D E C E M B E R ...

D E C E M B E R  ...
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
Contents
Let’s Talk
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
COVER
F E AT U R E S
4
6
11
14
A correctional officer monitors inmate movement using state-of-the-art
surveillance equipment that allows the user to keep an eye on several
locations at once. It’s one example of static security methods that CSC
employs to make their institutions safer and more secure. Even more
important is the positive, daily interaction between offenders and staff –
known as dynamic security – that breaks down communication barriers
and creates an atmosphere that promotes trust and rehabilitation.
Publication mail agreement number no.: 40063960
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:
Correctional Service of Canada
340 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P9
2
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
17
18
Commissioner’s Editorial
3
Staying One Step Ahead
of Organized Crime
4
The Special Handling Unit
High Security,
Special Expertise
6
Security Levels and
What They Mean
10
Keeping Drugs OUT
11
Defending the
Electronic Frontier
14
Simonne Poirier: A Thirty-Year
Contribution to Public Safety
17
The Need to Establish a Vast
Protection Perimeter
18
Let’s Talk is published by the
Communications and Citizen Engagement
Sector of the Correctional Service of Canada.
Commissioner’s Editorial
Opinions expressed in the following articles
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
Commissioner.
Assistant Commissioner,
Communications and Citizen
Engagement Sector
Lisa Hardey
Editor-in-Chief
Daniela Rusu
Production
Martin Bélanger
English Writer, Editor and Photographer
Bill Rankin
Writer, English/French Editor
Djamila Amellal
English Writer
Graham Chartier
Inquiries
Josée Deschambault
Translation Services
Translation Bureau
Graphic Design
Accurate Design & Communication Inc.
Editorial Committee
Nadine Archambault
Cathy Barnes
Julie Fournier-Elrefaie
Christina Guest
Ellen Henderson
Raymond Labelle
Jim Laplante
Ginette Leclerc
Suzanne Leclerc
Marty Maltby
Julie McGregor
Shereen Benzvy Miller
Sandra Molineux
Lucie Poliquin
Mary Beth Pongrac
Bill Staubi
Lisa Watson
Contributors
Paul Provost
Articles may be reprinted in whole with the
permission of and credit to the Correctional
Service of Canada.
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:
Let’s Talk /Entre Nous
Correctional Service of Canada
340 Laurier Avenue, West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P9
Telephone: 613-995-5364
Telecopier: 613-947-1184
www.csc-scc.gc.ca
ISSN 0715-285X
© Correctional Service of Canada December 2006
Printed in Canada on recycled paper
Enhanced Safety
and Security
for Staff and
Offenders in
Our Institutions
C
orrectional Service of Canada (CSC)
employees from across Canada
moved into fall 2006 with the shared
objective of meeting our results commitments in our five strategic priority areas
for 2006-07. Our focus on these priorities is
a necessary response to the rapid changes
in the profile of the federal offenders coming through our front door. For example, we
are seeing more offenders with histories of
violence and violent criminal behaviour,
more offenders with previous convictions,
more offenders with affiliations to gangs
and other organized crime groups, and
more offenders rated maximum security
when admitted. This issue of Let’s Talk
explores how we are working to improve
our results in one of our key priority areas:
enhancing safety and security for employees and inmates in our institutions through
specialized strategies and programs.
For example, you will read about how
our security intelligence officers use identification, surveillance and dynamic security
strategies to deal with threats posed by
inmates who have affiliations to organized
crime. We have also developed specialized
programs that address their resistance to
changing this antisocial behaviour.
In an article on the Special Handling
Unit (SHU), you will learn how CSC staff
handle our most disruptive offenders. At
the SHU, inmates participate in intense
programming that strives to modify their
violent behaviour, the goal being their
quick and safe return to the mainstream
offender population.
Keeping Drugs OUT focuses on the
challenges of offender substance abuse, a
problem with which 80 percent of our
offenders are afflicted prior to arriving at
CSC. As part of our fight against drugs —
which includes eliminating the flow of drugs
into our facilities — we are developing
world-class, research-based addiction
treatments to stop the demand for these
harmful substances.
Of course, not all threats are physical.
Frequent attempted breaches of electronic
security both from inside our institutions
and from external sources over the Internet
mean CSC’s Information Management
Services staff are on the alert 24/7, protecting CSC’s networks from these attacks.
I hope that reading this issue helps you
understand how CSC employees are playing
a key role enhancing safety and security at
our institutions, thereby increasing CSC’s
public safety contribution. While this hard
work and dedication in an operationally
focussed business is always challenging
and often under-appreciated, we need to
continue to measure our progress against
our business plan to ensure that we stay on
a steady course to deliver the best possible
public safety results.
The next edition of Let’s Talk will focus
on another one of our key priority areas:
enhancing the safe transition of offenders
into the community. 6
Keith Coulter
Commissioner
Correctional Service of Canada
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
3
SAFETY AND
SECURITY
Inside CSC Institutions
Staying One Step Ahead
of Organized Crime
xperts will tell you that organized crime doesn’t spring from any particular country
or culture; it’s a culture all its own, a way of life driven by a need for profit and power,
two appetites that cross both ethnic and sociological lines. Today there is an intricate web
of organized crime groups operating in Canada — traditional, eastern European, Asian and
Aboriginal gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Colombian cartels, and others with business
connections that span the globe. Organized crime is not a new phenomenon in Canada but its
complexity and level of sophistication have dramatically increased over the past two decades.
E
BY Bill Rankin, Communications Officer,
Communications and Citizen Engagement Sector
Photo: Bill Rankin
A High Price to Pay
Ordinary citizens may shrug their shoulders
and think they are unaffected by organized
crime as long as they are not directly threatened or do not accidentally stray into the
crossfire of street gangs’ turf wars. But the
director of CSC’s Preventive Security and
Intelligence Division will tell you that the
facts are otherwise.
“Organized crime operates on three different levels. The first is highly visible: the
stabbings and drive-by shootings — settling of
accounts between rival gangs, the street-corner
drug dealers, and the sex trade that infiltrates
respectable neighbourhoods. These are the
activities that provoke a strong reaction in the
community: concern and fear that crime is
out of control. The second level involves the
unseen profits of organized crime and how
these funds are concealed through money
laundering techniques that drain the Canadian
economy. The third and most troubling level is
reinvestment of laundered money into legitimate businesses, allowing criminals to seize
even more power, more profits, and entrench
themselves in normal society, masquerading
as honest citizens.”
Many criminal organizations that have
undergone rapid expansion over the past
20 years gloss over their transformation into
4
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
global enterprises and try to persuade the
media and the public that they remain
unchanged from the 1970s and ’80s. But every
Canadian — from the suburban hockey mom
to the Bay Street broker — pays a high price
for their growth not only in street crime but
through deteriorating health caused by the illicit
drug trade, increased incidences of fraud, and
higher insurance premiums, to name just a few.
An Ongoing Threat
Organized crime groups value their privacy;
their very existence is jeopardized by exposure.
Much of their operations are well hidden, and
any clues that rise to the surface are valuable
and must be analyzed. When gang members
are convicted of crimes and sent to federal
institutions, it is a unique opportunity for
front-line staff to report on their activities and
interactions, gain an understanding of how
they operate and share findings with partners
in law enforcement. It’s vital because organized
criminal groups pose a serious and ongoing
threat not only to the community but also to
the safety and security of CSC institutions.
Incarcerated gang members — estimated
by CSC Research Branch at approximately
14 percent of the total federal inmate population at intake — try to pursue their illicit
activities and maintain their ties with the
outside world. Typically, they seize opportunities that will give them the leverage needed
to reach their own goals, using violence and
intimidation as their tools. They try to undercut
other inmates’ desire to reform, discourage
fellow members from breaking ties with their
Dynamic security is one of the keys to
managing organized crime members in
CSC institutions.
organization and intimidate unaffiliated
inmates so they bow to the gangs’ priorities.
The links between these offenders, violence
and drugs within federal institutions are
undisputed and pervasive.
Effective Strategies
on the Front Lines
How does CSC staff combat this situation?
What strategies do they use to counter the
often subtle effects gang members may have
on an entire institution? First, it is essential to
positively identify organized crime members
as early as possible in the correctional process,
ideally at the remand stage before they pass
through the gates of any federal institution.
Once they are in CSC custody, front-line
workers employ multidisciplinary strategies
based on proven principles and substantiated
by research to stay one step ahead of these
offenders. How staff reacts to a gang member
is very specific to that individual in that
particular situation: keeping them under close
supervision, collecting information and, if
need be, using it in court to prosecute for illegal activities. Gang members come to realize
that trying to stay active members during
incarceration is not in their best interests.
Security staff work diligently to sort out
the full gang members from the associates,
the hangers-on, and those who claim to be
members but really aren’t. This is often difficult because smart gang members tend to keep
a low profile in prison and blend in with the
regular population. Their orders are passed
down verbally with no direct link between the
issuers and the followers who carry them out;
their actions are protected by a wall of silence.
For security staff, closing the gap between
knowledge and legal proof of illegal activities
is a challenge. Adding to the murk are other
offenders — outsiders foolish enough to think
they can gain some kind of status or protection
by falsely claiming affiliation. It’s important for
CSC staff to accurately identify the real players.
Cooperation and Communication
Central to the security and safety effort is
the security intelligence officer (SIO) in each
institution.“It’s a role that over the last few
years has become increasingly strategic,”
explains one security intelligence supervisor.
“This means SIOs undergo thorough training
in gang management and share best practices
with other law enforcement agencies such as
the Canadian Security Intelligence Service
which protects our national security interests.”
On a daily basis, SIOs across the country
penetrate the surface of institutional life,
gathering intelligence, sharing it with law
enforcement partners and, most importantly,
working with the correctional officers (CXs)
that walk the floors of the ranges each day,
interacting with offenders, and keeping their
eyes and ears open.
“The CXs have incredible abilities to talk
to these guys,” comments one SIO.“They get
really good at sensing an inmate’s state of
mind and know whether the inmate is trying
to feed them lies or half-truths, whether their
information is for real. They are trained to
know that behind a gang member’s behaviour
often there is an underlying strategy. So they
watch carefully. I wouldn’t be able to do my
job without the CXs. I’m only one employee;
they are many.”
Correctional officers record vital clues as
they become available. Reports are written
and information flows both horizontally and
vertically, through regional intelligence coordinators and into a national centralized intelligence
unit, then on to other law enforcement agencies,
and back again — a reciprocal process that continuously feeds itself and proves invaluable for
decision makers.At first, it’s like putting together
a jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing,
but gradually correlations are made and patterns
of behaviour and association are established.
In 2004 CSC launched the Security Intelligence
Network or SINet in maximum-security institutions across the country, a secure network for
storing and sharing Protected ‘C’ and eventually
secret information on gangs, suspicious or illegal
activities occurring in CSC penitentiaries and in
the community, and threats to the safety of staff,
other offenders and the public. The goal is better
and faster responses to security threats by giving
SIOs and their counterparts in the community
increased intelligence gathering, analysis and
dissemination capabilities.
Information Management Services is currently
in the process of hooking up minimum-security
institutions to SINet and next year the connections will extend into the community via
another secure network called the Classified
Communications Network. This will allow CSC
to safely share classified information with its
law enforcement partners, including the RCMP,
National Parole Board and many others. On
an even larger front, the network will be linked
to the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre that
liaises with foreign intelligence organizations.
Involving All Staff
CSC’s comprehensive organized crime
strategy is more than identification and surveillance. Just like every other inmate, gang
members are required to follow a correctional
plan that includes programs that go to the root
of their antisocial behaviour and encourage
them to break the ties or “disaffiliate” from
their criminal organizations. These offenders
are often in need of the Violence Prevention
Program and community maintenance programs
once they are on statutory release. Soon they will
be able to take the newly developed Alternatives,
Attitudes and Associates program that deals with
peer pressure, antisocial lifestyle and self-control
problems. The program will be piloted this winter
and will be rolled out in the community and the
institutions in June 2007.
All institutional employees play a vital role
when it comes to dealing with organized crime.
Many are well versed in the legal process necessary to identify an offender as a member or
associate. They know if an inmate has been
prosecuted under sections of the Criminal
Code of Canada that deal with criminal organizations. Through the proper channels they can
contact the Regional Strategic Intelligence
Committee if they discover emerging gangs or
gang activity. In their daily interactions, staff
make it clear to offenders that membership
or association in a criminal organization is
considered a strong risk factor that influences
parole recommendations and other decisions
that affect the offender’s release plans. Even
if they do achieve conditional release, record
of their affiliations will follow them into the
community. These are strong incentives for
inmates to cease gang-related activities.
New Legislation Holds Promise
Canadian law enforcement and Crown prosecutors are hopeful that the country’s relatively
new anti-gang legislation will give them increased
clout against members of organized crime. So
far, tougher laws have resulted in longer prison
terms for members of the Quebec Hells Angels
convicted of gangsterism. Still, there is a heavy
burden imposed on the Crown to prove a crime
has been committed for the benefit or with the
help of a criminal organization.
Police and prosecutors are constantly devising new strategies to destabilize or cripple gang
activities and to keep them off balance. Law
enforcement agencies are lobbying hard for
harsher sentences for criminals that target
the most vulnerable in Canadian society and
destroy their lives through both violent and
non-violent crimes. As cases wind their way
through the courts, new legal precedents will be
set and CSC may find that it will be playing host
to more and more of these types of offenders.
In the meantime, the Service is aware of
the very real dangers of organized crime and
working to counteract the effects both in institutions and in the community. Battling the
global criminal will require the cooperation
not only of law enforcement but all citizens
in all countries working together. 6
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
5
SAFETY AND
SECURITY
THE SPECIAL HANDLING UNIT
Inside CSC Institutions
HIGH SECURITY,
SPECIAL
EXPERTISE
s one of its main priorities, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is working
to meet the challenges related to the changing offender profile, including the safety
of both offenders and staff in our institutions. Whether it is infrastructure, equipment
or programs, CSC continues to make the necessary changes to ensure an essential level of
safety and security.
The Special Handling Unit (SHU) at the Regional Reception Centre in Quebec Region is one
excellent example of an environment where safety has true meaning. The Let’s Talk team was
recently given an on-site tour with Unit Manager Serge Brouillette, who spoke openly about the
environment, the day-to-day work and the security challenges in this national unit that serves
all maximum-security institutions in Canada.
A
BY Djamila Amellal, Communications Officer,
Communications and Citizen Engagement
Photos: Bill Rankin
Standing at the entrance of the unit, Brouillette
prepares to do his rounds.“Transfer of offenders
to the SHU is an exceptional measure of last
recourse, designed to accommodate inmates
who cannot be integrated into a maximumsecurity penitentiary for safety reasons. These
6
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
are our most violent offenders who, at some
point in time, have demonstrated the danger
they pose for other inmates or staff. Our unit’s
mission is, first and foremost, to provide the
necessary supervision to stop the violent
behaviour and thus ensure the staff ’s and
inmates’ safety. We must then prepare inmates,
within the shortest possible timeframe, to
return to a maximum security institution by
putting them through a long list of programs
that target violent behaviour.”
“I always know what time I start work in the
morning,” says Brouillette with a broad smile,
“but I never know what time I’ll be leaving at
the end of the day. I leave when the work is
complete.” The unit manager is proud of the fact
that both he and his staff, through their own
diligence, have prevented any major incidents
from occurring in the last nine months.
Alert and Prepared
As we closely follow our guide through the
dimmed interior, a deafening bang suddenly
fills the silence, abruptly ending our conversation. For a moment time stands still. Brouillette
is immediately on the alert, thanks to his
27 years of service with CSC. He quickly scans
the surroundings and turns to two correctional
officers (CXs) standing before a broad plexiglass
barrier. He approaches them and quickly fires
off a few questions. A bare-chested inmate
standing behind the plexiglass has punched the
barrier, complaining that the temperature in his
cell is intolerable. Brouillette has a few words
THE SPECIAL HANDLING UNIT
with the inmate. He turns to one of the CXs
and suggests placing the inmate in the range
yard as an interim solution until the air
conditioning unit for his cell is repaired.
He turns to us, apologizes, and says,“We
never know when something will happen,
and when it does, we need to be ready.”
is carefully entered on a chart in the control
room and updated daily. Contact with staff is
reduced to a minimum by hallways that are
divided into two sides, one for staff movement
and one for inmates. More than 50 cameras
have been strategically installed for complete
visual surveillance of the unit.
The Facility and Population
The SAS System Tailored to the SHU
“The Unit’s layout is based on dynamic
security,” explains Brouillette.“It’s shaped like
a star, with the control post located at the
centre. It may appear forbidding to outsiders,
but normal institutional activities take place
in this unit and additional controls are implemented when movements occur.”
The SHU, built in 1984, can accommodate
nearly 90 inmates in cells that are divided into
five wings with two ranges on each wing. Each
range houses nine inmates and includes a
common room and yard access. The wings are
divided according to population, including the
assessment, segregation and protection wings.
Cell 100 is reserved for any inmate in a crisis
situation. Information concerning each offender
Whether they are receiving visitors, taking a
course, being interviewed or being transferred,
inmates absolutely must transit through a
double-locked security area: the SAS. Unit
Manager Brouillette explains: “The SHU is
based on the SAS system. The SAS is a secure
area where correctional officers handcuff and
frisk inmates and scan them with a metal
detector before entry or exit. This system
also makes it possible to monitor inmates’
movements one by one and thus, protect
staff and inmates.
A Stay at the SHU
The SHU currently houses 71 inmates, their
average age being 34 years, although some
are as young as 21. The majority arrives from
Separated by a safety barrier of plexiglass, CXs reply to an agitated inmate’s questions while,
at the same time, trying to assess the reason for the disturbance and determine whether it is
a trap or diversion used to conceal a more serious intention.
maximum-security institutions after being
involved in serious incidents that demonstrate
they are not manageable under ordinary security.
The regional deputy commissioner of the region
from which the inmate arrives authorizes a
transfer to the SHU for assessment purposes.A
national committee chaired by the senior deputy
commissioner, composed of all the wardens from
maximum-security institutions, assesses the
unit’s inmates every four months to determine
progress. Inmates are then transferred or remain
at the SHU if no progress is noted.A correctional
plan, including programs, is developed for each
one. On average, they stay for close to one year.
Keeping Abreast of Tense Situations
According to the SHU manager, inmates
assault staff or each other for various reasons.
Thus, vigilance is crucial in this environment
where appearances can be deceiving.“When
something happens, we do not immediately
jump to conclusions,” explains Brouillette.“In
order to understand the reasons for the tension and to control the situation, we must keep
in mind at all times that inmates are familiar
Inmates are placed in ranges with other
compatible offenders. They share common
areas and the yard, both of which are
supervised through plexiglass or from
the second-floor gallery.
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
7
THE SPECIAL HANDLING UNIT
with our security techniques and may try to
use them against us. So, each time we stop,
assess the situation, and make sure that we
are not walking into a trap.”
SHU Placement and Transfers —
National Responsibilities
According to Lee Redpath, SHU Senior Advisor
to the senior deputy commissioner (SDC), management of the SHU’s inmate population is closely
tied with the recommendations issued by the
National Advisory Committee, chaired by SDC
Don Head and supported by the other members,
all maximum-security institution wardens. Final
decisions concerning proposed placement, transfers or detention are made through the National
SHU Advisory Committee by the SDC.“The SHU
houses the most difficult inmates,” Redpath
comments,“and even when they make progress,
these inmates may have incompatibles somewhere. When the time comes to send them to
another institution, the Committee is there to
make things happen.” After consultation with
and the decision of the SDC, the SHU has 30 days
to move the inmate.“We contribute to everyone’s
safety by ensuring that the inmates are placed
in the location most appropriate for them.”
Michèle Bourbonnais, CX II, works in the gallery’s communication centre. Very proud of the new
surveillance equipment, she can view various parts of the unit simultaneously and closely monitor inmates’ activities and movements in the common areas, yards outside the ranges, the SAS
or along the SHU perimeter. She can also zoom in on the faces of inmates involved in disputes
and provide concrete evidence, if need be, during internal disciplinary court hearings or regular
court trials. Using the zoom lens, she can also determine whether an incident is genuine or
a trap set for correctional staff. When she detects violent activity, she sounds a shrill alarm
to warn inmates that they have been observed. She is able to oversee any location at any
time within the institution. She communicates with staff members and coordinates inmates’
movements upon exit and entry.”
Motivation-Based Intervention
Strategy (MBIS)
Various programs are available at the SHU
to help inmates fulfil their correctional plan.
In 2003, Sébastien Girard, a psychologist at
National Headquarters, and Isabelle Bastien,
responsible for the program at National
Headquarters, developed the MotivationBased Intervention Strategy expressly for
SHU inmates who lack motivation and
present a high risk of re-offending.
Lee Redpath
8
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
This intervention by parole officers at the
SHU helps to increase the offenders’ receptiveness to change, helps them identify problem
behaviours, select the behaviours they wish to
change, consider the good and bad repercussions of their decisions, and determine their
life goals. According to Girard, the results
obtained so far are very promising.
THE SPECIAL HANDLING UNIT
Ongoing Training, a Prevention Tool
Sylvain Mongrain, National Training
Coordinator, Reintegration Programs, National
Headquarters, has participated this year in
the development of institutional and community parole officers’ (PO) continuous training.
This year, one of the two training workshops
addresses ways to deal with resistant offenders.
“It is a matter of safety,” he explains,“to equip
POs with the tools they need to manage these
inmates. A certain number of them are susceptible to re-offending and turning to violence.”
The CSC new recruit training program is solid
and improves over time and with experience. The
selection process for recruits is rigorous from the
outset and training prepares them for work inside
institutions at any security level. New recruits
receive 11 weeks of theoretical and practical
classroom training, and 2 weeks of practical
training in an institution.
Yves Malépart, Assistant Director, Training,
Quebec Region Staff College, explains that new
recruits must recertify according to standards
part of the preparation for security work. The
recruits may also choose to become members
of the institutional emergency response teams
if the warden and members of the IERT recommend them.
“It’s a matter of safety to equip POs
with the tools they need to manage
resistant offenders.”
Yves Malépart, Assistant Director, Training,
Quebec Region Staff College and Mario Paré
(right), one of the 14 instructors at the College.
“We teach respect for both inmates and for
correctional officers. Holding discussions
between these two groups minimizes problems
and reduces tension,” explains Paré.
and additional courses on personal safety are
organized at the request of the institutions.
He emphasizes that continuity is an essential
Sylvain Mongrain
Team of Experts and Dynamic Security
“In spite of all the new facilities and equipment we have,” says Brouillette,“dynamic security
is essential. Groups that customarily form within
the inmate population of most institutions also
exist within the SHU. The mix of various populations, such as organized crime groups, street
gangs or protection groups, in Canada’s only SHU
sometimes becomes very difficult to manage.
Thanks to the expertise of my multidisciplinary
team members, everything remains under control; they have developed an expertise that is
specific to the SHU. Team members are skilled
at talking with inmates, and they know when
offenders are plotting. That is what dynamic
security is all about.” 6
Safety measures in the SHU are commensurate with risk. For example, plexiglass barriers
have been installed in the interview rooms,
classrooms and other areas to minimize
contact between staff and inmates.
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
9
SAFETY AND
SECURITY
Inside CSC Institutions
SECURITY
LEVELS
and What They Mean
efore being assigned a security level, a new federal inmate is admitted to a regional intake
assessment centre and housed on a special intake range with other newcomers. During the
assessment (an extremely thorough procedure that takes up to a few months to complete),
the inmate will come into contact with a great number of Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)
employees — correctional and parole officers, and health workers.
B
The parole officer will build an exhaustive
social and criminal profile, identify problem
areas that contributed to the offender’s criminal behaviour and may lead to re-offending,
and devise a compulsory correctional plan that
focuses on both risks and needs. The plan will
be carefully monitored and updated throughout the inmate’s sentence.
The main factor for determining a security
level is safety — for the public, for CSC staff
and for the offender.
MAIN SECURITY LEVELS
Minimum Security
• The institution perimeter is defined but
usually there are no walls or fences.
There are no armed correctional officers,
no towers, no razor wire or electronic
surveillance equipment.
• Restrictions on movement, association
and privileges are minimal. Inmates are
non-violent and pose very limited risk
to the safety of the community. Many
are on work-release programs that allow
them to hold jobs during the day.
• Inmates show the desire and ability to
get along responsibly with fellow inmates
with little or no supervision.
Medium Security
• These institutions are usually surrounded
by chain-link fences topped with razor wire.
Firearms are present but not normally
deployed within the perimeter.
• Inmates pose a risk to the safety of the
community. They are contained in an environment which promotes and tests socially
acceptable behaviour. Inmates are expected
to act responsibly under regular and often
direct supervision and participate in their
correctional program plans.
10
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
• Many of these institutions have training
centres and a variety of educational and
treatment facilities.
Maximum Security
• Maximum-security facilities are surrounded
by high (20 feet) walls or fences with guard
towers in strategic positions and electronic
systems that ensure any movement within
the perimeter is detected.
• Correctional officers in the towers are supplied with firearms and there are additional
locked caches of firearms within the institutions in the event of a serious disturbance.
• Various parts of the facility are separated
by locked gates, fences and walls. Inmate
movement, association and privileges are
strictly controlled because inmates pose
a serious risk to staff, other offenders and
the community.
• Inmates are expected to interact effectively
with other individuals and in highly structured
groups such as in educational and treatment
programs and skills development programs.
• Some inmates live in segregation units, due
either to behavioural problems or out of
concern that they will be harmed by other
inmates, usually as a result of their crimes.
OTHER SECURITY
LEVELS AND
CONSIDERATIONS
Multi-Level Security
• Offenders with serious mental health issues
are accommodated in multi-level security
facilities that combine the features of two or
more of the security levels described above.
Special Handling Unit
• The highest level of security is reserved for
the small percentage of extremely violent
male offenders who cannot function safely
at the maximum-security level. The goal of
the SHU is to prepare inmates to return to
maximum security institutions by evaluating their risks and behaviour and providing
appropriate programs.
Women Offenders
• There are no firearms within the institution
or on the perimeter, which is surrounded by a
chain-link fence and topped with razor wire.
• Typically, women are housed in living units
that accommodate 2-4 persons. Their
movement, association and privileges are
designed to give them freedom to pursue
educational and training opportunities
within the grounds of the institution.
• Women with serious behavioural issues may
be confined to a “secure unit” within the
larger institution.
Aboriginal Inmates
• Aboriginal inmates can be found in institutions of every security level. Their particular
needs are accommodated in special living
units where Native culture and spirituality
are taught and practiced. In addition, the
Correctional Service of Canada is responsible
for the establishment of eight healing lodges
across the country, specially designed to
accommodate the needs of minimum-security
Aboriginal offenders, based on the principles,
philosophy and teachings of the Aboriginal
way of life.A small number of non-Aboriginal
offenders may be accommodated at healing
lodges if they are willing to take the same
programs as Aboriginal offenders.
Community Correctional Centres
• Community correctional centres are federal
facilities that house offenders on conditional release. The facility director, parole
officers and support staff work as a team,
often in co-operation with community
partners, to supervise and provide programs for offenders. 6
SAFETY AND
SECURITY
Inside CSC Institutions
Keeping
Drugs
OUT
t was a hot summer for Correctional
Service of Canada (CSC) security intelligence divisions across the country. At
Stony Mountain Institution (SMI) in
Manitoba for example, more drugs were
seized in that one season than in its entire
last fiscal year, including the largest single
seizure in the institution’s history —
marijuana, morphine and heroin with an
institutional value of over $34,000. Half a
dozen seizures in one week were made in
both April and August. Thanks to sharp eyes
and ears and effective strategies, a total
of well over $120,000 worth of street and
pharmaceutical drugs have been turned
over to the RCMP and charges have been
laid against a number of inmates and
visitors. Stony Mountain officials credit
their teamwork approach and hard-working
staff for the recent successes.
I
If they are not confiscated, homemade weapons and alcohol can lead to violent confrontations. “Shine” is pure alcohol, refined from home brew (fermented from almost any kind of
organic foodstuff — even ketchup) using a crude distillery apparatus cobbled together
from copper pipe and electric wires. The bottom line with drugs — be it crack, cocaine,
prescription pills, marijuana or home brew — is that they are the root of violence inside
correctional institutions.
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
11
BY Bill Rankin, Communications Officer,
Communications and Citizen Engagement
Photos: Bill Rankin
This is just one recent success story
concerning CSC’s efforts to halt the inward
flow of drugs — a problem the Service shares
with correctional systems around the world.
Drugs have a serious negative impact on
effective corrections, often leading to violent
criminal behaviour, interfering with successful
programming and contributing to the spread
of infectious diseases. The detection of contraband, especially drugs, is a serious challenge
for security staff, in part due to the number
of persons who enter and leave an institution
on any given day. For example, a medium-size
penitentiary that houses 650 inmates records
approximately 1,900 individuals — visitors,
staff, contractors, deliveries, inmates — entering
every week. Policies, strategies and staff procedures to counter the drug trade must be clear
and coordinated if they are to be successful.
Part of the National Drug Strategy
CSC strategies include using existing
legislation in innovative ways to deal with
inmates and visitors involved in the drug trade;
carrying out thorough searches of inmates,
visitors and staff; random drug-testing of
offenders; and working with police and Crown
prosecutors to secure serious consequences
for law breakers.
Innovation Is Part of the Solution
In past years, Stony Mountain Institution
and many other penitentiaries across the
country have had a serious problem with
“throw-overs” — drug packets being tossed or
otherwise projected over walls and fences and
landing in prison yards where inmates can
scoop them up and distribute to fellow users.
“The initiative to fight this,” explains SMI
Search Coordinator Christer McLauchlan,“was
to gain the cooperation of community members who lived close to the institution. They
could act as eyes and ears for security staff and
if they saw any strangers on their property
Morphine pills confiscated during an institutional drug seizure
12
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
they could immediately call the Stony
Mountain Suspicious Perimeter Activity
Hotline and make a report.”
McLauchlan came up with the idea of
placing lettered signs on the surrounding
perimeter fence so that any person making
a report could easily pinpoint the location of
the suspicious activity for security staff, who
could be dispatched swiftly to the scene.
“We involved the community in coming
up with solutions,” says McLauchlan.“We also
removed foliage from our perimeter, added
additional camera equipment, and increased
our motor patrols. This has been very successful in pushing throw-overs out of the community
and on to the institutional reserve where they can
be more easily detected.”
Everyone’s Business
“The main point is that drug interdiction
is everyone’s business,” says SMI Security
Intelligence Officer Tim Van der Hoek.“And
everyone takes part. We are not successful
because of one department or one individual,
Able to detect substances in parts per billion, the amazing canine olfactory sense
is Mother Nature’s contribution to institutional security. A trained dog can detect
the tiniest trace of a specific chemical, sometimes from a considerable distance,
even if the scent is masked by other harsh odours. Dogs work and live with their
handlers, developing a close partnership that can become almost telepathic in
nature. The dogs’ subtlest signs speak clearly to the experienced handler. Dog
handlers and their canine counterparts, along with ion scanners, metal detectors
and even more intrusive forms of search, are a vital part of front-line security
enforcement within federal institutions.
need treatment. In fact, it can
be argued that no other single
factor has as great an effect
on criminal behaviour as substance abuse. But there’s no
sense trying to stop the drug
trade without also trying to
limit the demand for drugs,
which necessitates smuggling
in the first place. Research evidence consistently demonstrates
that substance abuse treatment
for inmates reduces drug and
alcohol demand as well as lowers criminal activity. Treatment
and intervention are essential
factors in the drug interdiction
equation, part of a balanced and
integrated approach.
we are successful because all our staff make
it a priority. Everyone is involved, from the
security intelligence officer, to the search
coordinator/dog handler, to the front-line
correctional officers, to the non-custody staff,
to the management team. And we are working
harder than ever to foster alliances with other
criminal justice agencies, including the RCMP,
Manitoba Justice, the Winnipeg Police Service
and many more.”
Getting this message out to the public is
another effective strategy. SMI and many other
institutions across the country have been very
proactive about sharing drug interdiction stories with local media.“We know for a fact that
this has had an effect on persons considering
smuggling drugs or other contraband,” says
Van der Hoek.“They are scared about what
they see on the news. Now they think twice
about making an attempt.”
Solving the Problem
from the Inside Out
Research across North America and Europe
shows that the vast majority of offenders have
alcohol and other drug-related problems that
Inmate Assessment Is Vital
At CSC intake/assessment centres, new
inmates are assessed for the purpose of drug
and alcohol treatment matching. It’s important
that offenders be assessed at the earliest stage
possible to get them on the right track. In recent
years this has become a growing challenge due
to the increasing number of inmates who are
serving sentences of three years or less. The
pressure is on to get them assessed and treated
before a significant part of their sentence has
passed. Treatment is provided through various
programs: Choices, the High Intensity
Substance Abuse Program, and the Offender
Substance Abuse Pre-Release Program.
Going from Destructive to Constructive
The CSC Methadone Maintenance Treatment
(MMT) program is one of the many successful
treatment programs designed to get inmates off
drugs. Started in 1997, MMT is widely recognized
as a very effective approach to dealing with opiate
addiction.Allan Magnin, a correctional program
officer at Saskatchewan Penitentiary who works
with inmates in MMT, says,“People who are not
involved with MMT frequently have preconceived
notions and misconceptions about methadone
use. The most common of these beliefs is that
being on methadone is a ‘free high.’ The reality is
that there is no high, but there is a reduction in
cravings and in opioid usage.And it is less costly
to provide methadone treatment than to pay for
the associated costs of institutional drug use
[including violence] or to treat those infected
with HIV and/or hepatitis.”
Brian Mitchell, a lifer at Saskatchewan
Penitentiary who began MMT one year ago,
says that he no longer craves drugs and he has
distanced himself from the violent subculture
that accompanies their use.
“I used to react quickly to frustrations and
it seemed that if I wasn’t high, I was angry….
Whenever I communicated with other inmates,
it was for the purpose of obtaining or selling
drugs in whatever way possible. I muscled and
manipulated people for drugs.
“Now I no longer communicate for the purpose of buying or selling drugs. I’m not around
violence any more. I’ve been the chairman of
the Lifer’s Group since beginning methadone.
I’ve gone from being a destructive force in the
institution to a constructive force.”
Challenging Population
Calls for Ingenuity
Given the increasingly diverse and challenging
offender population — more gang members,
higher rates of mental health problems, higher
prevalence of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, an
aging population — CSC is seeking new
ways to manage inmates that come into their
custody, inmates with complex and often
interlocking health and social problems, drug
addiction being just one of them. It takes
truly dedicated staff and a combination of
strategies involving experts in treatment,
programming, health care, law enforcement,
education and research to come up with
comprehensive solutions. 6
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
13
SAFETY AND
SECURITY
Inside CSC Institutions
Defending the
Electronic
Frontier
A thumb drive or memory key is small enough to be easily concealed
yet is capable of storing digital data in the gigabyte range.
14
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
s the offender population changes, so does technology.
The populations we manage are not standing still in
the technology race. For each advance that we make in
maintaining order, they have a vested interest in subverting.”
“A
By Bill Rankin, Communications Officer, Communications and Citizen
Engagement Sector
Photo: Bill Rankin
The speaker was Paul Urmson, Acting Deputy Commissioner,
Prairie Region, addressing participants at the annual week-long
National Security Equipment Committee meeting in Saskatoon this past
May. The audience comprised almost 70 professionals from across the
regions and their provincial counterparts, all of whom share the same
concern: safety for staff and inmates within correctional institutions.
Included in the event was a trade show where approximately
40 suppliers and manufacturers demonstrated the latest in hi-tech
gear and security technologies, most of which are highly specific to
the needs of correctional security. It was an opportunity for managers
to see what’s available in a marketplace that is expanding in leaps
and bounds.
It was also a chance for staff to don their strategic thinking caps and
brainstorm about common objectives in security operations, both for
the short term and the future. In his speech, Urmson underscored the
Correctional Service of Canada’a (CSC) commitment to public safety
and its responsibility for managing a changing offender population
both in institutions and in the community.
Keeping Ahead of the Wave
Many of the issues he highlighted — electronic threats to security, in
particular — are global in nature, challenging criminal justice organizations almost everywhere. As more and more of the world’s population
becomes dependent on computers and related storage and communication devices, opportunities increase to bend these new technologies to
illegal purposes: as a means of communication between criminals, a
tool for theft and extortion, and as a repository to hide incriminating
evidence or contraband.
Electronic devices range from mainframe computers and pocket-sized
personal data assistants (e.g., a BlackBerry) to the diskette, compact disc
and miniature electronic chip devices. Text, images, audio and other data
on these media can be quickly altered or destroyed, and many of these
devices, such as thumb drives (see photo) and key-stroke loggers, are
easily concealed.
To keep abreast, law enforcement agencies need up-to-date knowledge
and equipment to investigate this modern breed of criminals that use
established and emerging technologies to support their illicit operations.
Guardians at the Gate
Ted Reinhardt, CSC Director of Information Technology (IT)
Security, is an advisor with years of experience battling electronic
threats. Reinhardt and all Information Management Services (IMS) staff
are on the alert 24/7, protecting the Service’s networks from external
and sometimes even internal attackers. Much of their demanding work
goes on in the background, leaving CSC employees blissfully unaware of
any threats until one actually penetrates defences – a rare occurrence –
and interferes with their day-to-day work.
The Wild Frontier
External threats come mainly from the Internet, the wild frontier of
our age, where speed-of-light communications renders meaningless
both distance and geography. An attack on a network can be mounted
from Tokyo just as easily as from Toronto.
“When you connect your computer to the Internet,” Reinhardt
explains,“you can expect an attack within one minute.
“But don’t take it personally,” he adds with a wry smile.“Most of
these attacks are automated and aimed broadly, at nobody in particular.”
To put the situation in perspective: of the close to 100,000 electronic
messages that reach CSC every day through the Internet, approximately
60,000 are spam and roughly 350 contain viruses. Do the math and
you will see that over the course of a year, the numbers add up to a
forbidding amount — a constant bombardment from an enemy that
never sleeps. IT Security has been very successful in keeping the “undesirables” out, but occasionally one manages to breach the CSC firewall.
Most employees will remember the Sasser Worm two years ago, a
“denial-of-service” worm that disrupted workflow without being
capable of actually accessing the network.
First Worms, Now Fishing
Not all the attacks are simply a form of vandalism. Skilled hackers
try to penetrate networks to gather vital security data that is specific
to CSC. But they are after much more than money-related information:
intruders also want access to a computer’s resources, meaning its hard
disk space, fast processors, and Internet connections. They hijack computers and turn them into “zombies” that spew out spam promoting
everything from vitamins to Viagra or use these resources to attack
other computers on the Internet. In fact, the more computers an
intruder uses, the harder it is for law enforcement to figure out where
the attack is really coming from. If intruders can’t be found, they can’t
be stopped — or prosecuted.
Another ploy of on-line hackers is “fishing,” in which fraudulent
e-mails are sent to unsuspecting individuals. These highly sophisticated
fraud artists pose as persons of importance in positions of trust, such
as a banker, and using bogus but very authentic-looking log-in screens,
ask for personal information such as employees’ names and account
numbers so they can solve “urgent problems.”
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
15
Working Against Time
IT Security staff also spend a lot of time repairing vulnerabilities
in software programs used by CSC. When one is detected, it must be
eliminated by applying a “patch” — a corrective measure in the form of
updated software. Without the patch, the weakness could be exploited
by hackers who lie in wait for such opportunities to wreak havoc.
Once the weakness is discovered, patch notifications are sent out,
often by the manufacturer, to software users. That’s when the clock
starts ticking. The challenge for IMS staff is to test the new patch’s
effectiveness and apply it quickly to CSC’s thousands of servers, desktops and laptops (which are often on the road) before trouble starts. It’s
a race against time, with employees sometimes working flat out, day
and night, to avert the threat.
Unauthorized Software Spells Trouble
Reinhardt says that employees sometimes unknowingly disrupt
the network by trying to download unauthorized software onto their
desktops.“Let me give you an example,” he explains.“You just got a new
digital camera for Christmas. It comes with a little software program for
loading photographs onto your computer. Seems innocent, but it may
cause serious problems because it’s not compatible with our critical
service delivery infrastructure, it may interfere with large network
systems or compromise our security mechanisms. Some of these little
software programs act like miniature Web servers and, unsuspectingly,
you end up sharing not only your snaps of Santa Claus but your sensitive documents as well.”
Threat of the Week
Technology is developing at such a fast rate that devices that were
unimaginable 10 years ago are now in the hands of the average consumer. Who would have thought even five years ago that millions of
Canadians would be carrying cell-phones that are also cameras and
MP3 players all rolled into one?
“These gadgets are so easily accessible,” Reinhardt comments.
“I look at the flyers I get in the newspaper every week that advertise
these goods and I think of them as ‘threat-of-the-week’ magazines. The
emerging technology is so powerful, yet so cheap. One of our jobs in
IT Security is to ensure these devices are kept off the network and out
of our institutions.”
Technology on the Inside
Inside CSC penitentiaries, miniaturization of technology is a concern. There are cameras available on the market the size of a grown
man’s finger and radio transmitters half the size of a fingernail. They
are a challenge to detect.
Another serious problem is the encroachment of housing on
institutional perimeters. With new homes come new communications
services, including access points for cell-phones and other wireless
devices (e.g., a BlackBerry) and wireless Internet. The indiscriminate
broadcast of radio- and micro-waves often extends outside the neighbourhood, through fences and walls and into the institutions. If an
inmate manages to smuggle in a device that is capable of receiving
these broadcasts, he/she may be able to gain access to local wireless
networks, and instant communication with the outside world.
“To counter this, we do physical searches and electronic sweeps,” says
Reinhardt.“And we place a heavy reliance on staff awareness; that’s what
16
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
A cell phone can act as a powerful receiver for access to the Internet.
gives us in IT Security the biggest bang for our buck. A combination
of awareness, monitoring and implementing technical controls keeps
us on top of this problem.”
Computer Security Is Everyone’s Business
Reinhardt urges everyone to educate themselves about computer
security and heed the warnings that IMS staff post through the e-mail
system. There are a number of simple steps that everyone can take to
protect themselves and the network:
• Use strong passwords and don’t share them with other employees.
• Lock your computer when you leave your workstation, even if you’re
gone for only a minute.
• If you are a laptop user, keep your workstation “patched,” and update
your anti-virus software by either accepting updates or bringing the
laptop in regularly to be patched. And keep your laptop out of sight
and secure when not in use.
• Don’t leave print-outs on the printer where other people might
see them.
• Don’t install personal devices on your desktop, e.g. MP3 players, iPods.
• Report any suspected IT Security incidents to your manager.
By taking the time to follow these steps, employees can help ensure
the security of IT systems and make life easier for IMS staff. We all
benefit from a more secure IT network. 6
SAFETY AND
SECURITY
Inside CSC Institutions
BY Djamila Amellal, Communications Officer,
Communications and Citizen Engagement Sector
Simonne Poirier
A Thirty-Year Contribution
to Public Safety
n 1976, at age 26, Simonne Poirier joined the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) as a
secretary at the Atlantic Regional Training Centre. She had no idea that a remarkable career
was ahead of her. Today, the newly retired warden of Dorchester Penitentiary takes us on her
extraordinary journey and recounts her contribution to public safety.
I
“I loved my career at CSC,” says Ms. Poirier.
“During 30 years of service, I never felt bored or
wanted to go elsewhere. I followed my passion for
correctional services, which led me to Dorchester
Penitentiary, where I worked for 14 months.” Her
colleagues in the Atlantic Region agree in saying
that Ms. Poirier has more than one ace up her
sleeve, including courage, determination and perseverance.“Simonne had the potential to succeed,”
explains Marena McLaughlin, former Deputy
Commissioner of the Atlantic Region.“She had the
support of her colleagues and accomplished the
rest with her open-mindedness and perseverance.”
Support Goes a Long Way
In the 1980s, employees in the field of corrections were being encouraged to return to school.
Eugène Niles, former warden of Dorchester
Penitentiary, noted Ms. Poirier’s interest and abilities and encouraged her to continue studying to
learn more about corrections.“My boss encouraged me to move ahead,” says Ms. Poirier.“This
confidence he had in me spurred me to apply, and
I was accepted. I returned to school and earned a
baccalaureate in business management.” According
to Ms. Poirier, the support she found in her managers and colleagues was crucial.After completing
her studies, she resumed working at CSC and
made valuable contributions to human resources,
official languages and many other fields at
Regional Headquarters.
From Administration to Operations
Rémi Gobeil, then-Deputy Commissioner of
Atlantic Region, did not fail to notice Ms. Poirier’s
growing passion for correctional services and
asked her whether she wanted to join Operations.
She accepted the challenge. Still today she recalls
the Range Nine at Springhill Institution in Nova
Scotia, as well as her mentoring work with women
offenders:“I really enjoyed my work with the
women at Springhill Institution. It was quite an
experience.” In 1998, she succeeded in a competition and was appointed deputy warden (and later
warden) of a maximum-security facility in
Renous, New Brunswick: Atlantic Institution.
A Strong Management
Team Essential for Success
When asked what she feels she has contributed
to the safety of staff, offenders and the public,
Ms. Poirier answers with conviction:“The best
way to contribute to safety is to ensure that the
management team is strong and that everyone
works together to achieve the same objective.
Consultation with the unions is very important
too. Respect for others — whether it is members of staff or offenders — is obligatory. For
this reason, we put in place many initiatives
to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being.”
Visibility Is at the Heart
of Dynamic Security
According to Ms. Poirier, ongoing consultation
with members of her team, at regional and
national headquarters, and with community members is important. She also sees visibility in the
workplace as essential.“As an institutional warden,
I felt I must be seen by all staff and offenders. It
is important to walk the corridors, enter units, talk
to inmates and staff, and maintain contact with
the security intelligence staff. Any information
we receive must always be taken seriously and
checked out, and we must then act on it.When you
have a presence, you have a better understanding
of the reality so you can make good decisions. I
remember the disturbance in January 2000 at the
Atlantic Institution.We had to shut down the entire
institution after I consulted with the management
committee, the inmate committee and the emergency response team as well as many other key
persons to avoid any loss of life and re-establish
security in the institution.”
Invaluable Partnerships
Ms. Poirier feels that establishing partnerships
with various organizations and the community is
vital to overcoming difficulties.“Our partnerships
with the police, RCMP and community members
are crucial,” she says.“It is important to consult
each other, listen to people and coordinate our
efforts. The community is a major partner in
our success and its members must be informed
before offenders are released so that the latter
can succeed.”
Making a Difference in
Offenders’ Lives
“Being able to listen to offenders,” adds
Ms. Poirier,“understand what they are going
through and work with them to get them back on
the right track, it makes a difference in their lives.
It takes a lot of courage, tenacity and perseverance
because there is so much negativity, and results
are not immediately obvious.And, if at the end of
the day, we can turn them into good, law-abiding
citizens, then we have really made a difference
and contributed to everyone’s safety.”
Retirement Looks Exciting
With the satisfied feeling of a job well done,
Simonne Poirier is adjusting to retirement and
already has clear plans. The mother of three children, and grandmother of three, Ms. Poirier is
getting set to travel with her husband and spend
more time with her family. She also wants to earn
a motorcycle licence, and spend time fishing, hunting and camping.“I am leaving, but I will always
be there, if need be. I am proud of our correctional
system. It has a lot of tools to offer those who want
to make a difference in offenders’ lives and, at the
same time, contribute to public safety.” 6
DECEMBER 2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2 — Let’s
Talk
17
Environmental Safety
The Need to Establish a Vast
Protection Perimeter
BY By Paul Provost, M.Sc., National Coordinator,
Environmental Protection Programs
hether we talk about protecting the environment, conserving
natural resources, preserving environmental quality, or managing sustainable development, the common denominator
remains the same: we must ensure environmental safety for current
and future generations. With the recent explosion of environmental
phenomena such as climate change, natural disasters, smog and
waterway pollution, people are becoming acutely aware of the fact
that we are highly dependent on the natural environment. Building
on this realization, the time has come to strengthen our delicate, but
neglected — even abandoned — relationship with nature. Over time,
environmental safety will become more rooted in many public and
private organizations in Canada and abroad. Through a growing
dedication to this issue, staff at the Correctional Service of Canada
(CSC) are already making a contribution to environmental safety.
W
Pillars of Action
Most people associate penal institutions with images of fences, high
walls, bars, and heightened security and supervision. Others associate
them with rehabilitation, personal learning and professional development
programs, based on the expectation that human beings will change for
the better. For environmentalists, a penitentiary is a microcosm of an
urban centre, which inevitably consumes natural resources (energy, water
and material) and generates refuse in the forms of gaseous, liquid and
solid waste. Aware of this ecological reality, their main concern focuses
on minimizing environmental repercussions. Whether they are regional
environmental coordinators, health/safety/environmental officers,
plant maintenance chiefs, technical supervisors or managers/directors
at various levels, the work of CSC’s environmental professionals interfaces with many disciplines and functions, and includes an array of
responsibilities, such as the following:
• tracking environmental compliance (legislation, regulations,
directives);
• implementing the Sustainable Development Strategy
(SDS 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006);
18
Let’s Talk —DECEMBER
2006 VOLUME 31, NO. 2
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
maintaining the Environmental Management System (EMS);
measuring and conserving energy and water;
responding to environmental emergencies;
managing halocarbons (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs);
controlling hazardous materials and managing hazardous waste;
managing wastewater treatment systems operated by CSC;
measuring and managing solid waste (recycling and
composting programs);
• monitoring petroleum storage tanks; and
• managing drinking water quality.
Commitment — A Measure of Success?
Since the 1990s, CSC has generated consistent achievements on this
front, culminating in the emergence of a corporate culture focused on
environmental safety in the above-mentioned areas. However, as with
other CSC functions, we do not have unlimited resources, and this
reminds us that, in spite of goodwill and commitment, the pace of
progress often seems to be insufficient. We are confident that the recent
implementation of environmental accountability structures at all levels
of CSC will produce more tangible results. In fact, with the publication of
the next SDS (December 2006), the accomplishment of environmental
targets will, more than ever, be dependent on greater participation by
staff at all levels of the organization.
Everyone should be concerned about environmental safety, both
at work and at home. With a wide range of signs indicating that natural
mechanisms to reduce ecosystem pollution are being depleted, let us
ask ourselves seriously: How much longer can we allow ourselves to
fall behind? If we truly believe in the ability of human beings to change
for the better, the ultimate proof in the eyes of environmentalists
is the solid establishment and maintenance of an environmental
protection perimeter. It is no longer time for debate, but rather for
action — actions that are incorporated into the way we live, so that
our behaviours are always marked by respect for our environment and
its safety.
For more information on CSC’s environmental policies, visit the
following Web site: http://infonet/tsb/env_policy_e.shtml. 6
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement