Parole Officers Underscore the Value of the Community Corrections Liaison Officer (CCLOs) Positions in the Face of Cuts

December 17, 2014

CCLOs were part of an innovative Integrated Police and Parole Initiative across the country. These CCLO positions were filled with reputable police officers from the RCMP and other local policing agencies across the country. Correctional Services Canada has announced that the CCLO positions will be terminated nationally within the next few months due to budgetary constraints.

‎The Community Correctional Liaison Officer positions were created to enhance the working relationships between CSC and police forces across Canada. They have worked alongside Parole Officers since 2006-2007 throughout the country.

Over the life of this program, CCLOs have been highly involved in the supervision, monitoring and apprehension of offenders who are being monitored in the community or at Community Correctional Centres (CCCs). CCLOs have done this through their ability to work in collaboration with ‎Parole Services and specialized units within the Police Services in 17 locations across Canada.

CCLOs are not represented by USGE and reinstating this program would mean absolutely no job gains for USGE members. It would, however, enable the strong relationships that have been developed between police forces and community parole officers to continue – for the benefit of all Canadians.

Those representing USGE members have signalled their deep concern in several regions of Canada including Halifax, Winnipeg and Regina.

What did the program cost?

In 2007-2008, the total annual allocation per year was just under 2.5 million dollars per year for the entire program.

This represents approximately 2.27% of CSC's planned spending on correctional services re-integration services for 2014-2015 (total = $110 million). $110 million is just 4.7% of CSC's total planned spending of $2.334 Billion in 2014-201

In the 2008 Correctional Services Canada Evaluation Report of the Integrated Police and Parole Initiative, CCLOs were assessed on the basis of their frequency of contact with offenders.

Potential Impact on Parole Officers

The loss of the CCLO positions ‎means the likely dismantlement of an enhanced sharing of intelligence/information network between the CSC and local police forces.

Parole Officers are deeply concerned with these losses and how they could impact staff and public safety. Over the past few weeks, parole officers have participated in several Info Pickets throughout the country to express their concerns.

Halifax

In Halifax, where three CCLO positions will be cut, Carole Jennings, Regional Vice President (Atlantic) for USGE was interviewed by CBC radio (Halifax) on November 24th.

Regina

In Regina, parole officers came together at an Info Picket on December 3rd to express their concerns. Alan Beasley, a parole officer and president of the local Union of Solicitor General Employees, commented during the Info Picket that:

“the work that we do as parole officers and police, working hand-in-hand in the community, is the front-line of community corrections. We are working together to keep the public safe…. We have a vast amount of information but so do the police. Unless there's a conduit, unless there's someone to actually share that information back and forth between the two bureaucracies, it becomes very clumsy and you can appreciate mistakes happen in situations like that."

Read more here:


Calgary

On December 16th, where one CCLO position will be eliminated several parole officers gathered in front of the Harry Hayes Building, several parole officers participated in an Info Picket.

What Next?

USGE is keen to see a reinstatement of this program by Correctional Services Canada in the upcoming fiscal year so that CCLOs continue to strengthen and enhance the work undertaken by parole officers.

The chart below which was published in the Correctional Services Canada Evaluation Report of the Integrated Police and Parole Initiative demonstrates how often CCLOs were in contact with a range of individuals:

Offender Subgroup

Stakeholder Reports of Frequency of CCLO Contact
(% Often) a

Groups that Should be Prioritized for Inclusion
(% Agree)

CCLO

CSC IPPI management

CSC General CSC staff

Unlawfully at Large (UAL) offenders

83%

79%

92%

Offenders affiliated with gangs or organized crime

75%

82%

94%

Offenders with histories of violence / violent crime

75%

81%

89%

Community Correctional Centre (CCC) populations

50%

88%

55%

Offenders under Long Term Supervision Orders (LTSO)

42%

74%

88%

Offenders released on statutory release with a residency condition

46%

73%

75%

Sex offenders

67%

52%

83%

Offenders with low reintegration potential

58%

49%

63%

Offenders who are rated as high risk prior to release based on CSC standardized tools

42%

57%

77%

Offenders with mental health diagnoses

50%

38%

45%

Offenders with serious substance abuse histories

50%

28%

43%

Younger offenders (i.e., under 30 years)

46%

28%

33%

Offenders with previous youth and/or adult convictions

42%

25%

34%

Offenders released on statutory release without a residency condition

36%

19%

44%