Let’s Can ad a

Let’s Can ad a
Canada
Entre Nous
VOLUME 24, n o 2
MARS 1999
Life Line
Section 13 of the Inquiries Act
Women’s Conference
Recognizing the Value of Values
Citizens’ Advisory Committees
Towards a Satisfying Justice
Restorative
Justice
La justice
réparatrice
Vers une vraie justice
Let’s Talk
VOLUME 24, NO. 2
MARCH 1999
Life Line
Article 13 de la Loi sur les enquêtes
Conférence des femmes
Reconnaître l’importance des valeurs
Comités consultatifs de citoyens
Canada
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Entre Nous
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VOL. 24, n o 2
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MARS 1999
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MANCHETTES
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L’AUMÔNIER PIERRE ALLARD REÇOIT LE PRIX DU CHEF DE LA FONCTION PUBLIQUE
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LE SERVICE LIFE LINE
DES CONDAMNÉS À PERPÉTUITÉ AIDANT DES CONDAMNÉS À PERPÉTUITÉ
2
LA JUSTICE RÉPARATRICE
L’ADOPTION D’UNE NOUVELLE APPROCHE EN MATIÈRE CRIMINELLE
ET CORRECTIONNELLE
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ÉDITORIAL DU COMMISSAIRE
Conception graphique
L’UNITÉ DE SURVEILLANCE POUR FEMMES
UNE OCCASION D’ENTENDRE ET D’ÊTRE ENTENDU
L’ARTICLE 13 DE LA LOI SUR LES ENQUÊTES
RECONNAÎTRE L’IMPORTANCE DES VALEURS
LA GESTION DES RESSOURCES HUMAINES AXÉE SUR LES VALEURS AU SERVICE
CORRECTIONNEL DU CANADA
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ARTICLES
LE CAHIER SECTORIEL
Conférence des femmes
Se responsabiliser sur tous les plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Opération « Retour à l’essentiel »
Conférence pour les agents de libération conditionnelle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Les comités consultatifs de citoyens
Une partie intégrante du processus de réinsertion sociale des délinquants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
La participation des citoyens aux services correctionnels fédéraux
Le rapport de la réunion des comités consultatifs de citoyens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
La mort des masques
Une société cinématographique montréalaise donne la parole aux délinquants . . . . . . . . . . .
La stratégie de développement durable du SCC
Une première année plutôt chargée . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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INTERVIEW
Stupid Crimes et Krekshuns
Une interview de Dennis E. Bolen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
RECOGNIZING THE VALUE OF VALUES
VALUES-BASED HUMAN RESOURCES IN THE CORRECTIONAL SERVICE OF CANADA
Entre Nous est une revue bimestrielle publiée par le Secteur des communications
du Service correctionnel du Canada.
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Editorial Committee
Les opinions exprimées dans les articles
qui suivent ne reflètent pas nécessairement celles du commissaire.
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Commissaire adjointe
France Lagacé
Rédacteur en chef
Pierre Simard
Rédacteur en chef adjoint Martin Bélanger
Révision
Julie Renaud
Révision et rédaction
Lise Traversy
Rédaction
Louisa Coates
Rédaction
Graham Chartier
Services de traduction
Bureau de la
traduction
Marc Quirouet
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AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR AND BE HEARD
SECTION 13 OF THE INQUIRIES ACT
Comité de rédaction
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Millard Beane
Shereen Miller
Robert Dandurand
Marie-Andrée Drouin
Holly Flowers
Dean Jones
Marcel Kabundi
Bob LeDrew
France Myre
Fernande Rainville
John Vandoremalen
Lisa Watson
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WOMEN’S SUPERVISION UNIT
Collaborateurs
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Atlantique – Claudine Daigle
Québec – Céline Laplante
Ontario – Chris Stafford
Prairies – Tim Krause
Pacifique – Dennis Finlay
Pacifique – Debbie Lemay
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THE HEAD OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
Les articles peuvent être reproduits, entièrement ou en partie, en précisant qu’ils
sont publiés par le Service correctionnel
du Canada.
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L’équipe d’Entre Nous serait heureuse de
publier vos articles et lettres d’opinion et
de connaître vos suggestions d’articles.
Les textes soumis sont susceptibles d’être
révisés du point de vue du style et de la
longueur. Veuillez indiquer votre adresse
électronique ainsi qu’un numéro de téléphone où l’on pourra vous joindre pendant la journée et faire parvenir votre
envoi à l’adresse ci-dessous :
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LIFE LINE
LIFERS HELPING LIFERS SWIM NOT SINK
Entre Nous / Let’s Talk
Service correctionnel du Canada
340, avenue Laurier ouest
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0P9
Téléphone : (613) 995-5364
Télécopieur : (613) 947-0091
Internet :
www.csc-scc.gc.ca
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Assistant Commissioner
France Lagacé
Editor-in-Chief
Pierre Simard
Assistant Editor-in-Chief Martin Bélanger
Editor
Lise Traversy
Editor
Julie Renaud
English Writer
Louisa Coates
English Writer
Graham Chartier
Translation Services Translation Bureau
Graphic Design
Marc Quirouet
ISSN 0715-285X
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© Service correctionnel du Canada 1999
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Work Release on Upswing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
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RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
TAKING A NEW APPROACH TO CRIME AND CORRECTIONS
LES DÉPÊCHES RÉGIONALES
La région de l’Atlantique
Un nouveau centre pour les détenus purgeant une peine de longue durée
Le Comité national mixte célèbre 25 ans de coopération . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Prendre les choses en main à l’échelon local . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Entre entreprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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La région du Québec
La victimisation sexuelle et délinquance sexuelle. Quel est le lien ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Un reportage de la télévision France 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Journées de perfectionnement clinique du district Est/Ouest du Québec
Valeurs et attitudes dans l’accompagnement clinique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L’Unité régionale de santé mentale célèbre son cinquième anniversaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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La région du Pacifique
Des ordinateurs dans les écoles
Un projet de placement à l’extérieur pratique et axé sur la collectivité . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
C’est le bon temps encore une fois . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Un char pour la parade aux chandelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Examen de l’unité de détention temporaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Un dilemne transformé en possibilité de réinsertion sociale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
La région des Prairies
Le placement à l’extérieur est à la hausse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Dans le présent document, la forme masculine,
qui a valeur de genre neutre, désigne aussi bien
les femmes que les hommes.
VOL. 24, NO. 2
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Let’s Talk
Imprimé au Canada sur du papier recyclé
Computers for Schools
A Practical and Community-oriented Work Release Project
Happy Days Are Here Again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Candlelight Parade Float . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Review of the Temporary Detention Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Turning a Dilemma into a Rehabilitation Opportunity . . . .
Pacific Region
Prairie Region
© Correctional Service of Canada 1999
Sexual Victimization and Sex Offenders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
TV Crew from France Films Documentary on Private Family Visiting
Clinical Development Days
Values and Attitudes in Clinical Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Regional Mental Health Unit Celebrates Fifth Anniversary . . . . . . . .
Quebec Region
New Centre to Assist Long-term Inmates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
National Joint Committee Celebrates 25 Years of Co-operation
Taking Ownership at Local Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Business to Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Atlantic Region
REGIONAL NEWS
Stupid Crimes and Krekshuns
An Interview with Dennis E. Bolen, Parole Officer and Novelist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
INTERVIEW
Women’s Conference
Taking Charge from the Inside Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Operation Bypass
Conference for Parole Officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Citizens’ Advisory Committees
Part of the Reintegration Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Citizen Engagement in Federal Corrections
A Report of the Planning Meeting of the Citizens’ Advisory Committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
La mort des masques
Montreal-based Film Company Gives Voice to Federal Offenders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The CSC’s Sustainable Development Strategy
Year One Was Chock-full of Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SECTOR REPORTS
ARTICLES
11
1
FEATURES
MARCH 1999
ERRATUM
À la page 31 du dernier numéro, la
personne travaillant à la boutique de
fleurs est une contractuelle et non une
détenue.
ERRATUM
On page 31 of the last issue, the person
shown in the floral shop is a contractor,
not a resident.
Printed in Canada on Recycled Paper
ISSN 0715-285X
Let’s Talk / Entre Nous
Correctional Service of Canada
340 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P9
Telephone: (613) 995-5364
Telecopier: (613) 947-0091
Internet:
www.csc-scc.gc.ca
Let’s Talk welcomes letters to the editor,
suggestions for articles and contributions
from readers. Material submitted may be
edited for style and length. Please include
your electronic mail address and a daytime telephone number. Address all correspondence to:
Articles may be reprinted in whole or in
part with credit to the Correctional
Service of Canada.
Atlantic – Claudine Daigle
Quebec – Céline Laplante
Ontario – Chris Stafford
Prairies – Tim Krause
Pacific – Dennis Finlay
Pacific – Debbie Lemay
Contributors
Millard Beane
Shereen Miller
Robert Dandurand
Marie-Andrée Drouin
Holly Flowers
Dean Jones
Marcel Kabundi
Bob LeDrew
France Myre
Fernande Rainville
John Vandoremalen
Lisa Watson
COMMISSIONER’S EDITORIAL
Opinions expressed in the following
articles do not necessarily reflect the
views of the Commissioner.
Let’s Talk is published every two months
by the Communications Sector of the
Correctional Service of Canada.
Let’s Talk
COMMISSIONER’S EDITORIAL
We are Peace Officers
W
e have said in our Mission
that we are part of the
criminal justice system.
Most of us are proud to be peace
officers. As public servants our role is
to serve the public. If we do not serve
the public in accordance with the law
we lack respect for our jobs.
As peace officers of the Correctional
Service of Canada, we have a very
special obligation to respect the rule
of law at all times. The obligation to
abide by the law applies not only to
the fulfillment of our professional
obligations but to all aspects of
our lives.
People’s value systems tend to
come into play especially when
they encounter situations where
their values are challenged. The
value of maintaining a law-abiding
behaviour at all times is never more
important to respect than when a
difficult situation arises and emotions
are put to the test.
It would be disturbing for the citizens
of Canada if they were to see peace
officers who did not uphold the law.
Even minor incidents could call into
question the integrity of the entire
correctional system if the images on
television depicted correctional
employees displaying inappropriate
behaviours that did not respect the
rule of law.
It is imperative for us as peace officers
to remind ourselves that we lead by
example and that our respect for the
rule of law is maintained at all times.
Ole Ingstrup
Commissioner
Correctional Service Canada
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
1
FEATURES
Restorative Justice
Taking a New Approach
to Crime and Corrections
By Ms. Heather Blumenthal,
Freelance Writer
A serious crime is committed, the offender caught and found guilty,
a sentence handed down. Justice has been served. But the victims and
their families are left deeply scarred, the offender’s family is often in
turmoil, and the community frightened and angry. For them, justice
has not been served.
ur current system,” says Lorraine
Berzins of the Church Council
on Justice and Corrections, “is
focused on determining blame and
administering pain in a contest between
the offender’s lawyer and the state,
determined by systematic rules. The victim, the community and even the offender are often left largely on the sidelines.”
The concept of restorative justice is
emerging as a response to this gap in the
way the current justice system deals with
crime and punishment, and the dissatisfaction that citizens feel. It is an approach that includes the perspective and
needs of victims. It is also a way of
thinking about accountability that gives
offenders a chance to make reparations,
and provides communities with a voice.
It also promotes reintegration for both
victims and offenders. The concept is
not a new one and has roots in faith
communities, in Aboriginal traditions
and in programs that value healing and
community building.
“O
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Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
Howard Zehr a contemporary writer
on restorative justice says that “Our
mainstream or retributive criminal
justice system asks three basic questions
when a crime occurs:
What law was broken?
Who did it? and
What penalty should be
handed out?”
Restorative justice, he says, asks
three different questions:
Who was harmed?
What harm was done?
Whose responsibility is it
to make things right?
“In framing the key questions in
these ways, we can bring a whole new
view to community corrections, one
that is more inclusive and potentially
more satisfying for everyone,” says Bob
Brown, Area Director of the Vancouver
Island Parole Area and keen advocate for
restorative justice.
Victim-offender mediation is the
restorative process most familiar to
those in the criminal justice and corrections community. Programs such as
Community Justice Initiatives in British
Columbia and Mediating Offender
Victim Encounters (MOVE) in New
Brunswick have shown high success in
providing satisfaction to victims and
offenders. Such programs can give peace
of mind to victims and often strengthen
an offender’s commitment to his or her
correctional plan. Other restorative approaches such as healing circles and
community conferencing go beyond
this two-way dialogue to involve other
parties as well – the family of the victim,
and the family and friends of the
offender – for their lives have been
changed as well. And community representatives have an important role to
play, because an entire community is
affected by crime.
The Correctional Service of Canada
(CSC) established a Restorative Justice and
Dispute Resolution Unit in 1996, under the
leadership of Jane Miller-Ashton. Staffed
initially by law and social work students, the
Unit now also employs two project officers,
Scott Harris, a former parole officer, and
Carol Anne Grenier, on secondment from
another government department. The Unit,
which is part of the Offender Affairs Branch
at National Headquarters, has been active in
developing educational and training activities, and in establishing and supporting a
variety of restorative justice pilot initiatives.
John Rama, Assistant Commissioner, Personnel
and Training, co-chair of the National Steering
Committee on Restorative Justice and Dispute
Resolution.
From right to left:
Front row: John Rama, Ken Watts, Unit
Manager, Stony Mountain Institution; Donna
Morrin, Warden, Joyceville Institution; Ron
Wiebe, Warden, Ferndale Institution.
Back row: Rod Carter, Ontario Regional
Chaplain, and Melanie Achtenberg, Manager,
Native Liaison and Intersectorial Policy
Coordination – Aboriginal Issues.
“In CSC, restorative justice approaches
have been championed by many people,”
notes Ms.Miller-Ashton.“This way of thinking was pioneered by Chaplaincy, and by
staff and external partners working to
develop new strategies for Aboriginal and
women offenders.” Elements of restorative
justice at work can be found in Circles of
Support and Accountability, which have
been developed by community chaplains
and faith groups for warrant-expired sex
offenders, under the leadership of Evan
Heise and Chaplain Hugh Kirkegaard.
“What right does the
criminal justice system
have to stop someone
from expressing regret,
when the need for that
is so great in a family
trying to heal?”
Restorative approaches can also be found at
the healing lodges in the Prairie Region, and
in the philosophy underlying the federally
sentenced women’s facilities.
In May 1998, CSC through the Restorative Justice Unit developed a Framework
Paper on Restorative Justice, which outlined
a three-fold strategy for implementing
and supporting restorative processes. “This
key document identifies how we can use
Richard Tobin, Director General, Offender
Affairs with the Restorative Justice and
Dispute Resolution Unit.
From left to right:
Front row: Carol Anne Grenier, Project Officer,
Ian Maclean, MSW Student at McGill
University.
Back row: Jane Miller-Ashton, Director, Scott
Harris, Project Officer, and Richard Tobin.
restorative approaches to create healthier
workplaces for staff, to assist our safe
reintegration mandate, and to support
broad criminal justice reform to better meet
the needs of victims, offenders, and communities,” says Richard Tobin, Director
General of Offender Affairs.
Most experience with restorative justice
approaches has been at the front end of the
criminal justice system. But, whether the
approach is used at the front or the back
end, the goal remains the same: achieving
satisfying justice. This was in fact the title of
the first national conference on restorative
models, which CSC helped to organize in
1997. The conference has since led to a
number of significant developments in
restorative justice in Canada, many of
which were highlighted in an inventory that
was published by CSC in September 1998.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS –
KEY TO SUCCESS
In its commitment to restorative justice, the
Correctional Service of Canada is joining
with other government partners and community organizations across the country. As
Ms. Miller-Ashton points out, restorative
justice is based on alliances and partnerships, and government is but one seat at the
table. As correctional agencies learn to
consult and work better to support victim
and other citizen involvement, the role of
government will shift as communities gain
strength and confidence in building new
ways to live together.
A VICTIM’S PERSPECTIVE
Susan Savereux, whose brother was killed by
a drunk driver, told the 1997 conference
participants that mediation helped her and
her family by easing her hatred toward the
perpetrator, and by letting her see that he
will carry his remorse for the rest of his life.
She explained to conference delegates that
the offender had wanted to contact the
family at the time of the court case to tell
them how sorry he was, but his lawyer
advised him not to.
“What right does the criminal justice
system have to stop someone from expressing regret, when the need for that is so great
in a family trying to heal,” she asked.
Indeed, one of the most promising
aspects of restorative justice is the fact that
it circumvents the barriers put up by the
current criminal justice system, and gives
the offender the opportunity to take responsibility for the crime he or she committed in
ways that promote healing.
“Although we have some cautions, I do
believe that restorative justice can open
doors for victims, giving them an opportunity to participate, to address their issues,
and to be taken seriously,” says Wilma
Derksen, Director of Victims’ Voice.
OFFENDERS TAKING
RESPONSIBILITY
Taking responsibility is an important step
for an offender. “By focusing narrowly on
legal definitions, the current criminal justice
system discourages offenders from taking
responsibility,” says Scott Harris. He notes
The core principles
of restorative justice 1:
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Inclusiveness
Reparation
Accountability
Community involvement
Accessibility
Choice
Fairness
Equality
Holistic approach
From the Framework Paper on
Restorative Justice
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
3
that, even after incarceration, some offenders still quote the law and deny guilt for a
specific legal infraction. “The adversarial
court system can really blur the fact that
people have been hurt.”
As Commissioner Ole Ingstrup said
recently, “Offenders do not always make
links between their own behaviour and the
consequences of what has happened.”
Offering offenders opportunities to make
things right assists them to take ownership
of their offence and enhances their ability to
avoid reoffending in future.
During Restorative Justice Week in
November 1998, inmates at Rockwood
Institution performed a play written by a
member of the John Howard Society (JHS)
of Manitoba about the impact of crime on
victims, and the use of restorative approaches. “Playing the role of a victim had a
profound impact on the inmates involved in
the drama,” says Michel Burrowes, Chief of
Programs at Rockwood.
Andy Grier, Project Coordinator for the
Restorative Parole Project, John Howard
Society (Manitoba) makes a few remarks
to the National Steering Committee on
Restorative Justice and Dispute Resolution.
In the background: Michel Roy and Lucie
McClung, Senior Deputy Commissioner, CSC.
David Hough, Chairperson of the
Citizens’ Advisory Committee at William
Head Institution, participated in training
on restorative justice offered by CSC in
June 1998. Soon after, he and a group of
William Head inmates had an opportunity
to share views on this subject. Since then,
this group of inmates and some community
members have met every two weeks to talk
about restorative justice. This unique group
is now in the process of organizing the first
inmate-led restorative justice event which
will bring more than one hundred community members into William Head Institution to participate in discussion and
dialogue.
FUNDING PILOT PROJECTS
Building on the Framework Paper, the
Restorative Justice and Dispute Resolution
4
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
Jim Wladyka, Director of Employee Assistance, Safety and Health, Personnel and Training Sector, and
members of the National Steering Committee brainstorming ideas for the terms of reference.
Unit teamed up with Jim Wladyka, Director of Employee Assistance, Safety and
Health, Personnel and Training Sector, and
the Ontario Region to obtain a $50,000
grant from the federal government’s
Dispute Resolution Fund to support the
implementation of a comprehensive strategy for guiding CSC as it promotes culture
change in the management of conflict. A
further $350,000 has been requested to
support the development of pilot projects in
the next fiscal year to continue this work.
CSC will also contribute to these projects.
A National Steering Committee on
Restorative Justice and Dispute Resolution
has been established recently to provide
ongoing leadership to CSC in this growing
area. “Part of the committee’s work will
include the development of funding criteria
and the selection of pilot projects to expand
our experience with Restorative Justice
and Dispute Resolution,” explains Michel
Roy, Assistant Commissioner of Corporate
Development, who will co-chair the
committee with John Rama, Assistant
Commissioner, Personnel and Training. In
the Pacific Region, Pieter de Vink, Regional
Deputy Commissioner, has established a
complementary Regional Restorative Justice
Committee.
Many projects involving partnerships
with community agencies and other governments are already underway. These
initiatives include Restorative Justice Week,
a major educational undertaking held each
November with leadership from CSC
Chaplaincy and faith communities, and in
which all regions have participated.
In the Atlantic Region, CSC supports
the Atlantic Coordinating Committee on
Crime Prevention to help educate Maritime
communities with respect to restorative
justice and citizen involvement. In the
Pacific Region, Warden Ron Wiebe and
Ferndale Institution staff have been active in
promoting dialogue with community
members about restorative justice. In the
Ontario Region, Regional Chaplain Rod
Carter, with others, has promoted the
development of a diploma program and
graduate level courses on restorative justice
at Queen’s Theological College. Pierre
Allard, now Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, took a
six-month sabbatical in 1998 to research the
spiritual roots of restorative justice. This
undertaking contributed significant learnings to the field of restorative justice and has
added to Pierre’s own personal conviction
regarding the importance of these processes
to CSC.
The JHS of Manitoba, with funding
support from CSC and the Ministry
Secretariat, recently launched a Restorative
Parole Project which will develop reintegration plans that take into account the
needs of victims, and community members.
“Mediation and community circles will be
used to bring people together to address the
issues,” says Graham Reddoch, Executive
Director of the JHS.
Michel Roy, Assistant Commissioner, Corporate
Development, co-chair of the National Steering
Committee on Restorative Justice and Dispute
Resolution, prepares to introduce special
guests who joined the committee on
January 26, 1999.
The CSC, the National Parole Board,
and Aboriginal communities are working
together to give Native people more involvement in release planning for offenders.
For example, under Section 84 of the
Corrections and Conditional Release Act
(CCRA), and with an offender’s permission,
Aboriginal communities can participate in
the development of reintegration plans for
offenders. “Restorative processes based on
traditional First Nations’ experiences are
often used to ensure that everyone’s concerns are heard and addressed,” says Dale
LeClair, Manager of Aboriginal Community Relations for CSC.
NOT JUST ABOUT OFFENDERS
AND VICTIMS
Restorative justice is not just about
offenders and victims. Ms. Miller-Ashton
believes that principles of restorative justice
can inform how CSC operates as a public
service organization. “We can’t expect staff
or the public to take CSC seriously about
the use of restorative processes with victims
and offenders if we don’t model similar
attitudes and behaviours in our daily
interactions with each other.”
“If each person looked at
their job through a
restorative lens, and
found ways to make that
job more collaborative,
the result would be a
better and more
respectful working
environment for staff.”
Mediation training has been occurring
in all regions. For example, the Quebec
Region recently trained twenty mediators
and the Prairie Region has developed a peer
mediation program. The staff and management at Joyceville and Kingston penitentiaries are planning a pilot project that will
enhance the Ontario Region’s capacity to
prevent and resolve conflicts.
“If each person looked at their job
through a restorative lens, and found ways
to make that job more collaborative, the
result would be a better and more respectful
working environment for staff,” says Ms.
Miller-Ashton, who proposes that restorative justice become a part of core training
for new employees. “Such a change would
also strengthen our ability to have a more
positive influence on offenders, and ultimately create a better way to carry out
CSC’s mandate.”◆
FEATURES
Life Line
Lifers Helping Lifers Swim Not Sink
By Ms. Heather Blumenthal, Freelance Writer
No one knows the lifer’s experience better than a lifer –
so who better to help a lifer succeed than another lifer?
O
ffenders who receive life sentences
have very different needs than other
offenders. Unlike most offenders, they
do not have a fixed release date. They also
face much longer periods of incarceration –
a minimum of 12 years, as opposed to the
average of 43 months.
“What does that do to relationships you
once had on the outside … Can they be
maintained for years and years?” asks Jim
Murphy, a Project Officer in Community
Operations.
But it is more than simply the length of
the sentence. Lifers tend not to be experienced criminals, explains John Braithwaite.
Most have killed in an aberrant moment –
a fit of emotion or under the influence of
substances – and, they don’t have the experience in how to survive in an institution.
Now retired, John Braithwaite was a
Deputy Commissioner of the Correctional
Service of Canada (CSC) in 1976, when
the federal government abolished the death
penalty and substituted long periods of
incarceration. Today, there are 3,442 offenders serving life sentences, about onethird of whom are on lifetime parole
supervision in the community. The Service
recognized that a new approach would be
needed to deal with the high number of
offenders serving life sentences as a result of
the 1976 legislation.
That is where Life Line comes in. This
innovative service offered by the CSC
employs lifers who have successfully been
reintegrated into the community for at least
five years, to help other lifers.
The program is unique
in recruiting paroled
offenders who will
return to institutions
and contribute to
the development of
programs, to motivate
offenders, and to assist
in their reintegration.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
5
The program is unique in recruiting
paroled offenders who will return to institutions and contribute to the development of
programs, to motivate offenders, and to
assist in their reintegration.
“Life Line merits our
support as a unique
partnership providing
opportunities for longterm offenders to
contribute, to change,
and to become
responsible citizens.”
and was confined to a wheelchair as a result
of a motorcycle accident. French, who died
in 1996, characterized his job as keeping
lifers “alive, sane, and out of trouble.”
Today, nine In-reach workers in four
regions help new inmates develop a
“correctional career” that spans the length of
their stay in the institution, to “work
constructively from day one, while they’re
incarcerated, toward their hope for release,”
says Murphy, rather than drifting through
their incarceration. In-reach workers work
closely with parole officers to ensure a team
approach to assist lifers.
Ole Ingstrup
Commissioner
Life Line was developed by a “tripartite
alliance” of the Correctional Service of
Canada, the National Parole Board, and
proponents of the Life Line concept,
including a lifer on parole. A grant from the
Donner Foundation financed a study of the
concept, which was released in 1990. The
first In-reach worker began work in 1991.
In August 1998, Life Line was recognized
as a “best practice” by the American
Correctional Association.
“Life Line merits our support as a unique
partnership providing opportunities for
long-term offenders to contribute, to change,
and to become responsible citizens,” says
current CSC Commissioner Ole Ingstrup.
Life Line is supervised by a National
Resource Group, chaired by Mr. Braithwaite,
with representation from the CSC, the
National Parole Board, voluntary correctional agencies, and René Durocher, a lifer
representing In-reach workers. The service
has three components: In-reach, community
programming, and public awareness.
THE IN-REACH WORKER –
THE FOUNDATION OF LIFE LINE
The key to Life Line’s success is the In-reach
worker – a lifer who has successfully reintegrated into the community for at least five
years.
The first In-reach worker was Tom
French, a former biker who was a diabetic,
6
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
René Durocher, In-reach worker, at the NHQ
meeting on Life Line. In the background: John
Braithwaite, chair of the National Resource
Group; E. “Skip” Graham, Executive Director,
St. Leonard’s House, in Windsor; and Jim
Murphy, Project Officer, Community
Operations.
In-reach workers provide living proof to
lifers that it is possible to survive their time
in the institution, an indication that
someone cares about them. They are also a
living lesson to staff of the success of
rehabilitation and reintegration.
A measure of Life Line’s success is the
commitment by the Service to double the
number of In-reach workers. Three new
In-reach workers have recently been hired in
the Ontario Region. One is a published
writer and artist, one is a youth worker, one
is an ordained minister, and all three have
university degrees earned while serving their
sentences.
COMMUNITY PROGRAMMING –
BEYOND THE INSTITUTION
Once released on parole, a lifer faces new
challenges: how to reintegrate into a community, and into relationships, that have
changed dramatically since he or she was
last out of the institution.
The lifer’s relationship with the In-reach
worker may continue. But it is now the
parole officer who is the main resource
responsible for helping to steer lifers
through the range of community programs
that are available.
St. Leonard’s House, in Windsor, offers
the only dedicated residential facility for
newly released lifers. Elsewhere, lifers spend
their first months outside an institution, in
facilities geared toward individuals with
determinate sentences, and receive needed
services from the larger community.
Activities under the community programming area of the Life Line service can
range from day trips to introduce the lifer to
a dramatically changed society, to assist with
learning how to live independently, and to
help find and keep a job.
“This aspect of the Life Line service is so
important,” Murphy says, “that the Service
is considering whether there should be a
separate category of worker, such as an “outreach worker,” to focus on helping the onethird of all lifers under supervision in the
community.”
“Without Life Line,
lifers will be released
into the community
with inadequate
preparation,
assistance, and
supervision.
I believe anyone in
prison for 25 years,
who is willing to work
with the Life Line
program must want
to become
a contributing
member
of society.”
Sandra Atkin
Victim
FEATURES
PUBLIC AWARENESS –
CREATING PARTNERSHIPS
Apart from working with offenders,
In-reach workers have an important
role to play in raising public
awareness of effective corrections and
the special needs of the lifer community.
They do this by meeting with
community organizations, volunteer
groups, and others interested in
the corrections community, to talk
about their experiences as In-reach
workers. They also spend a significant amount of time on “preventive”
work, particularly with young people,
talking about how they became lifers,
what it has meant to their lives, and
how these youths can avoid becoming involved in crime or drugs.
Public awareness work with nongovernmental organizations is vital to
the success of the Life Line service.
Community-based non-government
organizations hire the In-reach workers, by way of a contract with the
Service and provide the resources
needed to meet the offenders’ needs.
IMPLEMENTING THE LIFE
LINE CONCEPT –
TOWARDS THE FUTURE
Recently, the National Resource
Group commissioned a task force,
under the leadership of Warden Ken
Peterson of Mission Institution, to
look at how the Life Line concept
could be improved and expanded.
The most important recommendation the task force made in its
February 1998 report was to hire one
In-reach worker for every 125 longterm offenders, and this task has
been given the highest priority. In
addition, the task force recommended the development of new
programs aimed at female and
Aboriginal lifers; the production of
detailed profiles of offenders serving
long sentences on a regular basis; and
the development of “career paths” for
lifers to start serving others while
serving their sentences. ◆
The Head of the
Public Service Award
By Ms. Monique Parker, Ms. Sandra Bouwman
and Treasury Board staff
From left to right: Ole Instrup, Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada,
Jocelyne Bourgon, former Clerk of the Privy Council, and Pierre Allard, recipient
of the first Head of the Public Service Award.
M
adame Jocelyne Bourgon, former
Clerk of the Privy Council and
Secretary to the Cabinet presented
the first Head of the Public Service Award
to Reverend Pierre Allard at a ceremony
held at the Museum of Civilization on
December 7, 1998. Through this award,
the Clerk of the Privy Council formally
recognizes and honours employees who
demonstrate excellence in meeting the
challenges facing the Public Service of
Canada. Recipients are considered leaders at
all levels of the Public Service and whose
contribution is essential to making it a
modern and vibrant institution.
A CALLING
For more than a quarter of a century,
Reverend Allard has dedicated his calling to
provide spiritual support to all of those
involved in prison ministries. His work as a
prison chaplain has placed him at the forefront of the new field of restorative justice,
which brings together communities,
offenders and victims to talk about the way
that crime affects a community.
His teambuilding skills enabled him to
create the volunteer Christian Council for
Reconciliation, and the National Associa-
tion for Chaplaincy Volunteers. Pierre
Allard is a staunch supporter of prison
chaplains around the world. He is President
of the International Prison Chaplains’
Association.
SPIRITUAL WORK IN
CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
Pierre Allard believes very strongly that the
community needs to continue the spiritual
work that has begun in correctional facilities. Through the creation of community
chaplaincies, he has helped communities
across Canada carry out the Correctional
Service of Canada’s goal of helping to rehabilitate offenders. There are now 23 community chaplaincies across Canada. His
“Circles of Support and Accountability”
have helped former prisoners safely reintegrate into their communities.
His vision, hard work and compassion
also extend to the academic world. Pierre
Allard was awarded an honorary Doctorate
of Divinity by Queen’s University in May
1998. He recently established the first
course of study in correctional ministries
at the Theological College of Queen’s
University in Kingston. ◆
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
7
FEATURES
Women’s Supervision Unit
By Mr. John Currie, Area Director,
Women’s Supervision Unit, Central
Ontario District
T
he Women’s Supervision Unit (WSU)
offers a unique service to women
offenders. The Unit is located in the
Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)
Central Ontario District Office in Toronto.
It is responsible for the supervision of
approximately 90 women who are under all
forms of conditional release. The four parole officers in the Unit become involved
with offenders at the time of sentence, when
completing the preliminary assessment.
This first meeting is instrumental in determining the placement of the offender. Most
women are sent to Grand Valley Institution
for Women in Kitchener, while the maximum security offenders are transferred to
the Prison for Women in Kingston. Staff
work closely with their institutional colleagues to develop the best possible release
plan. Once the women are released, supervision is intensive and very supportive, with
many agency and CSC programs available
to assist them. There is a broad range of
community services available and CSC also
sponsors specialized programming for
women including Community Residential
Facilities, Choices, Cognitive Skills, Psychology, and Chaplaincy.
CHAPLAINCY
The Chaplaincy initiative is a valuable and
unique feature of the Unit. As a pilot
project, the Ontario Region Chaplaincy has
provided funding for a part-time chaplain
to offer support and community advocacy
services to our clients. Working on a
distinct but complementary course with
parole officers, the chaplain has been able to
respond to a wide range of individual needs
of the women. The focus is to do whatever
is needed, in a context that will result in an
increase of trusted community contacts.
The ability to engage the spiritual needs of
8
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
Thanks to the Mother-Child Program, a mother
is permitted to bond with her newborn infant
in a nurturing environment.
women on an as requested basis has been an
important addition to the services available
through the Unit.
tions (approximately 116 – which include
Grand Valley Institution for Women, the
Prison for Women and Isabel McNeill
House). In Toronto alone, there has been
about a 30 per cent increase in the community supervision population in 1998 (from
approximately 60 to nearly 90 women), yet
the revocation rate for women under the
care of the WSU remains low. Since its
inception some 20 months ago, there have
been 10 revocations and no serious offences.
MOTHER-CHILD PROGRAM
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the
WSU has been the development of the
Mother-Child program. Through the
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry
Societies (CAEFS) of Peel and Toronto,
satellite apartments have been developed to
house women who have had their newborn
babies residing with them. The apartments
are located in ordinary community buildings, leased by the CAEFS with costs borne
by CSC. Offenders receive support and
supervision according to their individual
needs, from both the CSC parole officer
and the agency staff. This has been an
important new venture and much learning
is occurring along the way. Not many parole
offices purchase baby cribs, strollers,
diapers, and baby food. Thanks to the good
will and co-operation of many individuals,
these services are now in place. Currently,
two women with their babies live in the
units. Initial experience has been very
positive and the apartment units have been
a critical component in the successful
reintegration of the women.
The experience that the Service has had
with women offenders is considered very
instructive. The Ontario Region has more
women under community supervision
(approximately 151), than in the institu-
Perhaps the most
distinctive feature
of the Women’s
Supervision Unit,
has been the
development of
the Mother-Child
program.
While not being able to offer absolute
guarantees, these figures support the belief
that CSC, in working closely with offenders
and support groups, can develop effective
community options that contribute to
public safety. It also shows the way for the
development of more community options,
including direct placement from the courts
to a community-based residential facility. As
we gain more experience in approaching
and dealing with the unique issues faced by
women offenders, we plan to build upon
these achievements in promoting timely
and effective reintegration. ◆
FEATURES
An Opportunity to Hear and Be Heard
Section 13 of the
Inquiries Act
By Graham Chartier, Communications Sector
When a staff member involved in an investigation receives a
notification under Section 13 of the Inquiries Act, the purposes
of such a notification are often misunderstood.
W
hether a person is interviewed by a
Board of Investigation or subsequently receives a notification under
Section 13 of the Inquiries Act, they may
feel that they are being accused of something and that they will be used as a scapegoat for the incident. An article by Ms. Pat
Patterson, Acting Senior Parole Officer in
the Pacific Region, appeared in the January
1999 issue of Let’s Talk (“Going Through
A Crisis – A Parole Officer’s Own Story”,
pp. 51-52). Her article made very clear the
painful feelings that may be experienced by
staff members who find themselves involved
in an investigation and possibly receiving a
s. 13 notification. Despite safeguards to ensure that everyone’s rights are respected and
that all decisions are rendered in a fair and
equitable manner, persons in these situations often perceive the entire process as
adversarial. Sometimes they may feel as Ms.
Patterson did, that it was difficult to believe
that a s. 13 notification “was designed to
offer me protection in case there was
incorrect information in the case report.”
A s.13 notification provides staff with an
opportunity to hear and be heard.
The processes involved during an
investigation, including the application
of Section 13 of the Inquiries Act, were
fully outlined in an article by Robert
Dandurand, Senior Analyst, Investigations
Branch, that appeared in the December
1997 issue of Let’s Talk (“Investigations”,
pp. 6-8).
the operations of CSC. The Inquiries Act is
the legislation that governs federal public
inquiries and some departmental investigations. Sections 19 to 21 of the CCRA
provide the statutory framework for Boards
of Investigation within CSC, with s. 20
giving the Commissioner authority to convene national Boards of Investigation, the
members of which have the power to issue
summonses and question witnesses under
oath. Section 19 of the CCRA provides the
authority for other investigations within
CSC, such as regional investigations that do
not fall under s. 20. Section 21 of the
CCRA specifically states that “Sections 7 to
13 of the Inquiries Act apply” to CSC
Boards of Investigation convened under
s. 20 of the CCRA. Section 13 of the
Inquiries Act requires that anyone facing an
allegation of misconduct be notified and
allowed a hearing before any report is made.
Briefly, the Corrections and Conditional
Release Act (CCRA) and the Correctional
Service of Canada (CSC) policy require that
incidents be investigated when they affect
the safety of the public, staff, offenders or
When a Board of Investigation questions
a person, an advisory is issued to that person
that if they are implicated in any misconduct, they will be sent a s. 13 notification
SECTION 13 NOTIFICATIONS MAY
OCCUR AS A RESULT OF A BOARD
OF INVESTIGATION
and afforded the opportunity to clarify their
story. Section 13 notifications are sent out
before the report is finalized but after the
Board of Investigation has examined all the
facts at their disposal and come to some
conclusions. Jim Vantour, Director of
Investigations at National Headquarters,
says, “in issuing these notices, we are
basically respecting the principles of
fairness.” He says that s. 13 notifications
present an excellent opportunity for an
individual to correct a Board of Investigation’s understanding of the facts. He adds
that the Investigations Branch has been
working to correct the perception that
receiving a s. 13 notification is a very negative occurrence. Mr. Vantour says that this
principle of fairness has been extended to
cover regional investigations even though
such coverage is not specifically required.
THE APPLICATION OF THE
INQUIRIES ACT AS A SAFEGUARD
OF THE PRINCIPLES OF FAIRNESS
Charles Haskell of CSC Legal Services says
that a s. 13 notification is initiated whenever
an individual is the subject of adverse
comment or an allegation of misconduct as a
result of an investigation or the report of an
investigation. According to Mr. Haskell,
“elementary and essential principles of
fairness are no more than what a reasonable
person would regard as fair in the circumstances.” He adds that one of the main
principles of natural justice is that no person
should be criticized without an opportunity
to be heard and Section 13 of the Inquiries
Act is the statutory codification of this principle. “Section 13 imposes obligations on a
commission of inquiry that any reasonable
person would consider as fair in the circumstances, namely a reasonable chance to tell
their side of the story before being criticized.”
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
9
To give a hypothetical example, suppose
a Board of Investigation finds that certain
important and relevant information was not
on the file of an offender directly involved
in the incident under investigation. If this
observation could reflect negatively on a
particular person’s conduct, then the Board
of Investigation would contact that person
through a s. 13 notification. This would
ensure that they have an appropriate
opportunity to correct any possible misunderstandings the Board of Investigation
may have had concerning this information.
“Section 13 imposes
obligations on a
commission of inquiry
that any reasonable
person would consider as
fair in the circumstances,
namely a reasonable
chance to tell their side
of the story before being
criticized.”
Charles Haskell
CSC Legal Services
It may be that the person wasn’t responsible
for the information not being on the
offender’s file and the s. 13 notification
provides an opportunity to correct the
Board of Investigation’s initial understanding.
SECTION 13 NOTIFICATIONS WILL
INCLUDE THE DETAILS OF ANY
ALLEGATION
A section 13 notification issued as a result of
a CSC Board of Investigation will include
the specific portion of the report that may
allege or imply misconduct and also provide
a date, time and place for the person or their
counsel to be heard. As well, a person may
respond in writing if they wish. However
the person responds, all members of the
Board of Investigation are briefed on any
representations by recipients of a s. 13 notification and the Board of Investigation decides as a group what, if any, revisions are to
be made to the report. The Chairperson of
the Board of Investigation responds in writ-
ing to each notification recipient and shares
any revisions that may have been made.
and result in changes to aproximately half of
the reports.
SECTION 13 NOTIFICATIONS ARE
ALWAYS CONFIDENTIAL
APPROVAL FOR PUBLICLY-FUNDED
LEGAL ASSISTANCE
It may be felt that receiving a s. 13 notification harms a person’s reputation. In fact,
since these notices are protected information
sent directly to the person concerned, other
staff members will only know of a particular
notice if the person concerned tells them
about it. Discussing her situation in her
article, Ms. Patterson pointed out that
talking with colleagues helped her cope and
that she found it to be “the best thing I have
ever done for myself.” She felt better by sharing her feelings with other staff and knowing
that they supported her. The decision to talk
to other staff may be good and even
advisable, but it is the individual’s decision.
Information about a s. 13 notification will be
sent only to the person concerned.
When people feel pressured, they understandably may not hear and respond well to
questions. Often, speaking to legal counsel
or having one present during a s. 13 hearing
may lower the degree of stress a person is
feeling and allow an individual’s explanations to be expressed more clearly.
On April 29, 1998, the Treasury Board
of Canada Secretariat issued a Policy on the
Indemnification of and Legal Assistance for
Crown Servants. The policy states, in s. 7.2
(b), that legal assistance can only be
authorized by the Deputy Head “when it
has been determined that the servant acted
honestly and without malice within his or
her scope of duties or employment and met
reasonable departmental expectations.” As
is the case across the entire Public Service,
the provision of legal services at public expense is not an absolute right but is subject
to case-by-case consideration.
Section 8 of the Commissioner’s Directive 067 – Provision of Legal Services to
Employees, requires that the “Department
of Justice, through CSC Legal Services,”
shall be consulted concerning the provision
of legal services to an employee concerning,
among other things, “the need and justification for legal counsel in each case.” In
consideration of this, CSC Legal Services
reviews requests for publicly-funded legal
counsel on a case-by-case basis once they
have concluded that an individual was
acting in the performance of his or her
duties and that the s. 13 notification by the
Board of Investigation was justified.
SECTION 13 HEARINGS
A hearing that results from a s. 13 notification is not a trial. Its purpose is to clarify
and correct the initial impressions and
understandings of a Board of Investigation.
While employees in such a hearing may feel
nervous, they should remember it is a time
for them to clarify their version of the story,
to present their view of the facts and to
correct positions the Board of Investigation
may have developed.
In practice, such discussion and clarification often cause a Board of Investigation
to find that a person’s representations clarify
its understanding of events in such a way
that they will decide to make revisions to the
report based on the new information. In the
fiscal year 1997/98, 19 national Boards of
Investigation were convened under s. 20 of
the CCRA, with s. 13 notifications being
sent out as the result of the draft reports in
nine of them, or less than 50 per cent of all
national investigations. A total of 442 interviews were conducted by these national
Boards of Investigations with only 24, or
5.7 per cent of those interviewed, receiving a
s. 13 notification as a result. From the representations asked for and allowed under the
provision, changes were made to a Board of
Investigation’s report in 11 of the 24 cases.
Clearly, these representations are effective
FISCAL YEAR 1997/98
National Boards of Investigation
Reports requiring s. 13 notifications
Number of interviews conducted
Number of s. 13 notifications issued
Changes to report after s. 13 hearing
10
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
19
9 or 47 per cent
442
24 or 5.7 per cent
11 or 46 per cent
TOWARDS A CONSISTENT
APPLICATION OF FAIRNESS
Section 13 notifications provide opportunities for anyone who faces allegations of
misconduct to explain their point of view
and to clear up misunderstandings that may
have arisen. Their purpose is to protect people against unfair allegations. Naturally, all
would prefer that the incidents that lead
to Boards of Investigations never take place.
All would prefer that their actions be always
considered beyond reproach. Unfortunately,
incidents happen and they must be thoroughly investigated to prevent similar incidents in the future. In the reports on these
incidents, individuals may be implicated in
misconduct. Section 13 of the Inquiries Act is
a step toward ensuring fairness by giving
those individuals an opportunity to clarify
their side of the story. ◆
FEATURES
Recognizing the Value of Values
Guiding
CSC
Values-based
Human Resources
in the Correctional
Service of Canada
in
Recruitment
and
Selection
By Ms. Holly Flowers, Project Officer, and Mr. Brent Schwieg,
Senior Project Manager, Personnel and Training Sector
I can remember as a correctional officer
facing many value conflicts as I performed my
duties. The pressure to conform or compromise
my own values to the influences within the
institution’s subculture were constantly subtle
and at times significantly strong. I made my
choices and other officers made theirs. Oftentimes these decisions were not made at a
conscious level. I have seen what I would
qualify as good and sensible officers compromising themselves, making choices that
jeopardized their values, their safety, and even
their careers.
I had the pleasure of working with a senior
correctional officer early in my career and
he had an influence on me that I am sure he
will never know. Nick was a role model to me.
He did not impress me with academic
credentials or a wealth of knowledge of corrections, even though he had walked the ranges
and patrolled the yard for over twenty years.
And it wasn’t his technical skills that made
him worth emulating.
What I marveled at was his value system.
It genuinely reflected in every task he
performed. Nick was always positive and
respectful and it did not matter if he was
dealing with an offender, the institution’s
management, or a new recruit. He was
receptive to learning and he tried to
understand changes at the institution and do
his best to get the job done, even when it was
difficult for him. He had the strength of
character to stand up for what was important,
yet he always made time to listen to other
points of view. He knew what it was like to
work hard and he was always busy at his post.
He supported his fellow officers and was an
unspoken leader amongst his peers. Nick was
too modest to accept this title.
What truly amazed me was Nick’s ability
to survive in an environment where many
other officers recruited in his era were so
unlike him. Perhaps they always were. He
seemed impervious to the jadedness, the
cynicism, and the apathy that existed in
pockets around him. I hear Nick recently
retired after thirty odd years of service. He will
be difficult to replace.
Brent Schwieg
Senior Project Manager
Career Management
O
ver the last several years, the
Correctional Service of Canada
(CSC) has been actively recruiting
correctional officers. In fiscal year 1996/97,
we hired 400 correctional officers. And our
need for additional correctional officers will
increase over the next three years. In April
1998, the Solicitor General announced that
1,000 additional correctional officers would
be hired over this period. Combined with
an expected attrition rate of 2,000 correctional officers, mostly due to retirement,
CSC will be looking to select approximately
3,000 new correctional officers by the end
of fiscal year 1999/2000.
CSC has decided to embark on a valuescentred approach to identify those candidates who will be the Service’s best
performers. This approach recognizes that
when an employee, or a future employee,
has a value system that is inherently or
intrinsically in direct conflict with the
values of the organization, there will be
performance problems.
If you pick up the CSC Mission, you’ll
find many references to the qualities of
employees that are essential to ensure that
we continue to address the challenging and
sometimes difficult work in our organization. These are the underlying values that
people contribute to our organization.
These are the qualities that are needed in
our future employees.
The value assessment is being introduced
for the recruitment and selection of
Correctional Officer I, II and Correctional
Supervisor.
The assessment will be based on the
Executive Committee’s endorsement of five
value areas:
1. Respect
2. Desire to learn and change
3. Integrity
4. Results orientation
5. Teamwork
This article is one in a series of five that will
explore the Values initiative. ◆
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
11
SECTOR REPORTS
Personnel and Training Sector
Women’s Conference
Taking Charge
from the Inside Out
November 2-4, 1998
By Ms. Louisa Coates, Communications Sector
An inspiring and well-organized Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) women’s conference,
“Taking Charge from the Inside Out”, was held in Saint-Sauveur, Quebec. The goal of this
second meeting to be held by CSC on women’s issues was to “create a forum for staff at all
levels to identify issues facing women working within the Service and recommend actions
to address them.” Over 150 staff members, including men, represented front-line workers,
administrative staff, senior managers and CSC’s five regions and national headquarters.
S
upported by Commissioner Ole Ingstrup
on March 9, 1998, International
Women’s Day, the conference was
chaired by Nancy Stableforth, CSC’s Deputy
Commissioner for Women. Under the
direction of Denyse Plante, Director
General, Learning and Development, NHQ,
sexual harassment, a lack of support for
balancing family and career, and a belief that
corrections was men’s business. The 1991
Women’s Conference, “Towards Equal Partnership” was the first national forum to
address these issues and listed 26 recommendations for action in the conference report.
When government cutbacks were
imposed, a second women’s conference was
deferred. In 1997, a series of focus groups
were held across the country and revealed
that many issues still needed to be addressed
and that the time had come to hold a
second conference.
CONFERENCE GOAL: ESTABLISH A
NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR WOMEN
Commissioner Ole Ingstrup giving his
opening remarks.
the conference was organized by NHQ staff,
in collaboration with representatives from
the regional women’s advisory committees
across Canada.
HISTORY OF THE CONFERENCE
In 1990, a CSC-commissioned task force
identified challenges facing women staff
including gender-biased selection boards,
12
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
The goal of the 1998 conference was to
focus on national, regional and personal
issues that affect women and find ways to
address them. Its activities were designed to
create a national strategy for women and to
offer participants workshops to identify
ways to improve their work environment
and enhance their own skills and capacities.
“Every individual is responsible for her
or his own career, but we need opportunities like this for people to share their
experiences and to promote a dialogue,”
said Marie-Andrée Drouin, Director,
Executive Services, Commissioner’s Office.
GUEST SPEAKERS AND
BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS
In her opening remarks, Nancy Stableforth
told participants that when CSC staff travelled across the country to speak to women
staff in 1997, they found that management
was doing well but could be doing better. “I
have come to realize that I can’t be Deputy
Commissioner for Women without caring
about women staff,” she told the group.
Commissioner Ingstrup told the group
that many of the issues of concern to women, which were highlighted at the 1991
conference, have been addressed by the organization. One area, harassment, has been
dealt with at a national level through staff
training and awareness sessions; according
to staff surveys undertaken in 1994 and
1996, CSC is moving in the right direction.
The number of women employed at
CSC has increased since 1991 from 31 to
39 per cent, as have their levels of occupation, he reported. There are 20 additional
women in the Executive group (EX),
representing a 66 per cent increase. There
has been an increase of almost 600 women
in the Welfare Programs (WP) and Administrative Services (AS) categories. One in
five correctional officers is a woman.
CSC’S MENTORING PROGRAM
One of the issues to be included in the
National Women’s Strategy is increasing opportunities for networking
among women at CSC. One way to do
this is through the development of
regional mentoring programs.
CSC’s Ontario and Prairie regions
have a program in place: in the
Ontario Region, the program was
approved in September 1998 and, to
date, seven mentors have been paired
with seven associates. The Prairie
Region’s program has also been
approved and is being implemented.
The Atlantic Region does not have a
formal mentoring program although
an informal network exists among
some senior staff members. A working
group in the Pacific Region is currently
preparing a strategy to present to the
Regional Management Committee.
The Quebec Region does not have a
mentoring program, but supervisors act
as coaches for staff members identified
for La Relève and mentors exist for
those in the Management Trainee
program. At National Headquarters, a
program has been developed but has
not been implemented officially.
“Over the next few years we will have
1,000 additional correctional officers (many
of whom will be women). It would be
shameful if we did not use this very unique
opportunity to make some adjustments …
in the area of women’s issues,” he said.
“I await the results of your conference
and I look forward to carrying out the
necessary changes you will be identifying,”
said Mr. Ingstrup, and gave his commitment
to support another conference.
Mr. Ingstrup also expressed sincere
appreciation, on behalf of CSC, for the
dedicated work of Prairie Region Correctional Officer Shawna Boudreau, one of
the three remaining female correctional
officers who started working at CSC in 1978.
AUTHOR DELIVERS ENCOURAGING
MESSAGE
Acadian author Antonine Maillet gave a
lively talk that dealt with the sacredness of
life and her belief that offenders can change
and staff can help make this happen. She
closed with a story about a frog that decided
not to sink in a bowl of cream but to keep
swimming. The result was that he was
sitting on top of a lump of butter the
following morning. Staff ’s persistence can
achieve surprising results, she believes.
A mentoring program matches a
staff member who is interested in
learning skills related to higher-level
positions (the “associate”) with a seniorranking employee (the “mentor”). The
mentor is available to answer questions
and provide information to the associate, with the hope that these
mentoring relationships will shape
future leaders. “Mentoring can improve
an employee’s performance and
motivate both the associate and the
mentor, which in turn improves the
performance of the organization,” said
Correctional Officer Bev Arseneault,
who wrote the initial draft of the
Ontario Region’s program.
Marena MacLaughlin, Warden of
Westmorland Institution, Heather Bergen,
Warden of Saskatchewan Penitentiary,
Nancy Stableforth, Deputy Commissioner
for Women, Lucie McClung, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Thérèse LeBlanc, Warden
of the Prison for Women and Kay Stanley,
Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment
Equity, Treasury Board, cited many similar
positive experiences that helped their
Keynote speaker Antonine Maillet.
From left to right: Shandy Lynn Bridge (Ontario
Region); Hilda Vanneste (NHQ); and Tracy Ryan
(Prairie Region).
careers: having strong people at work who
encouraged them to pick themselves up
when they failed, surrounding themselves
with capable women, refusing to show signs
of fear, taking new positions (at the same
level or at a higher level), taking chances,
picking one’s battles, enjoying the ride,
developing a sense of humour, taking
advantage of career opportunities at CSC
(such as openings due to retiring senior and
middle managers), creating one’s own luck,
ignoring job descriptions if they were
intimidating, networking, upgrading one’s
education, seeking out men who were
comfortable in dealing with professional
women, taking sabbaticals to learn new
things and doing volunteer and other
professional work.
Some of their challenges included
missing out on their children’s lives by
focusing on a career, and the need to work
very hard at whatever they were doing.
INSIDE THE FISHBOWL
STAFF WANT A NATIONAL
STRATEGY
A session called “Inside the Fishbowl” was
held on the second day of the conference. In
an informal and open discussion based on
the 1991 report recommendation suggesting more support in the area of career
progression, six senior-ranking women
described their careers.
The conference then proceeded with a
three-session plenary, “Building a Framework for Action” which asked participants
to describe achievements at CSC since
1991, their hopes for the future and the
actions needed in a National Strategy for
Women.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
13
bration of workplace diversity and an
environment of respect and dignity.
Élaine Gaudet, Organizational Development Consultant, explaining the conference concept
to the participants.
WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON?
A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
In the “Telling our Stories” plenary,
achievements included the participation of
staff in regional, national and international
women’s conferences, the promotion of pay
equity and employment equity issues, new
initiatives in education and training (including a major study on pornography), the
launch of the Federally Sentenced Women
initiative and new facilities for women
offenders, the introduction of female correctional officers in male institutions and
emergency response teams, a departmental
policy on harassment, the creation of
regional women’s advisory committees, the
creation of the post of Deputy Commissioner for Women, the initiation of orientation, mentoring, peer mediation and peer
coaching programs and women’s participation in regional hiring boards.
Finally, in a four-hour strategic planning
session, called “Visualizing Success – A
National Strategy on Women’s Issues” led by
Denyse Plante, participants identified
themes from the lists of contributions,
hopes and fears and, from these, identified a
set of specific issues which became the draft
National Strategy on Women.
1. Networking should be developed through
initiatives such as workshops, mentoring
programs and a regular column devoted to
women’s issues in the Contact newsletter.
2. Harmony in the workplace, through
the promotion of dispute resolution through
mediation and other mechanisms, the cele-
WHAT DO STAFF MEMBERS WANT?
During the second plenary, “A Bridge to the
Future”, participants said that one of their
principal expectations was the commitment
of management. Participants said they want
management to take seriously the Mission’s
Core Value 3, which talks about valuing
staff. They asked that more attention be
given to women’s career progression,
including promotions and role models in
senior positions. They requested education
leave, efforts towards workplace harmony
and a better reflection of Canada’s
multicultural and diverse population in the
workforce. They expressed a desire for
action regarding outstanding pay equity and
child care issues and the establishment of a
formal mentoring program at CSC.
14
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
“Jane and Tarzan at Work” workshop.
3. Career opportunities must be offered
through succession planning (where an
employee is given training and experience
to prepare for a senior position), acting
assignments and secondments, encouraging
participation in federal programs such as the
Career Assignment Program (a program that
identifies individuals with executive potential and accelerates their development and
advancement) and Interchange Canada (a
program that promotes the exchange of
employees through temporary assignments
in federal departments) and providing
educational opportunities, skill development
and employment equity programs.
4. Corporate commitment is needed and
conference recommendations should be
presented as a national strategy for Executive
Committee approval accompanied by a
request for resourcing by the end of 1999.
5. Balancing commitments through information sessions organized by the Women’s
Advisory Committee together with the
Employee Assistance Program and Human
Resources, developing performance and
workload standards, encouraging fitness
among staff and requesting that Treasury
Board review child and elder care provisions.
6. Personal safety through training for
all staff working in the community and in
institutions.
7. Corporate recognition of the need for
women to perform lighter duties while
pregnant.
VERBATIM
The regional planning sessions and
reports that were held shared several
common points, including re-committing
to or re-establishing their regional Women’s
Committee, networking through mentorship programs, highlighting women’s
achievements through a national newsletter,
promoting career advancement opportunities posted on CSC’s web site or the
creation of a newsletter, delivering workshops on balancing one’s life and on
personal safety and the need for corporate
commitment of regional plans.
During the conference, regional showcases displayed information concerning
regional programs and initiatives.
Ms. Carla Sipos was recognized by
Prairie Region staff for being the first
woman in the region to qualify for the
Institutional Emergency Response Team
(IERT).
variety of workshops that were held during
two days. These included:
“Balancing a Professional and Personal Life”
led by Ms. Lyse Blanchard;
“Jane and Tarzan at Work – Improving
Gender Relations” led by Ms. Reva Nelson;
“Building Support Networks and Partnerships” led by Ms. Lucie Vallière;
“Mentoring and Coaching – Differences
and How To’s” led by Ms. Suzanne Côté;
“Aboriginal Spirituality – A Holistic
Approach to Life” led by Ms. Norma
Green, Ms. Betty McKenna and Ms. Linda
Mohan; and
“Alternative Dispute Resolution” led by Ms.
Jane Miller-Ashton, Ms. Theresa Dunn,
Ms. Francine Pitley and Mr. Jim Wladyka.
WORKSHOPS OFFER PARTICIPANTS
A CHANCE TO LEARN
Conference participants’ desire to learn
about the work environment and managing
their personal lives was addressed through a
Participants
said they want
management to
take seriously the
Mission’s Core
Value 3, which
talks about
valuing staff.
They asked that
more attention be
given to women’s
career progression,
including
promotions and
role models in
senior positions.
“According to the feedback we’ve
received, the conference met its
stated objectives. Our challenge
now is to keep the momentum
going and to better document
and celebrate our progress as it
occurs.”
Ms. Denyse Plante
National Headquarters
“There were front-line staff here
at the conference, the ones who
are ‘out there’, and I think we
were asked what our needs are
and they really wanted to know
what we wanted to work on.”
Ms. Susan McCarthy
Atlantic Region
“I was very interested to see
subjects of concern to men being
discussed here at the conference.
I was impressed with participants’
interest in grappling with delicate
questions, which shed light on
important issues often overlooked
by administration.”
Stéphane Jaillet
Quebec Region
“The conference stimulated
new ideas and new solutions to
ongoing problems. My hope is
that the conference brings new
energy to our regional women’s
committee.”
Ms. Bev Arseneault
Ontario Region
Elder Pauline Shirt and Deputy Commissioner
for Women Nancy Stableforth, conference
chair.
AN ENDING AND A BEGINNING
In her closing remarks, conference chair
Nancy Stableforth said that CSC women
needed a national plan for direction. She
said she planned to present the draft
National Strategy to the Executive
Committee as a blueprint for further action
at all levels of the organization – a move
that participants unanimously requested
during the conference.
“My challenge and that of other
managers will be to work harder to create
and sustain an environment where women
are respected and recognized, at all levels, as
colleagues and partners with opportunities
for rewarding work,” said Ms. Stableforth.
The conference ended with a prayer by
Aboriginal Elder Pauline Shirt in which she
said, “You have the knowledge inside you;
all you have to do is to coax it out.”◆
“I did some networking with the
other regions and with Prairie
staff I never get a chance to see.
I want this information shared
with all staff in the region.”
Ms. Norma Green
Prairie Region
“The Aboriginal speakers at
the workshop were a highlight
because they offered us tools for
empowerment that will impact
on your family and work life.
The entire conference could be
built on this concept of selfempowerment.”
Ms. Carol Ann Lonsdale
Pacific Region
“I really enjoyed the positive
feeling and the liveliness of
everyone and it was nice to see
some positive changes that
Mr. Ingstrup is willing to make.”
Ms. Catherine Flament
Pacific Region
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
15
SECTOR REPORTS
Correctional Operations and Programs Sector
Operation Bypass
Conference for Parole Officers
By Ms. Louisa Coates, Communications Sector
T
he Correctional Service of Canada
(CSC) hosted a conference for 300 of
its 600 front-line Ontario Region staff
members in Kingston, November 24-26,
1998. The goal of the meeting was to provide a glimpse of the changes made to
the monitoring of offenders’ progress and
decision-making – called “Operation Bypass”
– and explain how it will reduce paperwork
and allow staff to spend more time with
offenders. It was also to allow staff to
exchange ideas and network, something
correctional field workers rarely seem to
have the time to do. Many participants
agreed the highly positive and enthusiastic
atmosphere at the conference was because of
this front-line staff ’s involvement.
“I am impressed that for the first time in
my memory, which is 23 years, CSC
engaged staff at all levels in developing a
fundamental and significant change in the
support systems for our essential business.
At this meeting, I was so taken with the ‘let’s
get on with it’ approach by staff that I
volunteered to assist with organizing the
next conference,” said Mr. Bruce Jefferson,
Reintegration Manager at Collins Bay
Institution.
“We wanted to showcase our strategy
and to have it advertized and understood by
all our colleagues who would be using it,”
said Conference Chair Mr. Les Judson,
Warden of Beaver Creek Institution. “But
we also wanted to give attendees a chance to
share information and successful reintegration initiatives with each other.”
“Operation Bypass” was designed to
simplify the preparation of offenders’ cases.
It reduces the documentation and improves
the analysis of an offender’s progress, which
is then used when making decisions
regarding programming or release. It aims
to speed up the processes of initial
assessment and planning of the offender’s
16
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
Reintegration conference organizers: Ms. Thérèse LeBlanc, Mr. Lawrence Bell, Ms. Janice Grant,
Mr. Les Judson, Mr. Bob Markowski, Mr. Bob Willis and Ms. Ana Paquete.
Missing: Mr. Peter White, Mr. John Armstrong, Ms. Kim Gillespie, Ms. Diane Valentino,
Mr. Wayne Scissons, Ms. Julia Hobson.
sentence, and of preparing and presenting
documents needed for decisions such as
transfers to other institutions, temporary
absences, day or full parole. Staff have been
asking for a simpler system for several years.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT
THE CONFERENCE
A broad base of participants attended the
meeting, including parole and program
delivery officers, supervisors, managers,
decision-makers as well as partners in the
field of criminal justice such as provincial
parole officers, directors of halfway houses
and program deliverers.
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER
WELCOMES PARTICIPANTS
Deputy Commissioner Brendan Reynolds
reminded staff that they are the experts who
deal with offenders and that they are
succeeding in helping to safely reintegrate
offenders into society. “We are not a prison
service, we are a correctional service. We
know a lot more today than 20 years ago
about the right interventions for the right
offender in the right circumstances making
a difference.” You are doing an excellent
job, he told staff.
THE BEGINNINGS OF “OPERATION
BYPASS” AND THE ROAD AHEAD
In a presentation that gave more details on
Bypass and explained the history of its
raison d’être, staff were told about national
and regional teamwork efforts to put Bypass
in place. Denis Méthé, Director General,
Offender Programs and Reintegration,
Anne Kelly, Director of Institutional
Reintegration Operations and William
Staubi, Director, Community Operations,
gave the presentation.
William Staubi and Anne Kelly prepare for
their Bypass presentation.
Mr. Méthé told the group his staff asked
employees in CSC’s five regions to choose
teams of trainers to develop the curriculum
of the program.
Today, 25 lead trainers and 200 on-site
trainers are reaching out to more than 8,000
staff nationally to verse them in Bypass.
This is a major undertaking but is also an
opportunity for staff to affect change in
policy and the offender management system
at the same time, he said. Ms. Kelly indicated Bypass has been the result of teamwork
and of listening to staff ’s concerns and will
make a positive difference to caseworkers’
jobs by eliminating duplication. Mr. Staubi
said that in the Ontario Region alone, over
25 parole offices and institutions were
visited to get staff feedback.
offenders. CSC’s carefully researched and
developed programs are proving to be
extremely successful in helping offenders
overcome problems and reintegrate safely
into society. “Overall, the news is good,” he
told the audience.
COMMISSIONER PRAISES STAFF
AND AFFIRMS HIS COMMITMENT
TO THEM
Ms. Chantal Albert, Regional Headquarters –
Atlantic, presented at the “Atlantic Experience
in Bypass” workshop.
CHANGE CAN BE FUN
In a lively and inspiring talk on dealing with
change – a state resisted by humans perhaps
for ancient reasons of survival – Dr.
Dorothy Cotton, psychologist and newspaper columnist, told the group that
“Operation Bypass” is requiring staff to
change, and that this will require some
experts in their respective fields,
participants’ evaluations later said the
workshops were a conference highlight.
Several sessions were “sold out”, including
“Core Program Referrals – Matching the
Offender to the Right Program” presented
by staff including Dr. Bruce Malcolm and
Ontario Region parole officers at one of the conference workshops.
flexibility and open-minded thinking. Dr.
Cotton said change means you leave your
present state, go into one of transition and
then arrive at the desired state. “It’s not the
changes that do you, it’s the transition,” she
said. Normal steps in the process include
leaving a point of stability and feeling
immobilized and later testing and eventually accepting the new system. “It’s normal
to screech to a halt and see the positive side
of what you had,” she said, but suggests that
staff not dig their heels in too deeply, look
at those who are positive about change and
divest yourself emotionally by reminding
yourself it is only a job and one part of life.
Try to see change as an exploration, an
invention and a transformation, she said.
WORKSHOPS
With the trend towards smaller groups and
interactive learning at CSC conferences,
workshops were held to complement the
meeting’s plenary sessions. Delivered by
Ms. Rachel Cantin, “Legal Liabilities in
Risk Management” led by Mr. Kerry
Scullion and “Motivational Interviewing
and Responsivity to Programming” led by
Dr. Sharon Kennedy.
Commissioner Ole Ingstrup, who was keen
to attend the reintegration conference and
meet front-line staff, told the group how
grateful he was for their work. “It’s wonderful to meet you people who are actually
doing some of the work that is absolutely
key to our ability to deliver on our promises
to the Government of Canada and to our
minister.”
He reminded staff of the challenges
inherent to their work: that public sentiment is negative, with 75 per cent of the
public believing there is more crime today,
although many are becoming aware that
sensational media stories create this belief;
that staff must try to use the least restrictive
measures possible when dealing with
offenders; that an offender’s reintegration
potential must be measured against a risk
assessment; and that staff must try to
prevent offenders from returning to prison
for technical violations or a minor breach of
residency conditions.
He also reminded them of how much he
values their work. “Let me thank you for
your individual and collective contributions
to the organization and rest assured that I
am extremely proud to let people know that
I am the leader of a group of people like
you,” he said.
STATISTICS – THE STATE OF
CORRECTIONS TODAY
Dr. Larry Motiuk, Director General of
CSC’s Research Branch, presented the
group with encouraging correctional
statistics. He said crime rates dropped in the
1990s and the adult incarceration admission rate, which peaked in 1994/95, has
been on the decline ever since. The average
federal sentence decreased from 44.9 to
43.1 months, and offenders with sentences
from two to five years spend approximately
25 months in federal custody. The success
rates for parole and statutory release are the
highest they have ever been; of the almost
three million new offences known to police
in 1997, 2,404 were committed by federal
Parole Officer Lynn Bradford presented at the
“Methadone” workshop.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
17
COMMENTS FROM
CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS
Regional Project Officer Bob Willis,
who earned a certificate of appreciation
for the dedication he showed in organizing the conference, said participants
were overwhelmingly positive in their
feedback during and after the event.
“We received evaluations from a third
of the attendees and they were very
enthusiastic. It was a really co-operative
endeavour between regional employees
and staff at National Headquarters
(NHQ). There is a wealth of information at NHQ and it’s good to get it
disseminated,” he said.
The conference was also timely,
said Mr. Willis. Right now he is in the
midst of coordinating the training of
parole officers across the region in
“Operation Bypass”, and Ontario
Region participants told him the
conference contributed to deepening
their understanding of the material. ◆
SECTOR REPORTS
Corporate Development Sector
Citizens’ Advisory Committees
Part of the
Reintegration Process
By Ms. Jodie Golden and Ms. Rowena Pinto, Consultation Branch
Members of the Citizens’ Advisory Committees are composed of volunteers who serve as a liaison
between the Service and the community.
VERBATIM
“I thought the conference
was fantastic and very
informative. Operation
Bypass seems like it
will make the job more
manageable and we’ll be
able to have more time
with the inmates.”
“I think Operation Bypass is
the thing to do. We’ve been
talking about this for nine
years, to simplify what we
are doing and want to do.”
“At one time, I thought
this was like climbing a
mountain and now I see
we will have the resources
to do it.”
“I found the workshops
very interesting and
valuable.”
“The conference gave me a
chance to network and talk
to people I rarely see.”
18
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
T
he Mission of the Correctional Service
of Canada (CSC) encourages and assists
offenders to become law-abiding citizens by providing them opportunities to
participate in community projects. By
acquiring on-the-job training, many offenders find employment once they are released.
CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT PAYS OFF
In 1990, a number of federal offenders were
given the opportunity to participate in a
unique work program under the direction
of a local community member. They
provided labour on a highway rock cut
leading into Kingston, Ontario. This
project enabled the offenders to leave the
correctional setting in order to work in the
community and provide a service. Since
then, a number of offenders have benefited
from what is now known as the Barriefield
Rock Garden Project. It has proven to
be effective in providing offenders at
Pittsburgh Institution, a minimum security
facility in Ontario, with marketable skills
and work experience.
One work project that was a success for
both stakeholders involved landscaping.
Thanks to the enthusiastic work and
dedication of a Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) member, more than 150
offenders have participated in the
Barriefield Rock Garden Project and have
found subsequent employment in the
landscaping industry. The degree of success
of such initiatives could not have been
predicted a decade ago.
A JOB WELL DONE
The work program facilitates the learning of
gardening and landscaping skills by
providing on-the-job training and instruction. Work completed by the participants
including walkways, stone walls, steps and
garden plots can be found in the surrounding neighbourhood. Offenders develop a
sense of pride for the work and make a
contribution to society.
CITIZENS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MEMBERS – DEVOTED
VOLUNTEERS
Without Pittsburgh Institution’s acting
CAC Chairperson Bill Robb’s dedication
and perseverance this project would never
have been realized. Moreover, without the
devoted volunteers that make up the Citizens’ Advisory Committees, a number of
initiatives would not exist in the Correctional Service of Canada.
HISTORY OF CACS
Citizens’ Advisory Committees have played
an increasingly vital role in corrections since
1977, when the Report to Parliament by the
Sub-Committee on the Penitentiary System in
Canada (MacGuigan Report) endorsed the
value of CACs and established their mandate
to assist in the development of Canada’s
federal penitentiary service. The report expressed a real need for citizen involvement in
the correctional process so that both the
public and the Service could share information and ideas on correctional issues.
Conditional Release Act of 1992, CACs have
experienced an enhanced atmosphere of
cooperation. Both pieces of legislation highlight the importance of the involvement of
the public in matters related to the operation
of the Correctional Service of Canada.
PURPOSE OF CITIZENS’ ADVISORY
COMMITTEES
ROLE OF CACS
Following the report, the purpose of Citizens’ Advisory Committees was two-fold.
First, by having representatives of the community monitor and evaluate correctional
policies and procedures, CSC would take the
initial step in making itself more open and
accountable to public concerns and scrutiny. Second, the creation of CACs would
also help dispel myths held by the public
on correctional issues and help foster
community support by educating and
informing the public about the correctional
system.
MOVING FORWARD
In recent years, the Canadian correctional
system has made great strides in creating
even closer ties with the community and the
role of CACs has contributed to this end. In
fact, with the introduction of CSC’s Mission
Statement in 1989 and the Corrections and
Composed of volunteers representing a
cross-section of a particular community,
Citizens’ Advisory Committees perform a
multi-faceted role. They are associated with
all institutions and most parole offices of the
CSC. As a body of independent observers,
CAC members provide objective advice to
CSC with respect to the overall development
of facilities, the implementation of programs, and the day-to-day operations. This
includes assisting CSC in evaluating, monitoring and overseeing the process and
activities of the Service.
CACs also serve as a liaison between the
Service and community to help increase
public support through education. They help
foster a sense of community within corrections, particularly in the areas of institutional programs, recreation, workshops,
social affairs, and cultural events.
In addition, CACs help to ensure that
human rights legislation is adhered to within
CSC every time they observe CSC practices,
question its actions, or represent the views of
the offenders and the community. This is
particularly significant in light of the 50th
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. CACs serve as one of the
external safeguards against the abuse of
human rights of staff, offenders and the
public within the correctional context. In
their own capacity, CACs contribute to a
correctional system that is more sensitive and
accountable to community and offender
concerns.
MISSION OF THE CACS
Today, there are more than 500 active
citizens in CAC ranks and more than 60
committees across Canada. Every region
within CSC has CACs who work under the
following mission statement:
“Citizens’ Advisory Committees, through
voluntary participation in the Canadian federal correctional process, contribute to the
protection of society by interacting with staff
of the Correctional Service of Canada, the
public and offenders, providing impartial
advice and recommendations, thereby contributing to the quality of the correctional
process.” ◆
SECTOR REPORTS
Corporate Development Sector
Citizen Engagement in Federal Corrections
A Report of the Planning Meeting
of the Citizens’ Advisory Committees
By Ms. Jodie Golden and Ms. Rowena Pinto, Consultation Branch
A
national planning meeting for
the Citizens’ Advisory Committees
(CACs) was held in Victoria, British
Columbia, November 28-29, 1998. Under
the theme “Citizen Engagement in Federal
Corrections”, the meeting brought CAC
members and representatives of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) together
from across Canada to set the strategic
direction for CACs in 1999 and to emphasize the importance of citizen involvement
in effective corrections.
The objectives of the meeting were: the
establishment of a clear, strategic direction;
the development of a focused plan for the
implementation of CAC national objectives; the sharing of ideas and concerns; and
the opportunity for CAC members to learn
more about CSC’s agenda.
Participants included the national CAC
chairperson, the regional chair from each
region and seven CAC members from each
region. CSC was represented by staff from
National Headquarters, including Michel
Roy, Assistant Commissioner, Corporate
Development, and one warden or district
director from each region.
The meeting was opened by the Pacific
Deputy Commissioner, Pieter de Vink, Ron
Warder, CAC National Executive Chairperson, and Jim Davidson, CAC National
Director of the CAC Program. Workshops
held on the first day focused on developing
implementation frameworks for the CACs’
national objectives, one of which consists of
supporting CSC reintegration initiatives.
The second day focused on allowing CAC
members, with the support of CSC/CAC
program managers, wardens and district
directors, to discuss “best practices” at all
the institutions and in the community.
Most of the participants said this was the
most valuable part of the meeting.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
19
BEST PRACTICES OF CACS
A great deal of discussion during the
conference focused on the exchange of ideas
about the best practices of CACs. The
Barriefield Rock Garden Project is just one
example of the best practices put forth by
our dedicated CACs. In fact, every region
has its own success story. The following are
but a few examples of the good work of
CAC members.
Pieter de Vink, Pacific Deputy Commissioner,
giving his opening remarks.
In the Ontario Region, the CAC at
Collins Bay Institution in Kingston,
Ontario, has constructed sandboxes and
purchased toys for children who participate
in the Private Family Visiting Program
offered by the facility. The Guelph Parole
CAC has developed a mentoring program
that will befriend two or three families of
newly incarcerated offenders. The objective
is to inform the families of the types of
support and services that are available to
them through social agencies in the community. Addressing the special needs of
these families will be a top priority. The
CAC has been instrumental in getting this
program off the ground and will be monitoring its progress. This is indeed a new
venture that should prove very rewarding
for all those involved.
CAC members in the Quebec Region
have been very diligent in working towards
making their CAC more visible, representative and sensitive to the needs of
correctional staff and inmates. In the last
two years, CAC members have paired up
with correctional officers and accompanied
them on a regular work shift. The members
shadowed various officers in their work and
took part in duties such as inmate counts.
The objective was to foster communication
between CSC staff and CAC members. It
was an opportunity for both correctional
staff and CAC members to exchange information about each other’s role in the
correctional process. More visits of this kind
are planned for 1999.
20
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
In the Prairie Region, the ManitobaNW Ontario District CAC considers their
Citizen Observer Training Program to be a
best practice. This practice originated in
Winnipeg when CAC members organized a
meeting to discuss the value of Observer
Training. Its goals are to generate a bank
of citizens willing to provide expertise in
observing and reporting during crisis
situations in the correctional facilities. This
program consists of approximately 100 community volunteers. The citizen observers
receive training annually, which is organized
by both institutional staff and CAC
members. A quarterly newsletter is sent to
all citizen observers to keep them informed
and up-to-date about CAC and CSC
activities. Monthly meetings with CSC staff
and institutional groups such as the Inmate
Welfare Committee are also facilitated by
CAC members.
CAC members in the Atlantic Region
participate and help organize social activities within correctional facilities. On several
occasions, CAC members have been invited
to share a meal with inmates. This type of
visitation provides an opportunity for both
inmates and CAC members to engage in a
discussion about themselves and the
correctional process within a social context.
Claudine Daigle (CSC/CAC Regional Program
Manager), received a certificate of appreciation
from Mr. Roy and Mr. Davidson, Director General
of the Consultation Branch and National Director
of the Citizens’ Advisory Committees Program, for
her long-standing contribution to CACs, and to
corrections.
CAC members attended the annual
Christmas Social at Dorchester Institution,
a medium security facility. The festivities
included a meal, a gift exchange for the children, and social interaction between CAC
members, inmates and their families. Social
activities helped to promote positive interaction between CAC members, correctional
staff, and inmates.
Over the last two years, restorative
justice has been a major issue in the Pacific
Region. Both the CAC at William Head
Institution, a medium security facility, and
the Victoria Parole, have created a Restorative Justice Study Circle involving the
JOINT CELEBRATION
A banquet was held on the first
evening of the meeting with Michel
Roy, Assistant Commissioner, Corporate
Development as the keynote speaker.
He told the participants that the
partnerships between the CACs and the
CSC are invaluable, and that the CAC
membership will continue to grow.
In a brief ceremony, Mr. Roy and Mr.
Jim Davidson, Director General of the
Consultation Branch and National
Director of the Citizens’ Advisory Committees Program, awarded certificates
of appreciation to Beverly Marshall and
Susan Melanson (former regional
chairs), and Claudine Daigle (CSC/CAC
Regional Program Manager), in honour
of their long-standing contribution to
CACs, and to corrections.
community, offenders, and CAC members.
The study circle first met in July 1998 and
has held thirteen subsequent meetings. The
bi-weekly meetings are held at the institution and are facilitated by the CAC Chair.
Approximately 20 inmates and several community members have taken part in the
program. The purpose of the study circle is
to provide information and resources, to
raise awareness about restorative justice, and
to engage in dialogue involving the community and the inmates. This is a prime
example of how CACs can facilitate communication between offenders and the
communities to which they will eventually
return.
CACS FOR THE FUTURE
There are many examples to illustrate that
CACs make a meaningful contribution to
correctional staff, inmates and the
community. One such example came to Mr.
Luc Doucet, Regional Chair of the Atlantic
CACs attention, in the form of a letter of
thanks from a former inmate. As Mr.
Doucet said “we must be doing something
right when a former inmate writes a
postcard of thanks for the work we have
done for inmates and for the smooth
running of the prisons.”
The future of corrections relies heavily
on the work of various community
members, especially those who diligently
participate in Citizen’s Advisory Committees. Over the years, the dedication and
work accomplished by Citizens’ Advisory
Committees have far exceeded CSC’s
expectations. Their contribution to effective
corrections is unique. ◆
SECTOR REPORTS
Correctional Operations and Programs Sector
La mort des masques
Montreal-based Film Company
Gives Voice to Federal Offenders
By Ms. Louisa Coates, Communications Sector
T
hree federal offenders serving a sentence
for murder, students, professors, and
correctional staff who make decisions
affecting the lives of offenders, met at a community college in November 1998, to view
the screening of La mort des masques, a
recently released film that tells the story of
the federal inmates.
“It is vital that meetings like this are held
so that the public has a chance to understand
the inside of corrections and how parole decisions are made,” said Ms. Renée Collette,
Executive Vice-Chairperson of the National
Parole Board (NPB).
La mort des masques or No More Masks is
a one-hour, French language film (which is
due out soon in English) that was created by
the Montreal-based film and public education company Virage.
The Correctional Service of Canada
(CSC) helped fund the film through a
donation of $30,000 from its Quebec
Region. This year, additional funding to tour
the film has been given to Virage by the
Ministry of the Solicitor General, including
$25,000 from CSC’s National Headquarters
and $10,000 from its Quebec Region,
$5,000 from the Secretariat and $5,000
from the National Parole Board. Virage also
obtained funding from Télé-Québec and
Telefilm Canada.
The film describes the lives of three men
– Christian, Guy and Georges – and their
long road to rehabilitation after being
sentenced to life in prison. Christian, at the
age of eight, slept with a knife under his pillow to protect his abused mother. Guy, as a
young man without the care of his family,
learned that fast money could be made
through crime and by the age of 15 was
earning up to $65,000 a year. Georges hated
himself and the world but had two children
for whom he had to change. All three committed murder, one in a moment of rage, the
other two at the scene of a crime, and are
paying the price.
Virage’s La mort des masques was
researched and produced as part of the
company’s mandate to run public awareness
campaigns on issues that are generally
misunderstood by society. In this case, the
film gives offenders an opportunity to tell
the world how they are trying to improve
themselves and overcome problems that
result in crime. The film also explains how
alternatives to prison – such as halfway
houses, work programs and a network of
support offered by the community – can
help them become productive members of
society.
Panelists share their views with students following the screening.
From left to right: Marie-Andrée Drouin, Guy
Chabot and Renée Collette.
“We plan to show the film at about
50 community and public events over the
coming year,” said Mr. Pierre Pagé, president
of Virage.
Mr. Pagé said that what was most
interesting about the November film screening and discussion was the involvement of
students and their desire to encourage a
dialogue between such different parties:
offenders, correctional workers and the
public.
“What is quite impressive too is that there
were two representatives from the federal
government, and they were willing to open
up the machine and have a real dialogue. To
have all the players talking, without the
government being defensive or touting the
party line, is fantastic,” he said.
The public screening was the result of
several months’ work on the part of students
and their instructors in the Correctional
Worker Program at the college. Stakeholders
in the field of criminal justice and community support, including the CSC, the
NPB, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth
Fry Societies, a halfway house and CAVAC,
a victims’ rights group set up information
displays.
“We were interested in encouraging a
discussion on reintegration, by getting the
offenders to talk with the public. I believe
this was a very successful event,” said Mr.
Alain Charpentier, professor and program
coordinator of the Technical Worker
Program.
After the film, a discussion was held
between panelists – two of the offenders
that appeared in the film, CSC’s Ms.
Marie-Andrée Drouin and the NPB’s
Ms. Renée Collette – and the audience,
hosted by Mr. André Couture, Unit Manager,
Correctional Services, Province of Quebec.
“When it sees this film, the public
understands that an inmate serving a
sentence is, above all, a person, and even a
murderer can be rehabilitated. For our
students, this screening is a very good preparation for their future careers because it gives
them access to the inmates’ perspective,” said
Mr. Charpentier.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
21
SECTOR REPORTS
Corporate Services Sector
The CSC’s Sustainable Development Strategy
Year One Was
Chock-full of Projects
By Paul Provost, Environmental Services Officer
COMPULSORY CONSULTATIONS
Paul Provost, Environmental Services Officer –
National Headquarters.
D
uring the first year of the Sustainable
Development Strategy’s (SDS) existence, the agenda for Correctional
Service of Canada’s (CSC) environmental
program was filled with consultations, planning, coordination and other activities.
Various achievements can already be reported, including a series of projects on
several key environmental aspects in the
institutions:
• On-site environmental
assessments – Phase I;
• Studies of closed-system composting
operations in the institutions;
• Report on the development of
environmental performance indicators;
• Environmental management manual
for CORCAN Industries;
• Studies on NOx – SOx emissions
generated by thermal power plants;
• Agreement on measurement and
monitoring of energy in facilities;
• Commissioner’s Directive on
sustainable development and
environmental management.
These environmental studies will lay the
groundwork for rigorous planning and for
making the environmental management
program a permanent feature of the CSC
landscape over time.
22
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
Following the first meeting held in June
1998, in Ottawa, a second national
workshop on CSC’s SDS was held in
December 1998, in Vancouver. Altogether,
17 representatives from both regional and
National Headquarters participated and
shared their initiatives for implementing the
SDS. People responsible for the promotion
of the SDS agreed on several issues, such as
time frames for environmental targets,
environmental performance indicators to be
established such as monitoring energy consumption in institutions – and training staff
to achieve a greening of our operations.
philosophy. For example, since the environmental costs of some of the projects or
measures to be implemented in the institutions are often calculated over a period of
years, decision-making should increasingly
take the long-term view. Moreover, Mr.
Bélanger felt that many people still needed
convincing.
UPCOMING CHALLENGES
In the coming year, initiatives deriving from
SDS goals will focus on ways of consolidating good environmental practices
and making them more systematically a part
of institutional management. Operational
units should be given effective
FIRST REGIONAL
tools that do not add unduly to the
ENVIRONMENTAL
workload already borne by the
OFFICER POSITION
staff.
Given the various environSince November 2, 1998,
mental
challenges that exist today,
the Atlantic Region has
SDS officers have made a clear
added its first Regional
choice by giving priority to meaEnvironmental Officer posisures for reducing any CSC air
tion (PC-2 for “Physical
Marc Bélanger,
emissions that contribute to clisCiences”) to its list of Regional Environmental
mate changes or to the greenhouse
functions. This position was Officer – Atlantic Region.
effect. Because energy consumpassigned to Marc Bélanger
tion is an ongoing factor that is
who acquired a solid background in green
critical
for
the environment, emphasis will
management in his previous position as
be placed upon this aspect, which is a direct
Chief of Maintenance Works and Services
source of air pollution that contributes to
at Springhill Institution, in Nova Scotia.
climate changes. In this regard, one of the
Mr. Bélanger will now share all his environchallenges will be to set up a system for
mental knowledge with all regional staff.
monitoring energy consumption that will
His mandate will consist mainly of training,
generate relevant information that may be
supporting and coordinating the efforts of
used by local decision-makers, and will
the staff in Atlantic institutions who are
enable us to gauge successes or setbacks.
working to meet the SDS environmental
objectives.
By the year 2000, other systems for
monitoring the CSC’s environmental
When we interviewed him, Mr. Bélanger
impacts – waste generation, water conshowed that he was well aware of the chalsumption, use of hazardous materials – will
lenges he faced. He said that alternative
solutions need to be found, and that staff
complement the energy management system,
members must be made aware of the
so that local officers will have concrete means
problems and encouraged to embrace a new
for greening their operations. ◆
INTERVIEW
Stupid Crimes and Krekshuns
An Interview with Dennis E. Bolen,
Parole Officer and Novelist
By Ms. Lisa Watson
Dennis Bolen is a veteran
CSC staff member who
has been a Parole Officer
in Vancouver since 1978.
In the last few years,
while continuing his
full-time career in CSC,
he’s developed a second
career as an author of
contemporary fiction.
To date he’s published
four novels.
F
or those interested in corrections, two
of Mr. Bolen’s novels – Stupid Crimes
and its sequel, Krekshuns – are about a
Vancouver-based parole officer named Barry
Delta (the third instalment of the trilogy, Toy
Gun, is due out in early 2000). In this
writer’s opinion, Mr. Bolen’s novels capture
the essence of corrections and the parole
officer’s job; something that’s often difficult
to explain to those who don’t work in the
business.
Mr. Bolen always wanted to be a writer
and studied it in university. In addition to his
correctional career, he’s the associate editor of
Sub-TERRAIN, a quirky literary magazine,
has written editorials in The Vancouver Sun,
reviewed books for several magazines, taught
creative writing at the University of British
Columbia and does volunteer work with
various literacy outfits – most recently the
Word On The Street Festival. As Mr. Bolen
notes, pursuits outside the day job are
essential for mental health.
I interviewed Dennis Bolen in late 1998.
Q. What kind of response have Stupid Crimes
and Krekshuns received from the general
public? Your clients? Is the Vancouver parole
office really this interesting?
Last question first: No, I’ve jazzed it up
quite a bit! Though these books are about
corrections, I keep my writing life and my
correctional career as separate as possible and
few of my parolees relate to me in any way
other than officially. I’ve been gratified by
more rave reviews for literary quality and
humour, than pans from critics. I suspect
people outside corrections hope what I write
is fiction, but have an uneasy feeling that it
may not be.
Dennis E. Bolen’s books are published
by Random House and Anvil Press.
Look for them at your local
bookstore.
Q. Tell us a bit about the main character,
Barry Delta, Parole Officer. He goes the distance, coming perilously close to crossing the
line, yet he respects and enforces the rule of law.
Barry never says as much, but he loves the
job of parole officer; it suits his wandering
spirit and his boredom phobia. He’s a
dedicated law enforcement officer, yet he
gets away with things that no mortal parole
officer ever would!
Q. Barry has an aptitude for reading what goes
on in his parolees’ heads, yet has difficulty
with his own impulsive emotions. Is Barry a
character you created? a caricature? a composite
of people you’ve met?
Barry is a blend of several people I’ve
known and a whole lot of just me. His empty
spirit/full sex life is an extreme representation
of what seems to be happening these days to
career-driven people. Perhaps, it is because
he’s so dysfunctional, seeing inside others
isn’t such a challenge as it would be for those
who are less trouble-oriented. As for this
kind of character being typical in the correctional setting, perhaps, but I’ve not met
any Barry Deltas in my work.
Q. Administration vs the front-lines of
corrections. Comment?
Neither Barry (nor me, for that matter) is
trying make a statement. He simply wants to
get through the job (and life) with as few
bruises as possible. If there is a comment on
bureaucratic structures in my books, it might
be that, while good work gets done on the
street, it’s likely due more to the pure will of
the workers – and the humanistic ideology
that placed them there – than to any administrative wizardry we might occasionally
experience.
Q. Your most recent books, Gastank & Other
Short Stories, and Stand in Hell, about a
man trying to discover his family’s history and
involvement in the Holocaust, deal with quite
different topics.
I fear being pigeon-holed as a “crime
writer.” I’m not. History is a hobby of mine
and both these books are fictionalized versions of traumatic past events. The writing
business is even tougher than corrections, so
I’m trying my best to swim in a shark tank. ◆
Lisa Watson is a Senior Project Officer, Women
Offender Sector.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
23
REGIONAL NEWS
Atlantic Region
New Centre to Assist
Long-term Inmates
By Ms. Claudine Daigle, Regional Administrator, Communications and Executive Services
On September 4, 1998, representatives from the Correctional Service of
Canada and the Christian Council for Reconciliation gathered at Springhill
Institution with inmates and institutional employees for a sod-turning
ceremony to mark the beginning of St. Luke’s Renewal Centre.
W
ith the help of friends and volunteers
from the community, the Christian
Council for Reconciliation (CCR), a
non-profit organization specializing in prison
ministry, will build a renewal centre within
the perimeter of Springhill Institution. Its
goal will be to assist with the reintegration
into society of inmates, particularly longterm offenders.
The centre will feature a program room,
dining room, library, meditation room and
sleeping accommodations for six. It will also
feature a Japanese garden and will be staffed
by an in-residence facilitator.
The programs will vary and be tailored to
the specific needs of the participants. Topics
could range from learning the difference
between right and wrong, to coping with
loneliness, understanding family violence
and managing finances. The programs will
also provide the inmate with quiet time for
personal reflection. “It is hoped that participation in the reflective life of the centre will
allow the inmate to stand back and see his
life from a different perspective. The programs are designed to help him work
through some of the areas in his life that
need to be explored,” explained CCR
president Warren Ervine.
The Christian Council will fund the
construction of the centre, at an estimated
cost of $150,000, while the Correctional
Service of Canada (CSC) will provide
financing for the utilities, telecommunications, furniture, equipment and
24
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
From left to right: Brian Wheaton, Springhill
Institution inmate committee chair, Lucie
McClung, Senior Deputy Commissioner, CSC, and
Warren Ervine, President, Christian Council for
Reconciliation, turn the sod to officially begin
the construction of St. Luke’s Renewal Centre.
fencing. Inmates from the institution will be
involved in the construction project.
This sod-turning symbolizes a new partnership between the Correctional Service
of Canada and the Christian Council for
Reconciliation, an initiative we know will
succeed if we look at our past track record
with the CCR,” said Alphonse Cormier,
Deputy Commissioner of the Atlantic
Region.
Lucie McClung, Senior Deputy Commissioner, CSC, and keynote speaker for the
event, welcomed the partnership between
the institution and the Council. “The
Centre will help the institution meet its
mandate of preventing crime and protecting
society by transforming people in difficulty
into law-abiding citizens,” she said.
“The centre will do this by breathing life
and hope back into these offenders by enabling them to stop and think of where they
are at and to think about their future … in
the same way that we like to look at our
future,” she added.
Inmate Brian Wheaton says he and most
of the 482 prisoners at Springhill Institution
look forward to the opening of the St. Luke’s
Renewal Centre in the fall of 1999. “The
Centre will help us learn to cope with what
is happening outside when we are released
and will give us a more positive outlook on
life, more so than what we have right now in
this square box,” said the chairman of the
institution’s inmate committee. ◆
“The Centre will
help the institution
meet its mandate of
preventing crime and
protecting society by
transforming people
in difficulty into lawabiding citizens.”
REGIONAL NEWS
Atlantic Region
National Joint Committee
Celebrates 25 Years of Co-operation
By Ms. Claudine Daigle, Regional Administrator,
Communications and Executive Services
An Atlantic regional meeting of the National Joint
Committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs
of Police and the Correctional Service of Canada
was held in Summerside, Prince Edward Island,
on October 22-23, 1998. The theme of the meeting
was Celebrating 25 Years of Co-operation.
Willie Gibbs, Chairperson of the National
Parole Board and former National Joint
Committee Chair, was the keynote speaker at
the 25th anniversary celebration banquet held
October 22, 1998, in Summerside, Prince
Edward Island.
M
ore than 40 employees from both
correctional jurisdictions, police
services and Crown Attorney’s office
attended. The agenda included discussion
and information sharing on topical criminal
justice issues such as the National Crime
Prevention Strategy, Conditional Sentences
and the National Youth Justice Strategy.
Alphonse Cormier, Deputy Commissioner
of the Atlantic Region of the Correctional
Service of Canada (CSC) talked about the
Solicitor General’s vision for effective
corrections and describes efforts currently
underway to ensure that the least restrictive
measures consistent with public safety are
being used to discharge the sentences
imposed by the courts.
The National Joint Committee (NJC)
was formed in 1973 to promote mutual
understanding and support activities to
improve communications, information
sharing and co-operation among the major
stakeholders of the criminal justice system.
The importance of information sharing
both within the criminal justice system and
externally to enhance public confidence in
the system was the common thread during
the one and a half-day event.
At the commemorative banquet held
October 22, 1998, Willie Gibbs, the
current Chairperson of the National Parole
Board and the first correctional official to
head the NJC in 1990, traced the history of
the national committee. “No one talks
about how informally this organization
came about,” he said. “Jean-Paul Gilbert, a
former Montreal police chief, appointed to
the Parole Board, grew tired of the
animosity between the various components
of the criminal justice system and their
blaming each other in the media when
things went wrong. He decided to bring
together former colleagues in a forum where
they could attempt to better understand
each other and debate common issues.”
Mr. Gibbs said that in 1983 when he
became involved in the NJC, there had
been progress in the first decade of existence
of this national forum, but there was still
much room for improvement. There was
still a lot of tension among the various
players in the criminal justice system. It was
at that time that the national body decided
to expand its organization to the regions in
David B. Riley, Deputy Minister, Community
Services and Attorney General, Province of
Prince Edward Island and Cheryl Grant,
Correctional Service of Canada, National
Headquarters, at the recent Atlantic Regional
NJC meeting.
order to further its objectives. This would
amplify the impact of what was being
accomplished on the national scene. Thus,
regional NJC forums were created, followed
by local committees that brought together
front-line workers in parole/police workshops in communities across Canada. The
Atlantic Region was one of the first to
embark on this venture.
And the efforts have paid off. The
current NJC Chair in Atlantic Canada is
Phil Arbing, Department of Community
Affairs and Attorney General, Province of
Prince Edward Island.
In this 25th anniversary year, the former
NJC Chair and current National Parole
Board Chairperson issued a new challenge
to his partners: to concert their efforts as
crime fighters – and seize every opportunity
to tell the Canadian public about their successes. “With the kinds of results we have
been achieving in the last years, we have a
good story to tell,” he concluded.
A handbook for use within the five CSC
Parole districts in Atlantic Canada was produced by the NJC in commemoration of
the 25th anniversary of the organization.
Copies can be obtained by calling (506)
851-6655. ◆
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
25
REGIONAL NEWS
Atlantic Region
Taking Ownership at Local Level
By Colin Topshee, Senior Parole Officer, Truro Parole Office
What can we do, within our control, to enhance corrections and contribute to the safe
release of offenders into the community? This was the question posed on September 29,
1998, when the Rural Nova Scotia District staff held a brainstorming session.
P
articipants included Robert Babineau,
Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Atlantic Region; John MacDougall, Associate
District Director, (Sydney); David Cail,
Rural Nova Scotia District Director; Paul
Giffin, Reintegration Manager, Springhill
Institution; parole officers Alfred Boudreau
(Yarmouth), Steven Preceskey (Annapolis
Royal), Mike Kilburn (Truro), and John
Mont (Springhill Institution); and senior
parole officers Ken Graham (Kentville), Bob
Thompson and Colin Topshee (Truro).
Seeking excellence in corrections at the
local level was the predominant theme of the
session. The group identified and prioritized
three types of actions in the context of
reintegration: actions that should be initiated
to facilitate safe releases; current actions that
are promoting effective corrections; and
actions that should be eliminated.
Some of the proposed ideas that will be
translated into action will increase the interaction between institutional and community
parole officers. Institutional parole officers
will participate in Community Residential
Facility Selection Committees involving
difficult cases in an effort to increase the
acceptance rate. To help decrease the number
of revocations, community parole officers
will attend National Parole Board hearings in
those cases where they are recommending
cancellation of suspension.
Front row, left to right: Ken Graham, Senior Parole
Officer (Kentville); David Cail, District Director,
Rural Nova Scotia District; Paul Giffin,
Reintegration Manager, Springhill Institution.
Back row, left to right: Robert Babineau, Assistant
Deputy Commissioner, Atlantic Region, and Alfred
Boudreau, Parole Officer (Yarmouth).
Other action will involve a more strategic
approach to programming, meetings between
institutional and community staff, and the
development of shadow caseloads, where
community parole officers interact with inmates who are soon to be released under their
supervision. The District Office staff will also
request that community residential facilities
explore the possibility of holding selection
committee meetings more frequently. One
meeting per month is insufficient because
clients must wait for decisions.
Basically, some of the ideas generated
were new ones; others were old ones
revisited. “But the bottom line is that the day
was interesting and productive,” said District
Director David Cail. There was much
evidence of enthusiasm to improve the way
we do business. And there was a genuine
commitment on the part of all the
participants to make these ideas come to life.
“If we do the best we can, we will be
successful in producing more releases, with
no increased risk to the community,”
concluded Mr. Cail. ◆
Business to Business
By Brian Richard, Chief Administration and Materiel Management, Atlantic Institution
A
INSTITUTION ATTRACTS BUSINESS
s part of small business week held
October 26-30, 1998, Atlantic Institution took part in the “Business to
Business” trade show in Miramichi, N.B. on
October 29, 1998. Brian Richard, Chief
Administration and Materiel Management
and Pat Hallihan, Supervisor Materiel Management manned the booth, from 8:00 a.m.
to 8:00 p.m.
MAKING CONTACT
During the “Reverse Trade Show”, there was
a presentation by larger Miramichi firms to
show what they are prepared to buy from
the smaller businesses. The institution
prepared and distributed a booklet that
itemized all goods and services it purchased
during the year. This booklet provided the
26
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
Approximately 20 suppliers, not currently
used by the institution, were identified and
appointments to visit the institution were
scheduled to acquaint the interested parties
with the products and services required.
Pat Hallihan (left), Supervisor Materiel
Management discusses purchasing with Wayne
Carpenter at the Greater Miramichi Chamber of
Commerce booth.
smaller businesses with an opportunity to
meet with the Materiel Management staff
at the institution and discuss potential
business transactions.
The one-day event was sponsored by the
Greater Miramichi Chamber of Commerce,
of which the institution is a member, with
Mr. Richard being the Chamber Treasurer.
The show featured 40 display booths
that were set up at the Miramichi Exhibition in Miramichi City. Organizer Suzanne
Martin had expected a larger turnout of
visitors. She concluded by saying that “most
of the businesses were quite happy since
they made good quality contacts.” ◆
REGIONAL NEWS
Quebec Region
Sexual Victimization and
Sex Offenders
By Michel St-Yves, Psychologist and Bruno Pellerin, Criminologist, Regional Reception Centre
Jean-Pierre (fictitious name) is a
teenager who has just been apprehended by the police for sexually
touching a number of children. When
questioned by his parents and by
police investigators about the reason
for his deviant behaviour, he said
that when he was a child, he had
been a victim of sexual abuse at the
hands of his mother’s ex-spouse. The
investigators tracked down the man
in question and confirmed the complainant’s allegations. Is Jean-Pierre
responsible for his actions or simply a
victim who has been unable to deal
with the trauma he suffered?
M
any authors write that unresolved
sexual trauma (deviant sexual experience at an early age) plays an
important role in the development and
persistence of deviant sexual behaviour.
Some point out that sexual offences often
reproduce sexual abuse that has been experienced by the offender. This may explain
Jean-Pierre’s deviant behaviour, but raises
another question: should he be judged on
the basis of what he did or on the basis of
what happened to him? In other words,
should his sexual victimization be deemed
to be a contributing factor and should his
sentence therefore be reduced?
STATISTICS
At the Regional Reception Centre (RRC)1,
recent statistics reveal one sex offender in
two – all categories included – claims to
have been the victim of sexual abuse before
reaching adulthood. The ratio of childhood
sexual victimization in the case of child
abusers is twice that of rapists. Recent
studies show that the rate of victimization
among men who were not in trouble with
the law is between 10 and 15 per cent. With
these kinds of figures, it is not surprising
that so much emphasis is placed upon this
form of abuse to explain the development
and persistence of criminal sexual behaviour. What is often forgotten, however, is
Michel St-Yves
Bruno Pellerin
that at least 50 per cent of sex offenders
report no sexual victimization (this was
the case with the man who assaulted
Jean-Pierre). By the same token, many
individuals who were victimized as children
or teenagers did not go on to repeat the
same pattern.
THE ABUSED– BECOMES-ABUSER
THEORY
The hypothesis of a cycle of sexual abuse is
very appealing but there is little support for
it in empirical studies. The theory of the
abused individual who goes on to become
an abuser is based on hindsight. First, the
fact that approximately 50 per cent of sex
offenders report having been abused does
not necessarily mean that 50 per cent of boy
victims will become sex offenders. In fact,
most boy victims do not become sex
offenders as adults. Second, the subjects of
most studies are adults or teenagers who
have been charged with or convicted of a
sexual crime. Such individuals may well
claim to have been victims in order to
excuse their behaviour or to justify their
crime. Third, the abused-becomes-abuser
theory faces a big empirical problem: the
majority of victims of sexual assault are
female and the majority of sex offenders are
male.
STUDY RECENTLY CONDUCTED
We recently conducted a study to explore
the relationship between the sexual offences
committed by individuals who say they
were victimized as children and the scenario
involved in that victimization. The results
failed to show any significant correlation
between the modus operandi of subjects’
childhood abusers (the context of the
victimization) and the modus operandi of
the subjects (the context of the offence).
None of the features of the modus operandi
are repeated: method of coming into
contact with the victim, method of taking
the victim to the scene of the crime, method
of non-sexual coercion (kidnapping,
confinement, use of physical force, use of
physical restraints, use of weapon), or type
of sexual act.
RESULTS
The study identified only two variables that
are statistically linked to both childhood
victimization and adult sexual offences: the
number of abusers and the age at which the
victimization occurred. Sex offenders who
reported being abused sexually by more
than one person had more victims than
those who reported being abused by a single
individual, irrespective of the frequency of
the abuse. Also, among those who reported
being victimized by several people, 75 per
cent had a police record for crimes of a
sexual nature. At first glance, these results
suggest that repeated sexual victimization,
by several abusers, may lead to more
compulsive deviant behaviour. Since we are
dealing with self-reporting, it is possible
that subjects who have had several victims
tend to report a higher number of abusers
than those who have had only a single
victim – a kind of overvictimization
designed to explain or excuse their deviant
sexual behaviour.
AGE OF VICTIMS
The study also suggests that the age at
which subjects claimed to have been abused
is closely related to the age of their victims.
Those who say they were sexually abused
only before puberty more often had prepubescent victims (age 11 or less) than
those who reported abuse during adolescence. This might be interpreted in such a
1 The
RRC implements the centralized penitentiary placement
policy. Its primary responsibility is to assess federal inmates
and, depending on their need for institutional programs and
any security considerations, to assign them to institutions in
accordance with the recommendations of multidisciplinary
teams made up of correctional officers, criminologists,
psychologists, occupational training counsellors and medical
staff. The RRC is a maximum security institution.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
27
way that the age at which the offender was
abused plays an important role in selecting
victims. The fact that only half of the subjects who were abused only before puberty
then went on to abuse a prepubescent child
would need to be explained. Also, one rapist
in three claims to have been abused only
before the age of 12. One possible explanation would be false allegations. Those who
make such false allegations may have more
of a tendency to claim they were abused at
an age similar to that of their victims, in
order to give meaning to their crime or add
credibility to their testimony.
VICTIMIZED AND NON-VICTIMIZED
SEX OFFENDERS
Studies of sexual victimization reveal
differences between victimized and nonvictimized sex offenders. Some researchers
have observed that while victimized offenders were more deviant than non-victimized
offenders, they also came from more
disturbed family backgrounds. Was it the
sexual abuse that had the most impact on
the development of these subjects, or was it
prolonged exposure to inadequate parental
models? Would it not be legitimate to think
that children growing up in a disturbed
family environment are perhaps more likely
to fall prey to sex abusers? Researchers have
noticed that the rate of sexual victimization
is indeed higher among sex offenders than
among men who do not have a criminal
record, but that it is similar to the rate
found among offenders who have committed non-sexual crimes. This suggests that
several forms of mistreatment during childhood may generate a variety of behavioural
disorders and psychological problems
among adults.
The results of sexual victimization
studies call into question the role of childhood victimization in the development of
criminal sexual behaviour. These studies are
usually based solely on self-reporting by
individuals who have been charged or convicted. It is therefore possible that some of
them invent sexual victimization scenarios,
or else they exaggerate and use certain past
traumatic events and adapt them to the
current situation. A U.S. study has shown
that after being informed that they would
have to a take a polygraph (“lie-detector”)
test, the percentage of sex offenders who
claimed to have been victimized dropped
from 67 to 29 per cent.
FUTURE RESEARCH
Regardless of whether allegations of sexual
victimization are true, such victimization is
surely not the only factor to have a negative
impact on the emotional, social and sexual
development of an individual. To explain
the deviant sexual behaviour of Jean-Pierre’s
abuser, and of Jean-Pierre himself, two basic
questions will be addressed in our future
research: 1) What are the other factors –
personal and environmental, linked to the
development and persistence of criminal
sexual behaviour? 2) If there is indeed a link
between past victimization and current
criminal behaviour, what is the nature of
that link? ◆
REGIONAL NEWS
Quebec Region
TV Crew from France Films
Documentary on Private Family Visiting
By Marc Lanoie, Unit Manager, Drummond Institution
From left to right: Élizabeth Drevillon
(France 3 journalist, Paris), inmate’s spouse
with daughter in arms, Louis Robillard
(inmate) with his son on his shoulders and
Zora Hamdam (France 3 cameraman).
S
taff at Drummond Institution welcomed a team of reporters from
the France 3 television network on
November 7-13, 1998. They had come to
film a documentary on the Correctional
Service of Canada’s (CSC) Private Family
Visiting (PFV) program.
There is currently no program of this
kind in France’s prisons. The authorities
would like to introduce it into their
28
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
correctional facilities, but the plan is
generating a lot of controversy. While many
people support the program others, including the guards’ union, are strongly opposed
to it and equate it with pimping. The
reporters sought to highlight the positive
aspects of such a program, from a human
perspective and from a reintegration
stand-point. One of the journalists was
particularly interested in the way the
program might reinforce the maintenance
of family ties or encourage family members
to grow closer.
The crew followed a private family visit
between an inmate and his wife and
children from start to finish. Some of the
filming was shot at the home of the inmate’s
spouse, in order to show the preparations
and capture the emotions of the family the
day before their stay in the penitentiary’s
PFV unit. While their privacy was respected, some sequences were shot in the PFV
unit at various points, in order to bring out
the emotions that a family may experience
during such a visit. The crew filmed the
Zora Hamdam filming an interview with
inmate Jocelyn Garneau in his cell.
family’s arrival and departure as well as
the activities available to inmates at
Drummond Institution. Finally, the reporters gathered comments on the PFV
program from staff and other inmates.
This one-hour documentary was scheduled to be aired in France in January 1999,
as part of a program entitled “Des racines et
des ailes” [roots and wings]. It seems the
Minister of Justice was to be present. The
crew hoped that the broadcast would incite
the audience to request action on a private
family visiting program in France. ◆
REGIONAL NEWS
Quebec Region
Clinical Development Days
Values and Attitudes in Clinical Care
By Louise Quimper, Parole Officer, Quebec Area/Marcel Caron CCC,
Raymond Lebeau, Program Coordinator, East/West Quebec District
Parole Office, and Richard Beaudry, Assistant Director, East/West
Quebec District Parole Office
For the third consecutive year, Clinical Development
Days took place at the Notre-Dame-de-Foy campus in
Quebec City, from September 30 to October 2, 1998.
In order to create a synergy conducive to contemplation
and to interaction among the participants, they were
housed in the same building where the activities
were taking place.
T
he session began with a word from
Normand Granger, Director of the
East/West Quebec District Parole
Office, and Richard Watkins, Deputy Commissioner for the Quebec Region. They
used this opportunity to recognize the
Members of the organizing committee with
the Director of the East/West Quebec District
Parole Office.
Front row: Marie Sarrasin, Laval Area Parole
Office clinician, Louise Quimper and Normand
Granger.
Second row: Alain Asselin, Parole Officer,
Quebec Area/Marcel Caron CCC; Monique
Dusseault, Parole Officer, Des Laurentides
Area Parole Office/Laferrière CCC; and Jude
Bélanger, Parole Officer, Chicoutimi Area
Parole Office.
Back row: Laurent Thouin, Des Laurentides
Area Parole Office/Laferrière CCC clinician,
Jean-Pierre Labrie, Parole Officer, Trois-Rivières
Area Parole Office; Françoise Frénette, Parole
Officer, Lanaudière Area Office; and Réjean
Arsenault.
Missing: Marie-France Loiselle, Hull Area
Parole Office).
workers at the Detention Centre, Laval
Area Parole Office, who received a “best
practices” certificate awarded to the
Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) by
the American Correctional Association.
The “Matching Values and Attitudes to
Behaviour” conference opened with a workshop led by Jean Routier, a management
and communications consultant. The workshop was intended to serve as preparation
for a panel presentation on “matching
values and attitudes to behaviour at various
levels of the organization.” Mr. Routier
started his presentation stating that values
are not entirely relative, and that human
beings often tend to delude themselves
about how their values relate to their real
capabilities. He asked participants to think
about the relationship between our values,
attitudes and behaviours in our dealings
with inmates, managers and with the organization as a whole. He extended this line of
thinking to the relationship between the
CSC, society and the government.
For example, he pointed out that society
is very critical of the Service and harbours
unrealistic expectations. Our organization,
intimidated by pressure from citizens and
the media, develops stricter standards and
monitoring measures in an attempt to control the uncontrollable.
Mr. Routier focused on the importance
of having a global vision in order to better
deal with media pressures. He also high-
Left to right: Normand Granger and employees
of the Laval Area Parole Office: Réjean
Arsenault, Pierrette Soucy (clinician), Claude
Hubert, parole officer, Jacques Beauchamp,
parole officer, and Richard Watkins.
lighted the need to make citizens and
politicians aware of and accountable for the
dynamics of criminality. This way of thinking will require time, but it is necessary.
IN RECOGNITION
The first day was demanding yet stimulating. At the end of the day, a reception was
held to introduce new employees and
honour the ones who had left during the
year. The Quebec Area/ Marcel Caron CCC
saw the retirement of Guy Leblanc, who,
until August 28, 1998, has been Director of
Community Operations. His commitment,
tolerance and humanity had earned him the
recognition of his peers.
Guy Leblanc
Michel Gilbert
Such a strategic position needed to be
filled without delay, and it was. The new
incumbent, Michel Gilbert, addressed the
participants who could see he was a dynamic,
open individual with many years of experience in the correctional environment.
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
29
REGIONAL NEWS
Quebec Region
THE IMPACT OF COMPUTERS ON
CLINICAL WORK
The following day was spent in workshops.
During the morning, there were discussions
about values and attitudes in clinical care in
an information society. These workshops
sought to encourage reflection on the im-
mode of intervention he favoured (listening, monitoring, guidance, motivation,
support), and comment on the extent to
which our behaviours match our values.
Finally, the possible impact of administrative pressures, expanded monitoring
measures, social trends and policies on
intervention were discussed.
district over the course of the year, highlighting our two-fold mandate, the pressures of accountability, and the impact of
regular monitoring on offending. They
noted the complexity of the task combined
with the complex dynamics of our clientele,
and the emotional burden that may result.
They further noted a tendency for officers
to become isolated – definitely a paradox.
The positive comments show how
relevant and important such gatherings are
as they pertain to prevention and to clinical
training and development.
COMMITMENT
Parole officers and managers of the East/West Quebec District Parole Office.
pact of computers on the quality of our
clinical work, as it pertains to interviews
and to the form and content of our reports.
The discussions suggested that generally
speaking, computers have – fortunately –
had little effect on the clinical aspect of our
work, but numerous glitches were nevertheless identified in other respects. The areas
most often mentioned were the time
entering data in the Offender Management
System, particularly the casework records
and notes on programs, as well as the lack of
training and the influence of computer
culture on writing. The advantages noted
were access to data and consultation. The
topic generated some frustrations but the
discussions focused on measures that might
be taken to reduce irritants. Training, more
accessible technical support, and the value
of keeping high-quality, personalized reports
were among the proposed options.
INTERVENTION MODEL
The intervention model developed by the
East/West Quebec District Parole Office
Clinical Committee in 1996, which is set
out in the document on clinical care was
examined. Each participant had to take a
position on the rational course of action for
a scenario that was shown on video. Each
participant also had to try to identify which
30
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES
The day’s program ended with a presentation by Luc Mercier and Alain Paré, who
led a seminar on the emotional challenges of
the job. They spoke about their experience
with five groups of parole officers from the
In our democratic
system, elected
representatives
hand us certain
mandates
without really
understanding
criminality and
all the obstacles
that affect the
reintegration
process.
The final day was devoted to the topic of
commitment. Social worker Pierre-Yves
Boily – an unaffected and dynamic speaker
– used both humour and emotion to make
us see the paradox of our mandates, our
daily exposure to clients’ problems, and the
great value inherent in differences among
colleagues. He pointed out the problem: in
our democratic system, elected representatives hand us certain mandates without
really understanding criminality and all the
obstacles that affect the reintegration
process.
Mr Boily focused on the importance of
not distancing ourselves from our emotions
and our daily exposure to our clients’
problems. Co-operation is both useful and
essential in order to improve our skills and
avoid stagnating, but also to provide mutual
support. He concluded by encouraging us
to cultivate the clinical side of our work
even if this is difficult both professionally
and personally. He said that we should
avoid any tendency to protect ourselves by
hiding behind an administrative wall but
ask for help from our colleagues.
These days of discussion were an unusually concentrated experience. This was
the third such event, and it reinforced the
conviction that such breaks from the workplace are a necessary and important opportunity to share thoughts and experiences in
a respectful, mature and attentive way.
Bringing together officers, clinical people
and managers makes direct communication
possible.
In his closing speech, Normand Granger
said how proud he was of the committee’s
achievements and emphasized that the
direct involvement of the grassroots made
such success possible. ◆
REGIONAL NEWS
Quebec Region
Regional Mental Health Unit
Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
By Normand Daoust, Management
Trainee, Archambault Institution
T
o celebrate its fifth anniversary, the
Regional Mental Health Unit (RMHU)
welcomed approximately 100 visitors to
an open house at Archambault Institution
on November 18, 1998. Richard Watkins,
Deputy Commissioner, Quebec Region,
attended the event. Since April 1, 1993, the
RMHU has complied with the Mission of
the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC),
by providing personalized assessment and
treatment services to all Quebec Region
inmates who have psychiatric problems or
severe personality disorders.
Ms. Annie Charbonneau, a nurse, is
presented with a certificate of appreciation
by Richard Watkins.
From left to right: Richard Watkins,
Mario Lévesque, Annie Charbonneau and
Guy Villeneuve.
CONSTANT EVOLUTION
The Regional Deputy Commissioner
thanked the RMHU employees for the work
they had done to date, and provided
background information on the origin and
development of the Unit in the context of
CSC’s Mission and its national health care
strategy.
Then, Guy Villeneuve, Warden of
Archambault Institution, recalled how the
context led to the establishment of the Unit,
and highlighted the persistence and professionalism of the small team that had been
Réal Delcourt, recipient of a citation for
excellence, surrounded by members of the
Selection Committee and Mario Lévesque.
From left to right: René Asselin, Ghislaine
Carrier, Réal Delcourt, Pierre Landry,
Mario Lévesque and Sébastien Pilon.
there at the start. After a brief assessment of
the past five years, he stated how pleased he
was that the Unit was seeking accreditation
from the Canadian Council on Health
Services Accreditation. “This is proof of the
will to seek excellence in program delivery.”
The Unit’s clinical director, Lise Turcotte,
outlined the treatment program. She described the type of clientele that uses its
services, spoke briefly about the admission
and release procedures, and then focused on
the multidisciplinary approach and its
practical application in the daily operations.
She described the role of the Unit’s director
and of each group of caregivers, and described the therapeutic approaches used in
the psychiatric section (the Virginia
Henderson and Callista Roy models) and in
the reintegration section (the cognitive
behavioural approach). Ms. Turcotte ended
with a review of the clinic’s treatment activities and programs as well as the services it
provides in the areas of work, sports, education and recreation.
The RMHU is a multidisciplinary centre
that serves as the focal point for a global
strategy of ensuring that inmates have
proper access to specialized mental health
services. The team draws inspiration from
both institutional and community models
and is not afraid of innovating or developing
a new approach while simultaneously
complying with recognized professional
standards. In August 1998, the Unit sub-
mitted an application to the Canadian
Council on Health Services Accreditation,
requesting that its performance be compared against nationally recognized standards of excellence. The team is preparing
to face the challenge of excellence, with the
full support of Archambault management
and Regional Headquarters.
Over the past few months, the Unit has
taken a new direction consolidating its staff,
adding a clinical director position, and improving the facility. The additional costs of
these changes are for the most part offset by
the savings accrued since April 1998, when
the Unit became the only place that referred
psychiatric cases to Montreal’s Philippe
Pinel Institute (with the exception of cases at
the Special Handling Unit and at Joliette
Institution).
A certificate of appreciation is presented
to Ms. Lise Paquette, a volunteer, by
René Gagnon, chaplain.
From left to right: René Gagnon,
Mario Lévesque and Lise Paquette.
With all the changes that have occurred
in the past year, 1999 holds great promise.
The Unit will complete the accreditation
process, and proceed with the second phase
of renovating the facility, set up an improved
training program for its employees, and
recruit new people. “The skills, devotion
and goodwill of our employees will make it
possible to achieve these ambitious
objectives,” concluded Mr. Lévesque. ◆
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
31
REGIONAL NEWS
Prairie Region
Work Release on Upswing
By Dale Gavel, Assistant Warden, Correctional Programs, Drumheller Institution
On Monday morning, Bob
went to work at a farm
near Winnipeg.
Shayna resumed her work
on a series of murals in a
residential centre in
downtown Edmonton.
Betty teamed up with a
home care worker in
Maple Creek and went
out to a nearby reserve to
provide care to seniors.
A group of volunteers in
Grande Cache went to
work expanding a local
municipal campground.
In Prince Albert, another
group of volunteers
resumed their efforts to
help a local museum
restore old buildings and
farm implements.
You must be thinking these
are ordinary Canadians
doing everyday jobs?
Think again.
All of these people are
federal inmates who have
been granted a “work
release” to work or
provide community service
in their neighbouring
communities.
32
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
E
very day across the Prairie Region,
more than 100 offenders leave their
institutions to take up jobs in the community – jobs that range from career-related
paid positions to volunteer community
service assignments. In the first nine
months of 1998, more than 200 men and
women participated in work release initiatives. That translates into more than 65,000
hours of community service.
The law allows wardens to grant work
releases of up to 60 days; and the Regional
Deputy Commissioner can authorize releases for longer periods.
To qualify for work releases, offenders
must reach the date they would be eligible
for unescorted temporary absences or UTAs
and must have been assessed to determine
whether or not they can work in the community safely and successfully.
Offenders must demonstrate a need for a
structured release program and that their
behaviour while in prison must have been
positive.
Finally, the release must be in accordance
with a plan that is developed before the
decision to release has been taken.
Any program that places offenders in the
community involves an element of risk, no
matter how cautious the decision-makers
may be. The results of a survey of the institutions, the employers, and the community
volunteers involved reveal that few problems have been encountered, and when
problems are encountered, they are dealt
with quickly and effectively. With the increased freedom, escaping custody is the
greatest concern, and yet this occurs much
less frequently than expected.
Another problem that prison officials
face is an attempt to use work releases to
smuggle contraband such as cash or drugs
back into the institution. The selection process screens out inmates who may be more
tempted or pressured to deal in contraband.
Frisks, drug detection dogs and ion scanners
make smuggling contraband a very risky
venture for the inmate. The majority of
offenders are not prepared to jeopardize the
program, and their hopes of an early release
from prison, by violating this trust.
In Drumheller, a crew of men work to restore
the historic “Murray House”, originally
purchased from the Eaton’s catalogue in
the early 1920s.
The success of the program does not depend solely on the vigilance of correctional
officials. Many offenders reported that they
police each other. The work release program
is seen as an opportunity for them to leave
prison sooner, and they don’t want someone
else to spoil it for them.
The success of work releases involves
more than the absence of problems, or that
the offender doesn’t violate the trust. The
real success may be found in the tremendously positive outcome for the community, the institution and the offenders.
Work releases are seen as a valuable
reintegration tool, with the offender reestablishing links in the community,
in addition to enhancing his credibility
with the National Parole Board members
when being considered for other forms of
conditional release.
The value of this program to the
communities is best illustrated by describing some of the programs in place.
• In Winnipeg, at North America’s first
“Habitat for Humanity” project, it is estimated that a crew of men from Rockwood
Institution raised more than $70,000 for
the organization by selling supplies salvaged from buildings that the men helped
demolish. “Habitat for Humanity” is a
church-based community organization
that builds homes for disadvantaged
people.
• A Boy Scout camp, Woods Project near
Red Deer, had developed a five-year plan
for park development, clearing brush and
building a road. A crew from Bowden
Institution completed the five-year plan in
one summer, developed a new plan for the
Boy Scouts, and committed themselves to
continued support for this project.
• Because of the efforts of work crews from
Grande Cache Institution, the community
has been able to expand its municipal
campgrounds, thereby increasing the
town’s much needed revenues.
A work release crew works on the rodeo
grounds near Grand Cache, Alberta.
• In Drumheller, a community park with a
beach, ball diamonds, camp sites and
children’s play areas, has benefited from
hundreds of hours of labour spent expanding and grooming the area. It would have
taken the community association years to
complete, had it not been for the help of
inmates from Drumheller Institution.
• Other projects across the region include
developing hiking trails, landscaping, community clean-up, recycling, developing
tourist facilities, renovating and repairing
churches, schools, seniors’ centres, and
maintaining grave sites.
The value of such initiatives to the communities is often more than just the tens of
thousands of hours of service involved. The
fact is, for many communities, the projects
would simply never have been completed
without the offenders’ help.
To the prisons, who have a legal obligation to provide programs that help the
offender prepare for release and reduce his/
her risk of re-offending, work release represents a unique opportunity to involve the
community in the correctional process.
The disclosure of information about the
offenders and their background is a problem
that surfaces when the community becomes
involved. A woman said she felt very uncomfortable having an offender working on the
family farm, and being a guest in their home,
until she knew more about his background.
Others felt it was important to know more
about the offender so that they could recognize when there may be cause for concern
or, on a more positive note, what behaviours
they should encourage or mentor.
Not all people in the community feel the
same need. The law allows the prison to
share information with the public but must
ensure that everyone understands the importance of this disclosure. Many institutions
require that the offender sign a release form,
consenting to the disclosure of personal
information.
Many community representatives reported that being involved with the work release
program changed their understanding of
corrections. They developed a better understanding of the value of gradual release
programs and, in particular, they discovered
that the offender is really “just an ordinary
person.”
Inmates participating in the work release
program identified several types of rewards.
Not all inmates are involved in community
service. Some are employed in the community and for them employment represents
an opportunity to put some money in the
bank, send money to their family, or establish a positive work reference for when they
return to the community permanently.
Some plan to keep their job and for them
it is reassuring to know that there is work
waiting for them once they are released.
Work release programs are completely
voluntary; none of the offenders involved
reported feeling they were being exploited.
Many community
representatives
reported that being
involved with the work
release program changed
their understanding of
corrections. They
developed a better
understanding of the
value of gradual release
programs and, in
particular, they
discovered that the
offender is really “just
an ordinary person.”
Most said the activity was a good opportunity to “get out of the joint.” Also, the
majority of offenders acknowledge that the
program is an opportunity to prove to the
National Parole Board members that they are
ready to be trusted with a more expanded
release on parole.
Community volunteers reported seeing
the prisoners’ confidence and self-esteem increase, and many of the offenders themselves
reported that the experience helped them feel
they were once again a part of the outside
world.
Recently released offenders tend to believe that the public labels them as ex-cons
who cannot to be trusted, but the inmates on
work release reported that for them this was
no longer a problem. They felt accepted by
their community sponsors and this gave
them a great sense of self-esteem.
Many reported having a sense of pride for
the ongoing or completed projects. They also
reported that it was good “to give something
The grounds around the Tourist Information
Centre at Grand Cache, Alberta, are a tribute
to the efforts of the work release crews.
back to the community.” On the First
Nations reserve near Hobbema, Alta., the
prisoners working in the community were
described as role models for the young
people, because of the hard work they were
doing in the communities and because of the
respect they showed the Elders and citizens
while away from the prison.
The feeling that they were giving
something back to the community they had
harmed in some way was best described by a
woman in Edmonton who works in the
inner city with troubled youths – children
who find the drop-in centre preferable to
returning to their homes – why she does this
type of work. She replied in a soft and very
sincere voice … “By speaking to groups and
working with the kids, it may be a way of
giving life back to my victim. If I can only
reach one or two out of thirty, I will have
made a difference.” ◆
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
33
REGIONAL NEWS
Pacific Region
Computers for Schools
A Practical and
Community-oriented
Work Release Project
By Ms. Kirsten Sigerson, Community Corrections
T
he Correctional Service of Canada
(CSC) is committed to improving the
skills, training, and employment
opportunities of federal offenders as part of
the reintegration process. It also endeavours,
as stated in the Service’s Mission Document,
to “be a positive presence in the community,” to “foster good relationships with other
components of the criminal justice system,”
and to “promote teamwork and partnerships
as a critical means of fulfilling these objectives.” The newly developed “Computers for
Schools” work release project in the Pacific
Region contributes to each of these goals by
enabling offenders to acquire practical experience relevant to the current labour market;
by benefiting the local community through
the by-products of their work; and by
creating a unique social partnership involving CORCAN Industries, the Vancouver
Police Department, the Salvation Army,
the Vancouver Parole Office, and B.C.
Technology for Learning.
IMPROVE COMPUTER ACCESS
“Computers for Schools” (CFS) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1994 by
Industry Canada and the Telephone
Pioneers of America. Its goal is to improve
computer access for both elementary and
high school students in Canada, with
particular emphasis on inner city schools
and others that have insufficient access to
this technology. Computers are donated to
the organization by both the public and
private sectors, refurbished by local volunteers, and then given to schools to enhance
their educational curriculum. With one
branch in every province of the country,
“Computers for Schools” has donated over
80,000 computers since its inception, 9,000
in British Columbia alone. In 1997, the
B.C. division (managed by B.C. Technology
for Learning) received more than $300,000
34
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
in computer donations, and with growing
interest and support for this initiative, it is
expected that the current year’s collection
will exceed this amount.
WORK RELEASE PROGRAM – AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH
While the majority of CFS volunteers have
come from the ranks of retired telephone
company employees, the utilization of federal work release participants has provided
the opportunity for significant project
growth. Having officially opened the CSC
“warehouse” at the Salvation Army Harbour
Light Facility on November 1, 1998, the
new “Computers for Schools” outlet
produced 20 refurbished computers in the
first two weeks of operation. According to
John Houck, CFS Program Manager for
British Columbia, “the effectiveness of the
workshop is expected to increase even further over time, as more and more offenders
become involved in the project, and as their
level of computer knowledge and expertise
increases.” It should be noted that individuals admitted to the program require no
related experience, but are rather trained
“on-the-job” by student interns from the
Career Development Institute of Canada
(Computer Maintenance Technology and
Network Specialist Program). Upon successful completion of the work release, offenders receive “skill-set” certificates and/or
reference letters to assist them in their
search for meaningful employment outside
CSC. During their volunteer tenure, they
are awarded honorariums of either $7.50 or
$15 per day, a function of part or full-time
status.
According to Ian White, Director of
CSC Programs at Harbour Light and worksite supervisor, the “Computers for Schools”
project represents a “textbook win-win
situation for all parties involved.” While
enhancing his own organization’s role in the
community and ability to meet its “service”
mandate, Mr. White has the opportunity to
see first-hand how the offenders benefit
from participation. “Not only does it help
them acquire skills and self-esteem, it also
enhances their credibility and suitability for
more advanced forms of conditional release.” John Houck, Ian’s project partner
adds “The substantial funding contributions of CORCAN Industries, the efforts of
CSC staff in finding suitable and productive
offender participants, and the assistance of
the Vancouver Police Department in delivering the computers to schools in need,
make this program a well-rounded and
much-needed community-service initiative.” ◆
Upon successful
completion of
the work release,
offenders receive
“skill-set”
certificates and/or
reference letters
to assist them in
their search for
meaningful
employment
outside CSC.
REGIONAL NEWS
Pacific Region
Happy Days Are Here Again
By Mr. Leo Valentine and Ms. Liz Drocholl, Ferndale Institution
I
n July 1998, Ron Wiebe, Warden of
Ferndale Institution, was approached by
the Mission Community Services Society
with a special and unique problem. A
building had recently been donated to the
Society, which was to be administered as a
pre-school. Though charming to look at, it
was 75 years old, in need of repair, and was
“Happy Days” Pre-school
inadequate in terms of space usage, electrical
utilities and plumbing. Mr. Wiebe immediately recognized an opportunity to do
something for the community.
Time to complete the project was limited
because the targeted date of completion was
set for September – when school started.
Inmates needed to be interviewed, the
paperwork for the temporary absence permits needed to be completed and other
arrangements had to be made.
Construction crews began work almost
immediately on the “Happy Days Preschool”. The construction crew consisted of
one staff supervisor and 15 inmates from
Ferndale Institution. Of the 15 inmates, four
were the main crew that carried out most of
the work.
The crew worked from sunrise to sunset.
Inside the building, there were walls to be
moved and new ones to be built. The only
bathroom was renovated and a second one
was added. A kitchen complete with cabinets
was built. Most of the structure was rewired
and safety features such as fire alarms and
emergency lighting were added. The lighting
was upgraded to meet the standard. Ceilings
were rebuilt, windows repaired, doors and
cabinets were installed and the entire building was drywalled and painted. In the yard,
trees were trimmed, grounds were cleared,
refuse was removed and the playground was
repaired and renovated.
Despite the considerable time constraints,
all the inmates remained positive for the duration of the project. The crew came through
and the building was completed in time for
school. Under normal circumstances, the job
would have taken three to four months to
complete. Both the supervisor and the inmates contributed a total of 1,410 hours. ◆
REGIONAL NEWS
Pacific Region
Candlelight Parade Float
By Mr. Dennis Finlay, Regional Communications Manager
Hundreds of people watching the Mission, B.C. Candlelight Parade on December 4, 1998, looked twice
when they saw that the Rotary Club’s float was “Built by the Ferndale Yacht Club – 1998”.
T
here is no yacht club in Mission, except
in the minds of staff and inmates
at Ferndale Institution, a minimum
security facility, who built the replica of
the sternwheeler, called the “Beaver”. This
project was to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the building of the original
boat that operated on the Fraser River
Kelly Wymer and John Ceh, two of the four
inmates, who worked the most on the float.
between New Westminster and Chilliwack
until 1913.
The “Beaver” was scrapped in 1930, but
a member of the Mission Rotary Club who
is an architect designed the replica from
pictures. The workers at Ferndale built the
float from these sketches. The float, complete with Christmas lights and a paddle
wheel that turns mechanically, is powered
by a generator. It measures 15 metres long,
5 metres high and 3 metres wide.
Ron Wiebe, Warden at Ferndale Institution, who is a member of the Mission
Rotary Club, was the project’s catalyst. Tom
Smith, Ferndale’s Chief of Works, was the
project manager who provided the measurements and engineering design for the
sketches provided by the architect. Leo
Valentine, a casual employee who normally
acts as the CORCAN Forestry Crew supervisor, was the project site supervisor. Tim
Horton, an industrial fabric craftsman employed by CORCAN, did the canvas work.
Kelly Wymer, John Ceh, John Foulds
and Mike Muller were the four inmates who
worked the most on the float.
Work on the float began November 17,
1998, and the staff and inmates did not
complete the float until the afternoon of the
parade. The men worked approximately
477 hours over a 17-day period, including
evenings, to get the job done.
“These have been long days and long
hours,” Mr. Valentine said. “We worked
weekends, too.”
Some Rotary Club members came to the
institution to help build the float. Wilson
Sieg, a former National Parole Board member in the Pacific Region, said the float will
continue to be used by the Mission Rotary
Club in future parades around the Lower
Mainland. ◆
MARCH 1999 / Let’s Talk
35
REGIONAL NEWS
Pacific Region
Review of the Temporary Detention Unit
By Judy Leykauf, Coordinator/Senior Parole Officer at the Temporary Detention Unit
T
he Temporary Detention (TD) Unit at
Kent Institution commenced operations April 1,1998. A senior parole
officer, two community parole officers and
one clerk are responsible for the case management functions of the Unit. They report
to the area director of the Fraser Valley
District. A unit manager and a full complement of correctional officers oversee the
day-to-day operations of the Unit and perform security functions. Two program deliverers are responsible for the Self-monitoring
Program, and the Cognitive Booster sessions
given in the TD Unit is open with a maximum capacity of 47 beds and can house
individuals of all security levels.
CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION
The TD Unit accepts suspended parolees
provided they do not have any serious
outstanding charges. In addition, any parolee
who has been apprehended after being
unlawfully at large (UAL) will be sent to the
unit where an assessment will be made
regarding his suitability. Should a decision be
made to send him to his parent institution,
the Unit staff will continue their involvement in the case until the Parole Board
meets. Depending on the circumstances of
the case, the number of times a parolee can
be returned to the facility will vary.
SIX-MONTH REVIEW
Since the date of the opening of the TD
Unit, until September 30, 1998, there have
been 242 admissions.
• Vancouver Island Parole District has
made 33 referrals to the Unit;
• The Fraser Valley, 53 referrals;
• The Northern Interior, 31 referrals; and
• Vancouver, 102 referrals.
These figures do not include the number
of people who were actually in the Unit on
September 30.
The average length of stay in the Unit
during this time period was 18 days. There
have been 166 parolees returned to the
community via a cancellation. Of this
number, 18 have been recommended for
revocation. The percentage of cancellations
for the six-month period is 85 per cent.
The Unit staff have returned:
• 53 parolees to the Fraser Valley;
• 66 back to Vancouver;
• 27 to the Northern Interior District; and
• 16 to Vancouver Island. ◆
REGIONAL NEWS
Pacific Region
Turning a Dilemma into a
Rehabilitation Opportunity
By Ms. Crystal Grass, Occupational Therapist, Regional Health Centre (Pacific)
T he growing concern about waste disposal weights at the Regional Health Centre (Pacific) has spurred co-operative efforts between Institutional Services and the Occupational Therapy Department to establish a recycling
depot as a vocational skills development program. Recycling has always been an option for staff and patients but
recently there has been a more definitive attempt to educate and promote environmentally responsible practices
that are becoming mainstream in communities across the country.
I
nstitutional Services obtained and set up
the physical structure and materials according to the program needs identified
by occupational therapy staff. They continue to monitor the waste disposal weights
leaving the institution that will indicate the
effectiveness of this endeavour. The occupational therapist is responsible for hiring,
training, and supervising the workers.
Offender employees wanting to work at the
recycling depot are selected through a job
application and interview process, in order
to give them as realistic an experience as
36
Let’s Talk / MARCH 1999
possible. The program is designed to
employ patients suffering from mental
illness and/or low functional abilities who
have deficits in vocational skills; particularly
those patients for whom employment is a
criminogenic factor.
The focus of this work experience
programming is to promote and instill acceptable work skills that can be applied to
employment opportunities in the community. Many offenders with mental illness
and/or low functional abilities report having
few or no successful job experiences.
Certain skills are part of all work situations,
such as coming to work every day, arriving
on time, co-operating with supervisors and
co-workers, dressing appropriately, and
being aware of safety issues. These are the
skills being acquired through on-the-job
training. In addition, all workers participate
in an educational session that focuses on
job-related activities such as job searching,
resumé writing, and learning what to expect
at job interviews. ◆
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