Parliamentary Committee Notes: Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism
Date: March 20, 2023
Secteur / Agence: CPB
- The Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism aims to break the cycle of reoffending, support rehabilitation and make our communities safer for everyone. It is the Government of Canada’s first step in putting together a plan that identifies crucial factors that impact why people reoffend and how to support safe and successful reintegration into the community.
- Reintegration often comes with unique challenges and left unaddressed, these increase the likelihood of someone reoffending. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting those making this important transition and giving them the tools they need to succeed with it.
- Developed in consultation with a diverse array of stakeholders, the Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism outlines five priority themes key to the successful reintegration of offenders: housing, education, employment, health and positive support networks.
- Public Safety officials are working to develop a comprehensive implementation plan by June 2023 that will see concrete actions taken under each of the thematic priorities to reduce the barriers to community reintegration and ensure that supports are sustained over time.
- Successful reintegration doesn’t happen by itself. It requires care and assistance through challenging times, and the government must be here to support it. It also requires partnerships across multiple sectors
- By engaging multiple sectors, partners can leverage knowledge, expertise, reach, and resources, benefiting from their combined and varied strengths as they work toward a shared goal: increase public safety by reducing recidivism, preventing victimization, and ultimately, create safer communities.
The large majority of individuals who are incarcerated will be released in their lifetime. In this context, a public shift to understanding rehabilitation and supporting reintegration needs to happen for the offenders to successfully reintegrate into the community. When the successful reintegration of offenders back into the community is supported, former offenders can become contributing pro-social members of society.
On June 29, 2021, the Reduction of Recidivism Framework Act received Royal Assent, requiring the federal government to develop a Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism within one year.
The Act called for consultations with diverse stakeholders in the criminal justice sector, including with the provinces and territories. Consultations were held from November 2021 to February 2022. In that time, over 20 organizations and 140 people representing a wide-range of partners and stakeholders shared meaningful and productive dialogue on issues pertaining to: evidence-based programming that can reduce recidivism; challenges that currently exist in delivering programs to people incarcerated in federal institutions; the opportunities that can be leveraged to fill gaps in services; and, unique challenges faced by women, Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians who are consistently overrepresented in correctional facilities.
The Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism (the Framework) was tabled in Parliament on June 22, 2022. It is the first step in putting together a plan that identifies crucial factors that impact why people reoffend and how to support safe and successful reintegration into the community. The goal is to increase public safety by reducing recidivism, preventing victimization, addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous People, Black Canadians and other marginalized groups in Canada’s criminal justice system, and ultimately, create safer communities.
The Framework is designed to allow for nimble approaches to address the issue of recidivism either through federally funded initiatives and programs or by leveraging existing provincial and territorial initiatives and programs, promoting partnerships with community and faith-based organizations, and also by raising awareness of the benefits of supporting released offenders.
The Framework points to the intent to develop a comprehensive implementation plan by June 2023 that will direct efforts and resources to address the unique circumstances of offenders exiting the correctional system in order to assist with their successful reintegration into the community following incarceration and to prevent reoffending.
Since the Framework was tabled, Public Safety (PS) has continued the dialogue with partners help inform the development of the implementation plan. Subject matter experts in the area of community corrections including Indigenous-led and Black-led organizations, academics, those with specializations in sectors related to gang disaffiliation and peer mentoring support, as well as people with lived experience provided their perspective on concrete actions that can be taken to reduce the barriers to community reintegration. The consultations were targeted and specific and therefore provided rich information from more than 60 individuals in the summer and fall of 2022. During a second round of consultation in winter 2023, PS also engaged a targeted group of 35 individuals, delving deeper into the challenges offenders face when reintegrating. These processes confirmed that given the multi-faceted nature of recidivism, a broad multi-sectoral approach to address its complex interwoven issues is required.
Over the longer term, PS will continue to work in partnership with provinces and territories, the private sector, and community and voluntary organizations. Building on these networks, actions will be taken so that more offenders will be able to find the assistance they need to meet their basic needs – like assistance finding housing, accessing health care, participating in educational opportunities and seeking employment.
A report back to Parliament on the effectiveness of the Framework is required by June 2025.
Prepared by: Nikki Maier, Manager, Crime Prevention and Community Safety Division, 343-573-4837
Approved by: Talal Dakalbab, Assistant Deputy Minister, Crime Prevention Branch, 613-852-1167
- Date modified: