Legislation introduced to strengthen federal corrections and keep communities safe
OTTAWA, Oct. 16, 2018
OTTAWA, Oct. 16, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada's number one priority is the safety of Canadians and our communities. It is important to ensure that federal correctional institutions provide a safe and secure environment for staff and inmates, which assists with the rehabilitation of offenders, reducing the risk of re-offending and keeping our communities safe.
Today, the Government of Canada introduced legislation which proposes to strengthen the federal correctional system, aligning it with the latest evidence and best practices, by implementing a new correctional interventions model; strengthening health care governance; better supporting victims; and addressing the specific situation of Indigenous offenders.
Following recent court decisions on administrative segregation, the bill proposes to eliminate segregation and establish Structured Intervention Units (SIUs) which would allow offenders to be separated from the mainstream inmate population as required while maintaining their access to rehabilitative programming, interventions and mental healthcare.
These proposed reforms support the Government's commitment to implement recommendations from the Coroner's Inquest Touching the Death of Ashley Smith regarding the use of segregation and the treatment of offenders with mental illness. It also builds on past efforts to address gaps in services to Indigenous People throughout the criminal justice system.
"We are committed to a correctional system that keeps Canadians safe and holds guilty parties accountable for breaking the law, while fostering practical rehabilitation so we can have fewer repeat offenders, fewer victims, and ultimately safer communities. This approach to federal corrections will protect the safety of our staff and those in their custody by separating offenders when required, and ensuring they get more effective interventions, rehabilitative programming and serious attention to mental issues."
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
These proposed reforms would:
- Ensure that systemic and background factors unique to Indigenous offenders are considered in all correctional decision-making.
- Authorize the use of body scan imaging technology that would help prevent contraband from entering correctional institutions.
- Better support victims by increasing their access to audio recordings of Parole Board of Canada hearings.
- Provide greater autonomy and clinical independence to health care professionals within correctional facilities, and allow for patient advocates as recommended by the Coroner's Inquest Touching the Death of Ashley Smith.
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada