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 COVID-19 crisis continues to pose an unprecedented challenge for federal corrections. In the middle of a global pandemic, it is difficult to say with any certainty what lies ahead for 2021-22. The business of independent prison oversight is challenging at the best of times, but this pandemic has forced my Office to manoeuvre and adapt in unprecedented ways. Even as we expect to carry out our mandate remotely, the Office of the Correctional Investigator will ensure an essential level of services and operations.
Due to the ongoing travel restrictions in effect across Canada, my Office has begun to pivot to a virtual visit model. The manner in which we are proceeding is similar to our regular way of doing scheduled on-site visits. We will ensure secure and confidential access to inmates through visual electronic platforms that comply with our legislative mandate.
Through the pandemic, investigators continue to be in regular contact and communication with CSC staff at their assigned institutions. This includes regular calls and contacts with Inmate Welfare Committees and institutional Health Services. Designated staff have been specifically asked to identify and document COVID-19 measures that may impact on the life, liberty and health interests of the inmate population. These include:
- Overall conditions of confinement, including time outside cells.
- Access to rehabilitative programs, work and services.
- Incidence of lockdowns or any period of isolation for health purposes, including reason(s), duration and measures to resolve the underlying situation.
- Modifications/disruptions to regular institutional routines and their nature.
- Incidents involving work stoppages, disruptions or refusals to work under the Canada Labor Code.
- Assessment of workforce capacity and operational readiness to ensure safe and humane care and custody.
The Office will continue to provide regular public updates on the impacts of COVID-19 on federal corrections. In 2021-22, we intend to monitor the sequencing of vaccination roll out in correctional facilities and we will report out on the impact of COVID-19 measures on access to correctional interventions and safe and timely reintegration. Through challenging and changing circumstances, we will continue work collaboratively with CSC to identify and address inmate health and safety issues in a timely and effective manner.
These are my ongoing commitments to Canadians and parliamentarians.
Ivan Zinger J.D., Ph.D.
Correctional Investigator of Canada
Plans at a glance
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 $3.9M is non-discretionary. The operating and maintenance budget reflected in the 2021-22 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 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 the implementation of Structured Intervention Units (SIUs).
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.
Review the Correctional Service of Canada’s management of mandated issues
Section 19 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act mandates the Office of the Correctional Investigator to 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) , outlining improvements to use of force policy and practice. The Office of the Correctional Investigator will continue dedicating indeterminate full-time equivalents (FTEs) who will ensure the timely review of cases and reporting and will make recommendations to the Correctional Service of Canada. Results for Canadians will be achieved through positive outcomes for offenders as it relates to these reviews and analyses on an ongoing basis.
Human rights obligations
Section 4 (d) of the enabling legislation, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act provides a guiding principle which states that “…offenders retain the rights of all members of society except those that are, as a consequence of the sentence, lawfully and necessarily removed or restricted;” As stated by the United Nations, a sentence of imprisonment constitutes only a deprivation of the basic right to liberty. It does not entail the restriction of other human rights, with the exception of those which are naturally restricted by the very fact of being in prison.
The Office of the Correctional Investigator ensures that this principle is respected, the human rights of prisoners are protected, and their prospects for social integration are increased, in compliance with relevant international standards and norms.
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan of action for people, the planet and for prosperity. Some of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reinforce the importance of the mandate of the Office of the Correctional Investigator, in particular, the goals of No poverty and of Reducing Inequality.
Poverty in all its forms and dimensions is a challenge across this and other countries. Imprisonment disproportionately affects individuals and families living in poverty. 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. Programming and training for federal inmates must be delivered in an efficient, effective and timely manner to provide better outcomes in this regard.
Reducing Inequality for the most vulnerable populations in Canada that have suffered under historic systemic discriminatory programs and policies, such as Indigenous populations in Canada is key to reducing the disproportionate levels of incarceration for Indigenous men and women in our federal institutions. The Office is working to ensure that the inequality and racism experienced by vulnerable populations is not perpetuated in the correctional setting.
The Office is working to monitor trends and will bring forward recommendations to the Correctional Services Canada that would mitigate these issues.
Gender-Based Analysis (Plus)
Among the priorities of the Office of the Correctional Investigator are the needs of unique populations whose vulnerabilities exist at the intersection of their incarcerated status and their gender (e.g., women), race/ethnicity (e.g., Indigenous individuals), age (e.g., aging/elderly), mental and physical health status (e.g., individuals with mental or physical health issues), among other characteristics. Last year, the Office issued a news release marking the historically high proportion of Indigenous peoples in federal custody (i.e., 30% of the federally incarcerated population). Given this over-representation, coupled with the high rates of recidivism among Indigenous people released from federal corrections, the OCI will be launching a series of investigations and thematic reviews examining issues and a selection of initiatives in CSC’s Indigenous Continuum of Care. For example, the Office will be conducting a review of use of force incidents involving incarcerated Black, Indigenous and Peoples of Colour.
One of the key findings of the national investigation into sexual coercion and violence in the last Annual Report was that incarcerated individuals, who identify with the 2SLGBTQ+ community, as well as women, and those with mental health concerns and a history of trauma, are among the most vulnerable to sexual violence in prison. OCI made recommendations to the CSC and Minister of Public Safety further to our findings and will continue to monitor progress on these recommendations and circumstances that put these individuals at risk of harm.
Furthermore, given the 30-year anniversary of Creating Choices, the OCI will be examining issues specific to women’s corrections, such as the operation of women’s minimum security units. The Office will continue to monitor progress on corrections-related issues that have an impact on vulnerable groups, such as the recommendations made in the final report of the National Inquiry in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as well as that of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As the OCI continues to investigate and respond to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic for all federally incarcerated individuals, the office is monitoring the impacts of the pandemic and the associated restrictions on incarcerated vulnerable groups.
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
This is the second year that the Office of the Correctional Investigator has embarked 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. The Office is going from a mainly paper-based system to one which is digital. As noted below, this year’s efforts will focus on implementing e-signatures to minimize printing and paper files.
There are three 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. This has been exacerbated this year in light of the pandemic. This risk is mitigated by conducting additional meetings amongst all OCI staff, as well as engaging stakeholders.
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. The Office is reviewing the corporate ties it has with some of these organizations with a view of strengthening its processes to support its independence.
Thirdly, there is a risk that that, as a small agency, the Office will not be able to meet all of its reporting obligations. This risk is mitigated by the Office’s participation in the Heads of Federal Agencies Steering Committee which aims to identify meaningful reductions in overall reporting obligations.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this year continues to bring challenges related to the on-site visits of federal penitentiaries. There is a risk that the Office will not be able to review conditions of confinement and conduct in-depth investigations in light of COVID-19 restrictions. This risk has been and will continue to be mitigated by conducting virtual visits in penitentiaries across the country until such a time as public health authorities re-authorize travel.
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 2021-22, 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 Office will also be launching a 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.
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, 2022
Percentage of recommendations made in relation to the OCI's corporate priorities that were addressed by the CSC
March 31, 2022
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
- Material 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.
The organization will continue to implement the five-year IM/IT plan that takes the organization from one that is mostly a paper-based system to one with a full digital office. Specifically, in the upcoming year, the organization will focus on integrating GC Docs and finalizing the digital office project in support of the digital signature. In addition, OCI will also explore options for a streamlined Internet website to improve information accessibility.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Spending and human resources
Departmental spending trend graph
The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s actual spending has incrementally increased over the past four years, averaging $5.0 million of voted appropriations. Because of incremental program integrity funding secured in Budget 2018, spending in 2019-20 increased to $5.4 million. This level of expenditures should be maintained in future fiscal years as well.
Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections
As demonstrated in the table above, the organization’s expenditure pattern related to its core responsibility and internal services has increased incrementally year to year. We expect this trend to continue until 2023-24. The increases are due to incremental 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 people and other vulnerable populations.
Planned human resources
Human resources planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services
Independent Oversight of Federal Corrections
The increase in the number of FTEs starting in 2019-20 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 iii
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
The Office of the Correctional Investigator’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2021-22 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 viii . 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
appropriation ( crédit )
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.
evaluation ( évaluation )
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.
experimentation ( expérimentation )
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.
performance ( rendement )
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.
priority ( priorité )
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.
Program ( programme )
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.
results ( résultat )
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.
target ( cible )
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 2021-22 Main Estimates, https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/planned-government-spending/government-expenditure-plan-main-estimates.html
iv Corrections and Conditional Release Act , http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-44.6/index.html