditional knowledge acquisition, addressing trauma, employment and other relevant services.
(Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services Inc.)
An offender reintegration project that provides intensive services to Indigenous offenders in the areas of i) mental health; ii) access to cultural resources; iii) family reunification; iv) training, skills development, and educational opportunities; and v) access to housing.
(Waseskun Healing Centre)
An offender reintegration project that operates out of a Correctional Service Canada (CSC)-supported community-based Indigenous healing lodge for federal offenders. The project brings the families of offenders to the lodge to participate in an Indigenous family therapy program and provides training to community workers from an offender's home community on reintegration issues.
For the full list and description of all funded projects, see Annex A.
2. Evaluation Purpose and Methodology
The purpose of the evaluation was to examine the relevance, design and implementation, and performance (achievement of outcomes) 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.
2.1 Lines of Evidence
Interviews: Twenty-one interviews were conducted with program staff, inter-departmental stakeholders and funding recipients.
Literature and Program Document Review: Literature (e.g. academic research, media, reports) and relevant corporate documents (policy and program documents) were reviewed.
Performance and Financial Data:Performance data from the program was reviewed. Program financial data was analysed.
Due to the timing of the evaluation, and delays in reporting, the evaluation did not have access to all annual and financial reports. Interviews with funding recipients were leveraged to mitigate this limitation.
The program does not have a fulsome logic model and performance measurement framework. Indicators and outcomes for the evaluation were compiled from a variety of documents.
Finding: 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.
In the Minister of Public Safety's mandate letter (December 2019), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that "there remains no more important relationship to [him] and to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples."
Public Safety's priorities align with this statement from the Prime Minister; the Departmental Plans (2018-19 and 2019-20) and Departmental Results Report (2018-19) reiterate the importance of reducing "Indigenous overrepresentation and [improving] the treatment of those with mental illnesses in correctional facilities."
Of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples, several calls to action align with the ICCI. Call to Action #30 calls upon "federal, provincial, and territorial governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in custody over the next decade" while #31 calls upon "federal, provincial and territorial governments to provide sufficient and stable funding to implement and evaluate community sanctions that will provide realistic alternatives to imprisonment for Aboriginal offenders and respond to the underlying causes of offending."
On January 15, 2021, a Supplementary Mandate Letter was issued for the Minister of Public Safety which supports the relevance of initiatives like ICCI. In this letter, the Prime Minister calls upon the Minister to "introduce legislation and make investments that take action to address systemic inequities in the criminal justice system, including to better prepare people in federal custody for successful reintegration and to reduce barriers to record suspension," in recognition of disproportionate impacts on groups, including Indigenous Peoples and Black Canadians.
The over-representation of Indigenous peoples in correctional institutions is a longstanding issue for many justice systems around the world. Regardless of the changes that have been made to policy over the last 30 years, Indigenous peoples continue to be increasingly over-represented in the Canadian justice system.
As of January 21, 2020, the proportion of incarcerated Indigenous people had surpassed 30%, while Indigenous people make up 5% of the Canadian population. The numbers are even more troubling for Indigenous women, who now account for 42% of the women inmate population in Canada.
In program inception documents, PS committed to working with potential funding recipients to ensure that projects support interventions that are culturally, gender and age appropriate to meet the specific needs of Indigenous offender participants. PS also committed to seeking data from funding recipients that is disaggregated to be able to better illustrate outcomes for specific sub-sets of Indigenous offender populations.
Of the 1225 Indigenous people served by ICCI projects to date, 275 identified as women and another 3 identified as other. At least 86 of those who identify as women were not offenders but rather family members participating in a family therapy program.
While some funded projects have female clients, the project proposal template did not ask applicants whether or not their project would include women or men offenders. Additionally, the initial and secondary assessments used to determine which projects to fund did not include a consideration for gender.
3.1.2 Continued Need
The ICCI call for project proposals resulted in 126 applications with approximately $146M in funding requests.
When responding to questions regarding the continued need of the ICCI and the biggest issues facing the Indigenous justice landscape, interviewees largely raised the issues of the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system, systemic racism and additional barriers. Some of the gaps that continue to exist include a lack of housing and supports (mental health, addictions counselling, etc.) when inmates are released and the fact that GladueNote 1 reporting is often not being used or acknowledged.
Many interviewees had positive feedback regarding the ICCI highlighting that the ICCI is doing what it is intended to do in providing culturally-based programming. Other interviewees discussed that the initiative has given them the opportunity to make their projects what they needed however the limited resources restricted what the projects were able to do and achieve.
Funding has been an ongoing challenge in Indigenous communities to support reintegration and "empowerment without resources is impossible".
In creating the ICCI, PS committed to work in collaboration with complementary programs to avoid duplication, enhance program delivery, and where possible, provide integrated services to improve outcomes for Indigenous offenders. Programs are in place at Justice Canada, the CSC and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) to support Indigenous peoples.
CSC - Employs Indigenous community development officers (ICDOs) who work with Indigenous offenders interested in returning to their communities and Indigenous community liaison officers (ICLOs) who work from the community to support Indigenous offenders.
PBC - Offers community-assisted hearings which help the offender and community and give the PBC a chance to engage with communities and Elders.
Justice - Provides both the Indigenous Justice Program (IJP) and the Indigenous Courtworker Program.
The IJP supports Indigenous community-based justice programs that offer alternatives to mainstream justice processes.
The IJP funds 197 community-based programs that serve over 650 communities.
The Indigenous Courtworker Program aims to help Indigenous people involved in the criminal justice system to obtain fair, just, equitable and culturally relevant treatment.
Program staff and inter-departmental stakeholders made it clear that no other program duplicates the work of the ICCI and funding recipients were in agreement. While programs like the IJP and Indigenous Courtworker Program complement the ICCI, the services they provide are focused on the front-end of the justice continuum leaving a need for reintegration support.
While Public Safety committed to work in collaboration with complementary programs to enhance program delivery, and where possible, provide integrated services to improve outcomes for Indigenous offenders, some gaps remain. Evidence demonstrates an intention to coordinate with other departments and communities but in speaking with recipients, some issues were identified.
When asked about the networks and inter-departmental coordination in place to support culturally appropriate community corrections processes in Indigenous communities, recipients and stakeholders responded that it varied from community to community; networks and capacity can be dependent on the overall health of the community.
Some funding recipients stated they are doing well and have built partnerships with institutions and programs in their communities. Other recipients however, described the difficulty in building relationships with institutions and would have appreciated more support from the ICCI in liaising accordingly.
While program staff discussed PS' involvement in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group for Aboriginal Justice and described a good relationship with CSC and Justice, some did express that being in more regular contact could be beneficial.
3.2.1 Services grounded in Indigenous cultural beliefs
Finding: 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.
It is largely recognized that providing culturally-appropriate services and programs to Indigenous offenders allows them the opportunity to engage with their culture which can contribute to the creation of a cultural identity, which has been described as critical to the rehabilitation and healing process.
As one funding recipient stated, "culture is treatment."
Many interviewees link services grounded in Indigenous cultural beliefs to one's identity and sense of self. Some offenders may have had little to no exposure to their culture before going to a correctional facility. Having projects designed and delivered by Indigenous people makes them more relevant and meaningful and Indigenous staff can relate to and understand the experiences of offenders.
Many projects pointed to the importance of helping offenders to understand what happened in their lives and what may have brought them to the decisions they made. Many offenders have some sort of past relationship to residential schools and have experienced intergenerational trauma.
Projects also spoke of the use of Elders and ceremonies to promote healing and support the reintegration of offenders into the community. Elders create a safe space and a safety net upon which trust may be built.
The Pan-Canadian Strategy to Address the Overrepresentation of Indigenous People has recognized the importance of delivering services grounded in cultural beliefs. The recommendations centred on reintegration focus on supports being Indigenous-led in the community as well as culturally relevant while in custody.
The Canadian criminal justice system is based on Western values of justice and this system has been recognized to be failing Indigenous peoples.
The contribution agreement for the ICCI requires funded projects to provide the number of clients who successfully completed their participation in the project. This indicator was discussed during interviews and recipients raised some issues concerning it.
One funding recipient suggested that the "contribution agreement does not give us the deliverables and outcomes to fully tell the success of the program" while another called the question "very western."
While all projects had success stories to share, both in reports and in interviews, not all projects define success as "successful completion," in fact, many do not.
One project raised the issue of looking at success versus being finished. For their project, reducing recidivism is a mark of success. Accordingly, the project strives to maintain contact with their referrals. Another project raised a similar point stating that successes are people who have participated immediately but have also continued on in counselling and associated rehabilitation.
"Reducing recidivism is a success. Even if they have a slip, they can be re-released to the program. The plan just changes to address issues."
"One client completed a long term supervision order through this program and you don't hear a lot of that, especially with Indigenous offenders."
"A female client, released from custody last December, was referred to a housing program through the Housing Initiative Program (HIP) where she receives ongoing supports. She continued to seek support from the Community Reintegration Worker and has participated in the weekly WellbrietyNote 2 support group. This client has become a community volunteer and has been sober for 1 year and free of the justice system."
"We have an equine program that includes having the clients work with our stable manager and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Specialist to take care of the horses while learning skills of animal care and handling. We combine this hands on program with cultural teaching about respecting life, and also use ceremony during the sessions. This program has been so successful within the facility and deals with all clients, including those that are a high security risk. One example is a male that had spent most of his time in [the correctional centre] in lock up because he was very aggressive to the other inmates. We advocated to have him join this program under secure conditions, extra guard and shackles, and were successful on a trial basis. He started to come to the stable, and every time he seemed to open up a little bit more, even sharing in small talk. He eventually began to assist in the care and feeding of the horses. As he progressed, we were able to introduce other types of therapy and counselling. He is still in [the correctional centre], however, has been moved to general population with no major incidents to date."
3.2.2 Community Awareness
Finding: The ICCI has had a positive impact on increasing community awareness of how to support Indigenous offenders returning to 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.
Of the 16 selected projects, half indicated in their project proposals they would support the development of alternatives to incarceration. For the majority of the active projects, however, the primary focus is on community reintegration.
Research shows two major factors contribute to Indigenous offenders' success upon release: participation in spiritual and cultural activities and programs (preferably delivered by Indigenous people) and the support they receive from family and the community.
Funded projects agree that the funding provided by ICCI has had a positive impact on increasing community awareness on how to support Indigenous offenders' community reintegration.
- Projects highlighted the 50+ community resources and training tools that they have developed.
- These resources and tools include: mediation training, self-care, life skills, cultural teachings through crafts and ceremony, and workshops and FASD training for Elders.
- Other projects have adapted existing resources and programs, such as Wellbriety, Medicine Wheel Teachings, Sweats and Pipe ceremonies.
"The ICCI gives communities the ability to develop tailor made projects without telling them how to do it. This gives communities the ability to find what works for them and their clients."
Resources and Tools
As part of their project, the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI developed a resource guide: Bringing Balance to the Scales of Justice: Fulfilling our Responsibility to Indigenous People Involved in the Justice System. The Guide provides a general introduction to justice issues for people who work with Indigenous clients in the Atlantic Canadian justice system.
As part of their project to support justice-involved Indigenous Youth and Adults with FASD, the University of Regina is developing a visual guide to the justice system. As people with FASD are visual learners, this resource will visually demonstrate the Canadian justice system and help prepare for release planning.
The Nicola Valley Community Justice Services Indigenous Court Program formed a successful collaboration with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology to develop and deliver a curriculum for Elders interested in sitting on Indigenous Courts throughout the province.
Projects made it clear that gaps remain in services available to Indigenous offenders.
Some ICCI funded projects are working with their community and clients to identify, raise awareness of and address barriers to successful reintegration such as homelessness, lack of employment, mental health issues and addiction.
Others provide training to community-based social service providers who work with the offender and their family upon return to their community and provide aftercare support.
Additional examples of projects increasing community awareness are those which are conducting research on incarcerated indigenous parents and Elder lead healing programs.
A couple of projects are also advocating for clients with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders and other complex needs (see Annex A for all project descriptions).
"With [non-Indigenous] addictions [treatment programs], if the offender left [the facility] for a Sweat, they would not be allowed back in so that is a problem."
"We are not close to [a city]...so it's challenging to find resources for housing, addictions, counselling..."
ICCI projects have developed a number of best practices to help support the reintegration of their Indigenous clients to the community. It was noted that clients are more likely to accept therapy and guidance from Indigenous organizations that have knowledge of colonization and institutionalization, as compared to other options. One client of the project run by Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services was quoted in a local newspaper saying "I like (Coming Home to Stay) because it is run by Aboriginal people whom I can related to."
Projects that have the capacity to fully integrate their services and those with a holistic approach felt that they were better positioned to keep their clients, "moving toward wellness and independence." Many projects develop comprehensive care/healing/reintegration plans which are individualized, some work with families prior to the offender beginning programming and/or focus on what the offender would like to prioritize. One project has a reintegration committee with Elders, while another has an Aboriginal Institution Liaison Officer who works with Elders.
Many recipients spoke to the importance of engaging and building relationships with employees of correctional institutions and courts as a best practice. Most projects are reliant on these institutions for referrals and access to their clients, whether while they are incarcerated, on parole or in court.
An underlying theme that became apparent when speaking with projects was, despite their differing approaches, all projects treat their clients as individuals, as family, not offenders.
Projects want to help their clients reclaim their identity and culture while reducing recidivism.
3.2.3 Community Capacity
Finding: 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.
While increasing community awareness of ways in which to support Indigenous offenders returning to the community is important, it is also critical to have the community capacity and supports available. There is a continuing need for services to support offenders and better prepare them to contribute to their families and communities when released. Services are needed in the institutions as well as in communities. ICCI was designed to help bridge the gap with training and capacity-building in Indigenous communities.
The majority of the ICCI funded projects have reported community capacity initiatives in progress that support Indigenous offenders reintegration such as:
- Pre/post release planning
- Client support services (housing, education, employment, etc.), including legal support (probation, parole, child welfare, etc.)
- Mental health supports (addictions counselling, trauma support, etc.)
- Cultural/Spiritual support (Elders as mentors, Sweats, drumming, languages, etc.)
- Community support/outreach (CSC training, parenting intervention, community circles, etc.)
All project recipients who have developed resources and community capacity initiatives agreed that they would share their resources and experiences. They are all willing to contribute to a community of practice which is invaluable.
A large portion of the projects and program staff made enthusiastic mention of the Coast-to-Coast meetings hosted by Public Safety staff as a way to share knowledge, best practices and processes. The calls with this community of practice were intended to be monthly however it has been challenging to meet once a month and meetings have not occurred frequently.
Outside of the direct contact with other projects, some recipients have had success in meeting with other organizations, communities, chiefs and even other offenders who are out in order to learn from their mistakes and successes.
The projects have had differing levels of success when asked about their capacity to engage with the CSC and provincial corrections.
While the majority of projects have had some level of success in engaging with corrections it was a general consensus that they would appreciate more support from Public Safety in liaising and collaborating with CSC.
As CSC employs ICDOs who have a direct line into institutions, it was suggested that Public Safety could link in with the ICDOs in an effort to support projects in liaising with institutions.
3.3 Lessons Learned
3.3.1 Program Design and Implementation
Finding: 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.
- One project feels that ICCI should look around the country for gaps and services and fund the gap areas. Program staff have also suggested there needs to be more planning to identify projects and distribute funds accordingly.
- With additional funding, program staff spoke of adding more projects and targeting specific groups, such as women, or targeting certain geographical locations of the country.
- Many projects discussed reporting as an area where improvements could be made; many described the financial forms as unclear and complicated.
- Other recipients spoke more broadly of the reporting requirements and stated there are some areas that could be clarified, such as the level of detail required.
- It was also raised that communication between the program area and recipients could be improved, particularly with respect to additional reporting needs. Two projects spoke of at least one time when they were not receiving funding but were not clear on why.
- Program staff also spoke of the administrative burden at the community level with reporting requirements and barriers for financial reporting.
- While projects spoke of the need for reporting improvements, many were happy with the support provided by ICCI's program officer and the help provided.
- One project spoke of the amount of work required for one-on-one support of clients who have had a life of institutionalization; the project feels this level of work is not recognized in the information collected through annual reporting.
- When asked about gaps in program design, funding was top of mind for program staff and recipients.
- The funding demand for proposals was significantly larger than what was available. Program staff worked with the selected projects to ascertain what was integral to the project versus a project wish list, to reduce the funding requests within the allocated budget.
- A few projects spoke of the uncertainty of funding, as the Contribution Agreements end in 2022. It is difficult to set up a program and hire staff when it's unclear where funding will be coming from in 3 years and this can have an impact on relationships with clients.
- Program staff and some recipients noted that the program management team is under resourced and the process to do the call for proposals was arduous and it took longer than expected to get projects off the ground.
- Projects suggested that during the roll out process PS could have reached out to institutions to introduce the new projects. Increased program resources could improve outreach; as stated by one interviewee "it would benefit from outreach, missing coordination and convening, bringing groups together."
The graph illustrates the project funding request, 146,000,000 dollars, versus the allocated program funding, 10,000,000 dollars.
Unintended Outcomes – COVID-19 pandemic
When asked about unintended outcomes, all interviewees raised the issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the projects, the pandemic had a negative impact on their project's operations and clients. Cultural ceremonies, like Sweats and Healing Circles, were difficult, if not impossible to deliver. Even with technology available, these ceremonies are hard to deliver over videoconferencing. While one project received provincial funding to purchase iPads for Elders, this was not possible for all projects and most focused on trying to keep their aged Elders protected from COVID-19.
As the pandemic led to the shutdown of many services, it was difficult for project clients to access assistance, including housing; one project started supplying camping equipment to clients.
For those still inside institutions, isolation was a concern; given the imposed pandemic-related restrictions most projects could not obtain access to the institutions. In instances where access was gained, the services that could be rendered were limited. One project spoke about their Gladue writer being behind glass and being unable to perform a smudging.
Two projects spoke of positive outcomes from the pandemic. As a result of travel restrictions, one project was able to save the money usually dedicated to travel costs and divert it to training additional Gladue writers. Three projects were deemed an essential service by institutions as a result of the difference they were making with clients.
The community of practice discussed conducting a small research project to look at the impacts of Covid-19 and social distancing on their projects. The proposed research could look at the innovative responses that projects have implemented, how clients and the community, and staff have responded to the crisis.
The Indigenous Community Corrections Initiative is aligned with government and department objectives and priorities in supporting the reintegration of Indigenous offenders returning to communities.
In funding projects that deliver services grounded in Indigenous cultural beliefs, the Initiative is supporting offenders in engaging with their culture. This can contribute to the establishment of a cultural identity which can, in turn, help the healing process. Funding recipients raised the issue that "completion" of their project's programming is not an appropriate measure of success. Completion is often not the end goal as projects' wish to maintain contact with their clients and have them continue to engage in cultural ceremonies and/or counselling.
Anecdotally, the Initiative has had an impact on increasing communities' awareness of how to support offenders returning to their community. Projects have created or adapted resources and tools to support their clients and had positive experiences with the Coast-to-Coast meetings organized by Public Safety.
The Initiative has contributed to an increased capacity in communities to support Indigenous offenders, however, in many communities gaps remain. Projects discussed gaps in housing, mental health counselling, addictions treatment and a variety of other services that are crucial in supporting offenders successfully returning to the community.
An additional gap, is the lack of women-centred programming. While GBA+ was considered in the program development, it is not evident in the selection of funded projects.
Funding recipients raised issues with reporting requirements and connecting with the correctional system at the provincial and federal level. Delays with these institutions have impacted projects reliant on referrals for clients. Recipients would like PS' support in liaising with the correctional system.
While entirely unforeseen, COVID-19 has impacted all projects and the results will likely be more evident in 2020-21 annual reports. COVID-19 could have a large impact on both project and program delivery and hence results.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Safety and Countering Crimes 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.
6. Management Action Plan
Planned Completion Date
Based upon successful renewal of the ICCI, the call for proposals, templates and proposal assessment tools will be re-designed to address GBA+ considerations.
March 31, 2023 (dependent on potential for program renewal)
Engage Correctional Service Canada (CSC) and provincial and/or territorial ministries of correctional services to raise awareness of the ICCI program and solicit support for ICCI projects.
Require documentation during project development attesting to the applicants engagement and solicitation of support from local federal, provincial and/or territorial correctional facilities (e.g. letters of support, etc.)
March 31, 2023 (dependent on potential for program renewal)
Update performance measurement strategy and reporting requirements.
March 31, 2023 (dependent on potential for program renewal)
Annex A – Project Descriptions
- Hinton Friendship Centre Society - Restoring Balance uses a wrap-around case management approach to develop strength-based, culturally appropriate individualized service plans that meet the reintegration needs of offenders and enhance community safety
- Native Counseling Services of Alberta - The Indigenous Reconciliation Program is an offender reintegration program that offers culturally appropriate services and supports to Indigenous offenders, their families, victims, and service providers in the offenders' home community.
- Odawa Native Friendship Centre - The Community Reintegration Peer Support Program is an offender reintegration project that provides peer support workers and a traditional helper to Indigenous offenders before and after release from custody. The peer support workers work with the offenders to ensure access to community-based and culturally appropriate programs and services to support successful reintegration.
- Nicola Valley Community Justice Services Society - The Indigenous Court Navigator program is an alternative to custody project that works with offenders who have accepted responsibility for their crime(s). Working in collaboration with the justice system and local Elders, probation conditions and healing plans are developed that provide restorative and culturally appropriate terms to an offender's sentence.
- Osoyoos Indian Band - Supporting Successful Integration – A Cultural Approach is an offender reintegration project that provides direct support to offenders in the Okanagan Correctional Centre prior to release, followed by community-based rehabilitative supports that include traditional knowledge acquisition, addressing trauma, employment and other relevant services.
- Prince George Urban Aboriginal Justice Society - The Aboriginal Wellness Reintegration Program is an offender reintegration project that bridges offenders from the Prince George Regional Correctional Facility to the local community. Within the correctional facility, support and guidance is provided to offenders and upon release, the offender works with project staff who support the offender with successful reintegration.
- Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society - The Indigenous Reintegration Project is an offender reintegration project that works with offenders to develop meaningful reintegration plans. The project focuses on housing, employment and education while providing cultural and social supports to offenders, and especially those living with complex needs, such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
- Trent University - Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies - The Elder-Led Healing Programs in CSC Community Correctional Centres is an offender reintegration project that combines program delivery and research. This project places Elders in two parole offices where they provide counselling and healing services to Indigenous parolees who are at risk of parole revocation and/or re-offence. The research component of this project will assess a number of aspects of the Elder-led healing program and will produce a research report that will provide evidence-based information to support policy and program development.
- Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve - The Reintegration Support Program is an offender reintegration project that provides culturally relevant reintegration support to local band members after their return from a correctional facility. Upon release to the community, offenders participate in a circle of support attended by local Elders, where a wellness plan is developed. Project staff works with the offender, the offender's family and the community to support the successful reintegration of the offender.
- Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI Inc. - The Indigenous Reintegration and Healing Program is an offender reintegration project that works with Indigenous offenders to determine reintegration needs and develop a healing plan. This project includes the offenders' support persons, victims, community members, criminal justice stakeholders and counsellors.
- Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia - The Indigenous Incarcerated Parents to Reintegration Initiative is an offender reintegration/research project that uses an Indigenous lens to examine the incarcerated person as a 'parent first' and looks at how incarceration created a disconnect between the offenders role as parent, family, and community member.
- Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre - The Returning Home in a Good Way project is an offender reintegration project that builds on an existing relationship with the Nanaimo Correctional Centre. The project works in collaboration with the offender and correctional centre to develop a viable and culturally sensitive release plan that addresses issues such as trauma, addictions and more, under the guidance of an Elder who provides access to traditional ceremonies.
- Waseskun Healing Centre - Rebuilding the Circle – A Continuum of Caring is an offender reintegration project that operates out of a CSC-supported community-based Indigenous healing lodge for federal offenders. The project brings the families of offenders to the lodge to participate in an Indigenous family therapy program and provides training to community workers from an offender's home community on reintegration issues.
- Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services Inc. - Coming Home to Stay: A Reintegration Support Program for Federal and Provincial Offenders is an offender reintegration project that provides intensive services to Indigenous offenders in the areas of i) mental health; ii) access to cultural resources; iii) family reunification; iv) training, skills development, and educational opportunities; and v) access to housing.
- University of Regina - The Navigator-Advocates: Integrated Supports for Justice-Involved Indigenous Youth and Adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder project is an alternative to custody and reintegration project supported by frontline workers and peer mentors with trauma and FASD-informed training who can effectively advocate for FASD-affected Indigenous offenders. The University partnership involves Indigenous organizations, as well as FASD and justice system stakeholders working together to develop culturally relevant, community-based interventions that are responsive to the unique circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
- Tl'etinqox Government - The Community Justice Program - Reintegration Support program is an offender reintegration project that provides individualized case management to Indigenous offenders from the point of incarceration to successful reintegration into the community. Supportive services include healing/reintegration circles/ceremonies, traditional and Western counselling, release planning and parole hearing support, referrals to local resources and liaison with the offender's family and victims when appropriate. As well, this project works with federal correctional facilities for Section 84 releases.
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