The Honourable William Sterling Blair, P.C., C.O.M., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Table of Contents
Correctional Investigator's message
The mandate of the Office of the Correctional Investigator reflects fundamental elements of Canadian democratic values and traditions in our criminal justice system. My Office is one of many oversight agencies that exist to provide independent assurance to Canadians and parliamentarians that the delivery of federal services and programs is done in an open, transparent and accountable manner.
The notion of righting a wrong is central to the Ombudsman role. An Ombudsman exists to provide independent, objective perspective on the fairness of government services – to counterbalance the relative strength of public institutions against the individual. A successful ombudsman is one who increases public confidence in public administration.
To that end, the Office of the Correctional Investigator provides access to every federal offender to our Ombudsman services via the investigation of individual complaints and systemic concerns. Our recommendations to the Correctional Service of Canada are non-binding. On this point, it is imperative that the organization not become just another management component of the body it is mandated by law to oversee. If we are to remain effective, the public and government must see our role as independent and impartial.
Independence, impartiality and respect for human rights are the foundations of my Office’s core responsibility – Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections. While established in 1973, the Office achieved legislative authority in 1992 with the proclamation of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA). With this legislation, Parliament expressly acknowledged the retained rights of federally sentenced offenders. Ever since, the Office has maintained a tradition of excellence in achieving this mandate by delivering accessible ombudsman services to the federal offender population, through receiving and resolving individual complaints, conducting systemic investigations into broader issues, reviewing use of force incidents and, pursuant to the CCRA, reviewing cases involving serious bodily injury or deaths in custody. The work performed by investigative staff and their ongoing dedication to ensure legal and policy compliance and fair decision-making, is rooted in the principle that offenders be treated fairly and in accordance with the rule of law, as are all other Canadians.
Our corporate priorities for the reporting period remain the same:
- Health care in Federal Corrections;
- Prevention of Deaths in Custody;
- Conditions of confinement;
- Indigenous Corrections;
- Safe and Timely Reintegration; and
- Federally Sentenced Women.
In 2020-21, my Office intends to conduct a series of thematic reviews of priority issues and we will consolidate our capacity to complete systemic investigations. This includes completing reports on the first-ever examination of sexual violence in federal prisons, along with comprehensive reviews of learning behind bars, access to mental health and progress in Indigenous corrections.
Finally, my organization’s ongoing efforts and commitment to monitoring corporate priorities and resolving offender complaints in a timely and responsive manner will continue to contribute to the delivery of our important mandate throughout the reporting period.
These are my ongoing commitments to Canadians and parliamentarians.
Ivan Zinger J.D., Ph.D.
Correctional Investigator of Canada
Plans at a glance and operating context
The Office of the Correctional Investigator is a micro agency with one program and its resources are dedicated to meeting its operational/legislative requirements. The organization’s salary budget of $3.8M is non-discretionary. The operating and maintenance budget reflected in the 2019-20 Main Estimates is $898K. Of that amount, $575K or 64% is earmarked annually for the following non-discretionary operational obligations: ATIP consultant, memoranda of understanding with Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for the delivery of internal services; and, investigative mandated travel. Once these fixed costs are accounted for, the organization is practically left with an operating and maintenance budget of $323K. This “discretionary” amount is required to, amongst other things: support the Office with equipment, contracting, training, supplies, printing and translation services.
The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s involvement in a number of criminal justice priorities identified and advanced by the government include commitments to address the over- representation of Indigenous people in corrections, and reform administrative segregation (solitary confinement). Priorities in the reporting period are:
Investigate and resolve individual offender complaints
Section 167 of the organization's enabling legislation, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act states that: “It is the function of the Correctional Investigator to conduct investigations into the problems of offenders related to decisions, recommendations, acts or omissions of the Commissioner or any person under the control and management of, or performing services for or on behalf of, the Commissioner that affect offenders either individually or as a group.” The Office of the Correctional Investigator will dedicate current resources to fulfill its legal mandate. It will oversee, lead and conduct investigations as required; individual complaints will continue to be prioritized and responded to; and, information as well as outcomes will be documented in the Office's case management tool.
Resolve systemic issues stemming from the corporate priorities
The completion of national systemic investigations related to the corporate priorities should result in a reduction in the number of individual offender complaints that the Office of the Correctional Investigator receives. More importantly, it should help address long-standing concerns of offenders in relation to their incarceration and safe reintegration in the community as law abiding citizens. The Office of the Correctional Investigator will conduct systemic investigations related to its corporate priorities and increase its focus on vulnerable groups, including Indigenous offenders and those suffering from mental health issues. In 2020-21, the Office of the Correctional Investigator will finalize and report on two systemic investigations: one national systemic investigation on Indigenous offenders as well as a second systemic investigation on therapeutic ranges within at maximum-security institutions.
Investigate and resolve individual offender complaints
Section 167 of the organization’s enabling legislation, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act states that: “It is the function of the Correctional Investigator to conduct investigations into the problems of offenders related to decisions, recommendations, acts or omissions of the Commissioner or any person under the control and management of, or performing services for or on behalf of, the Commissioner that affect offenders either individually or as a group.” The Office of the Correctional Investigator will dedicate current resources to fulfill its legal mandate. It will oversee, lead and conduct investigations as required; individual complaints will continue to be prioritized and responded to; and, information as well as outcomes will be documented in the Office’s case management tool.
Resolve systemic issues stemming from the corporate priorities
The completion of national systemic investigations related to the corporate priorities should result in a reduction in the number of individual offender complaints that the Office of the Correctional Investigator receives. More importantly, it should help address long-standing concerns of offenders in relation to their incarceration and safe reintegration in the community as law abiding citizens. The Office of the Correctional Investigator will conduct systemic investigations related to its corporate priorities and increase its focus on vulnerable groups, including Indigenous offenders and those suffering from mental health issues.
Review the Correctional Service of Canada’s management of mandated issues
The organization’s involvement in Section 19 reviews is mandated in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s enabling legislation requires that it review the Correctional Service of Canada’s assessment of cases where an inmate dies or suffers serious bodily injury. Moreover, the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s review and assessment of use of force incidents is in keeping with the recommendations of the Arbour Commission of Inquiry (1996) improvements of use of force policy and practice. The Office of the Correctional Investigator will dedicate indeterminate full-time equivalents (FTEs) who will ensure the timely review of cases, reporting and appropriate interactions with the Correctional Service of Canada. Results for Canadians will be achieved through positive outcomes for offenders as it relates to these reviews and analysis on an ongoing basis.
United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan of action for people, the planet and for prosperity. It seeks to strengthen peace in a larger freedom. Poverty in all its forms and dimensions is a challenge across this and other countries. If the clients served by the Office of the Correctional Investigator do not have a successful re-integration back into their communities, their rates of recidivism increase and the chances that they fall into poverty increase as well. The Office is working to monitor trends and will bring forward recommendations to the Correctional Services Canada that would mitigate these issues as reducing poverty is a requirement for sustainable development.
Gender-Based Analysis (Plus)
The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s focus for the 2020-21 fiscal year for GBA+ is on three specific groups: federal offenders who are Indigenous, federal offenders who are women, and federal offenders who have mental health issues. Staff continue to receive training and participate in workshops to learn about recognizing issues specific to these groups of offenders.
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
This is the first year that the Office of the Correctional Investigator will embark on developing and reporting on a sustainable development strategy. Of the 13 goals identified as part of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, the Office will be putting in place measures to improve the carbon footprint with respect to greening government and clean energy. All of the investigators travel to federal institutions in order to review and report on complaints. The Office is putting in place measures that are more in line with clean energy and adapting practices that reduce our impact on the environment.
There are two ongoing operational risks. First, the Office’s mandate is national in scope and the sheer number and complexity of issues require flexibility and constant re-evaluation of priorities. The client base and network of stakeholders are dispersed in a large number of often geographically remote locations throughout Canada. Secondly, the resolution of complaints in an environment traditionally closed to public scrutiny requires that the Office not only be, but be seen to be independent of the Correctional Service of Canada, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister.
Ongoing issues with Phoenix have necessitated a more active stance and work is continuing to ensure employees are paid properly and on time. Increasing the capacity in the Corporate Services Directorate will enable us to better equip, support and respond to employee compensation issues. For more information on the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.
Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections
The Office of the Correctional Investigator conducts investigations of complaints directed to the Correctional Service of Canada by federally incarcerated individuals or supervised offenders in the community, and carries out systemic investigations of issues that affect large numbers of federal offenders. The Office of the Correctional Investigator reviews all Correctional Services of Canada investigations of deaths in custody and serious bodily injury cases to ensure Correctional Service of Canada compliance with law and policy. The Office also conducts reviews of all use of force incidents. The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s investigative activities support a safe, lawful and humane federal correctional practice to ensure that federal correctional decisions and practices are in compliance with human rights, law, policy, and are fair.
In 2020-21, as is the case every year, the investigative complement will be at the forefront of responding to issues and concerns that affect offenders and require resolution. Our expectation is that this involvement will result in positive outcomes for individual offenders as well as the correctional system writ large through the completion of systemic reviews and investigations. The organization is committed to completing investigations on sexual violence in prison, learning behind bars and access to mental health services in male maximum security settings. The Office will also be launching a comprehensive series of reviews examining Indigenous corrections.
Indigenous people continue to be overrepresented in federal corrections (surpassing 30% of the total inmate population while comprising less than 5% of the Canadian general population). More recently, custody rates for Indigenous people have accelerated, despite an overall decline in the inmate population. In fact, the Indigenous inmate population has increased by 43.4% (or 1,265) since 2010, whereas the non-Indigenous incarcerated population has declined over the same period by 13.7% (or 1,549). Their levels of need and risk are higher than the general offender population. Indigenous offenders continue to be disproportionately represented in maximum-security institutions and over-involved in self-injurious incidents and use of force interventions. They have typically poorer correctional outcomes on release (higher readmission and reoffending rates) and typically serve proportionately more of their sentence behind bars before release.
The Office’s total authorities for the reporting period reflect a net increase of $0.7 million; this will support and enhance capacity to undertake more in-depth analysis of cases and issues involving Indigenous offenders, including Aboriginal women.
Departmental Result Indicators
Date to achieve target
A safe, lawful and humane federal correctional practice
Percentage of recommendations made in relation to individual offender complaints that were addressed by the CSC
March 31, 2021
Percentage of recommendations made in relation to the OCI's corporate priorities that were addressed by the CSC
March 31, 2021
Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:
- Management and Oversight Services
- Communications Services
- Legal Services
- Human Resources Management Services
- Financial Management Services
- Information Management Services
- Information Technology Services
- Real Property Management Services
- Materiel Management Services
- Acquisition Management Services
The organization has several memoranda of understanding (MOUs) in place with service providers for basic internal services such as financial administration services; pay and compensation; contracting; staffing; and other human resources services. These MOUs include quality control, oversight, monitoring, and performance indicators. Over 50% of the planned spending amount identified as Internal Services expenditures will be dedicated to goods and services to support the Core Responsibility: Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections and/or the organization as a whole, for example, consultant contracts and the MOUs.
Spending and human resources
Departmental spending trend graph
In the first two fiscal years of the graph, the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s actual spending averages $4.8 million of voted appropriations per fiscal year. This is consistent with historical spending patterns. However, beginning in 2018-19, spending increases as per new incremental program integrity funding secured in Budget 2018. This funding will support and enhance capacity to undertake investigations in federal correctional facilities, including more in- depth analysis of cases involving Indigenous peoples.
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections
As demonstrated in the table above, the organization’s expenditure pattern has been consistent for its core responsibility and internal services, fluctuating only slightly from year to year, and to continue this trend until 2021-22. The increase in the 2018-19 Main Estimates is attributable to program integrity funding secured in Budget 2018 which supports and enhances capacity to undertake investigations in federal correctional facilities, including more in-depth analysis of cases involving Indigenous peoples.
Planned human resources
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections
As demonstrated in the table above, the organization’s FTE count has remained stable. The increase in the number of FTEs starting in 2018-19 is attributable to program integrity funding secured in Budget 2018 from which five additional employees were hired bringing the total complement to 41 FTEs.
Estimates by vote
Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations
The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management. The forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, amounts may differ.
A more detailed Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s website.
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers
Appropriate minister[s]: The Honourable William Sterling Blair, P.C., M.P.
Institutional head: Ivan Zinger, J.D., Ph.D.
Ministerial portfolio: Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Year of incorporation / commencement: 1992
Raison d'être, mandate and role
“Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on the Office of the Correctional Investigator's website.
The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019-20 is shown below.
The Office of the Correctional Investigator's Departmental Results Framework has not changed since its introduction in 2018-19.
Supporting information on the Program Inventory
Supplementary information tables
The Office of the Correctional Investigator's 2020-21 Departmental Plan does not contain any supplementary information tables.
Federal tax expenditures
The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures v. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.
Organizational contact information
Office of the Correctional Investigator Canada
PO Box 3421, Station D
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6L4
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments' immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
The department's Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government's agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiatives (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, Program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
Performance Information Profile (profil de l'information sur le rendement)
The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
Program Inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department's programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department's Core Responsibilities and Results.
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, Program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, Program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization's influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
ii 2018–19 Main Estimates, https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/planned-government-spending/government-expenditure-plan-main-estimates.html
iii Corrections and Conditional Release Act, http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-44.6/index.html