OTTAWA, October 30, 2018 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement in response of the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s (OCI) 2017-18 Annual Report.
“The Correctional Investigator contributes to public safety by identifying issues of concern within the federal correctional system. To enhance that important work, we increased his budget by $3.4 million over five years. Together with our stakeholders and partners, we work towards the same objective: ensuring that Canada’s federal correctional system is safe, humane and effective—so that it helps keep our communities safe.
Addressing the challenges facing the federal correctional system remains a priority for the Government of Canada.
For two years in a row, our Government increased funding for the mental health needs of federal inmates.
We remain committed to addressing the over-representation of Indigenous People in the criminal justice system, and are funding new projects to support healing, rehabilitation and safe reintegration of Indigenous offenders.
For the first time, the CSC Commissioner was given a public mandate letter, laying out our priorities.
We are re-opening penitentiary farms at Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions in Kingston, Ontario.
Two weeks ago, I introduced Bill C-83 to strengthen the federal correctional system, aligning it with the latest evidence and best practices. The bill would eliminate segregation, replacing it with a new correctional interventions model that 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 issues raised by the Correctional Investigator are important and my response to the recommendations directed to me and to Public Safety Canada can be found as an Annex to the Annual Report. I also support the Commissioner of CSC in her duty to address the OCI’s recommendations.”