Update on Correctional Service of Canada Response to Joint BOI Report Findings
Since the release earlier this January of the findings from the joint Board of Investigation report into the tragic death of M. Levesque, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has moved quickly to implement the key recommendations through newly issued CSC memos.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that these new protocols disproportionately affect USJE's members, USJE was neither consulted or given advance notice of these new directions. On January 28th, National President Stan Stapleton and Vice President David Neufeld requested and held an important 50-minute dialogue with CSC Commissioner Anne Kelly.
During this dialogue, USJE was clear that as a primary labour partner which represents Parole Officers, Parole Officer Supervisors and many other employees that comprise case management teams in Institutions, as well as the Community, it is imperative that USJE be consulted from this point forward.
USJE recognizes that the new directions being given only adds to already high workloads of either preparing for, or supervising offenders, on release, many of whom have complex needs and issues.
Given the obvious reality that these additional imperatives will compound existing efforts, USJE is adamant that:
- overtime pay should be provided in order to complete this work,
- information gathering teams need to be established (given the hundreds of pages of document that will require additional time to both obtain and review), and
- there should be both national and regional consultations with USJE's regional senior leaders (Regional Vice Presidents and local Presidents) and USJE’s National leadership team in regards to the implementation of these protocols. There needs to be consistency across the country.
Further, on Monday February 1st, National President Stan Stapleton and National Vice President, David Neufeld presented to the House of Commons Public Safety Committee to signal our major concerns about the stress parole officers on the front lines have been under for years, and the lack of response by CSC to chronic issues. USJE highlighted these issues in our 2019 report, “PROTECTING PUBLIC SAFETY: The Challenges Facing Federal Parole Officers in Canada's Highly Stressed Criminal Justice System”. This report was submitted yesterday to the Parliamentary Committee as part of our testimony.
You can watch the presentation on the ParlVu website. Please note - you must advance the video to the 17:14:00 mark to start the USJE presentation. Other presentations were also part of the Public Safety meeting.
Please be assured that USJE is monitoring the situation closely. If members have questions or concerns, please reach out to your USJE CSC Regional Vice President, USJE's National President Stan Stapleton or National Vice President David Neufeld.