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Results: 1 - 15 of 26
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, Dr. Zinger and Ms. Kingsley.
I'd like to talk about the part relating to community supervision. In your report, you state, “According to 2016-17 numbers, the total number of offenders on community supervision, 8,886, is at its highest point in over a decade”.
Has the Correctional Service of Canada provided you with answers and explanations concerning the lack of funding for community supervision programs?
Ivan Zinger
View Ivan Zinger Profile
Ivan Zinger
2020-02-25 8:56
The Correctional Service of Canada is more than adequately funded. Based on the ratio of inmates to employees, its funding is probably the highest in the world. The ratio is about one to one. In other words, there is at least one Correctional Service of Canada employee for every inmate. Financially, the expenditures average more than $120,000 a year per inmate.
I don't think it's the resources that are the problem. It's more a question of priorities and redistribution of funds. The Correctional Service of Canada spends only 6% of its total budget on community supervision activities, which is insufficient. It is simply a matter of redistributing funds to ensure that priorities are met.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm sorry for cutting you off, but our time is limited.
In recommendation No. 11 of your report, you say that significant resources should be reallocated to the community supervision program. You just told me that the ratio of officers to inmates is the highest in the world, namely, one to one. That's not the current ratio, and that's problematic. In the community, there is a lack of resources to properly monitor offenders compared to what there used to be. Is that currently the case?
Ivan Zinger
View Ivan Zinger Profile
Ivan Zinger
2020-02-25 8:58
The ratio in the community is six offenders to one employee. There is no question that the ratio will never be one to one in the community; it would be absolutely crazy. In my opinion, it's a matter of priority and balance. Incredible amounts of money are spent on incarceration, at the expense of rehabilitation in the community. There has to be some balance, and 6% of the total budget isn't enough, in my opinion.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
In recent years, conditional release and day parole cases have increased dramatically, but there aren't enough resources on the ground to monitor these people.
You are talking about a ratio of six to one. What should this ratio be to ensure full supervision of offenders on parole?
Ivan Zinger
View Ivan Zinger Profile
Ivan Zinger
2020-02-25 8:59
I couldn't say what the right ratio is. Adequate supervision must be a priority. That's a question you should ask the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
In your report, you talk about the Auditor General's report. Recently, in Quebec, there was an issue with the supervision of Eustachio Gallese, the man who killed Marylène Lévesque, as everyone knows.
A study will be conducted in the coming weeks on this, but there is a safety issue. I know the Correctional Service of Canada wants to release more offenders and get them into the community, but if the resources aren't there, are we not creating a public safety problem?
Ivan Zinger
View Ivan Zinger Profile
Ivan Zinger
2020-02-25 8:59
As I said, I'm not convinced there is a resource problem. It's more of a priority problem.
Ivan Zinger
View Ivan Zinger Profile
Ivan Zinger
2020-02-25 9:00
Canada is a global leader in terms of the resources it allocates to the Correctional Service of Canada at the federal level. It's important to ensure that resources are allocated where they are needed most. In my opinion, a lot of money is being spent on old infrastructures that do not allow for rehabilitation. Once individuals are released, they don't get the support they should be getting.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
So it's an issue. Do you think we should reduce the number of conditional releases and ensure that we have the necessary resources on the ground before releasing more offenders?
Ivan Zinger
View Ivan Zinger Profile
Ivan Zinger
2020-02-25 9:01
I can't say. In my opinion, the act is being applied. It's an independent administrative board that makes decisions regarding release, and it does so in an exemplary manner in the vast majority of cases. The case you've mentioned is extreme and calls into question a lot of things.
The act has been applied, and it continues to be. In my opinion, public safety is always well taken into consideration.
View Pam Damoff Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Chair.
Dr. Zinger and Ms. Kingsley, thank you so much for your report and also the good work that you do. I can't tell you how happy I was to see the two reports that I initiated on indigenous people and indigenous women in the criminal justice system and corrections included in your report. Good work was done in this committee and in the status of women committee. I am hopeful that some of the recommendations will come to fruition.
One of the things that has been a concern of mine since I visited Edmonton Institution for Women was what women were being trained for when they leave. You mention it in your report that textiles business line is 83.5% of CORCAN's work with women in the workplace.
Last night I was reading the government's response to our status of women report. It says that:
In 2017-18, the current employment skills training opportunities were reviewed and CORCAN...identified opportunities for additional employment and employability skills training at women offender sites to be implemented in 2018-19.
Then it says:
...consideration of labour market gaps, industry needs, and the offenders' skills.... In 2017-2018 there was an increase in on-the-job and vocational training at two women offender institutions specifically in the areas of construction and maintenance-related training such as flooring, painting, and chainsaw safety.
Dr. Zinger, where is the disconnect there?
Even when I spoke to the warden at Edmonton Institution for Women, she indicated that it's okay to have women learning how to sew. While I challenged her on that, it looks as if that kind of thinking is still permeating our institutions.
Ivan Zinger
View Ivan Zinger Profile
Ivan Zinger
2020-02-25 9:03
First, thank you for the kind words about my office. I am very proud of the work we do. We have a small team of dedicated investigator, policy and research people and corporate staff. It's always good to get some positive feedback.
I visited Edmonton Institution for Women and I find that when you walk into the work area and see all these sewing machines.... The last time I went the women were sewing precut pillowcases. You can see the level of technical skills required to sew a pillowcase. They were absolutely bored out of their minds. These are women who are thirsty for additional education or skills that would be life changing for them. I don't think that sewing pillowcases really....
I know that wardens are trying very hard to bring in different initiatives and some of them have been successful, but the numbers involving higher-level work is minimal. I think the service has to change its approach significantly. The level of skills for sewing pillowcases is something that, yes, if we were reintegrating people in China, would make some sense. This is not the labour force in Canada. We are looking at much more challenging.... The manufacturing sector is healthy in Canada but it requires a heck of a lot higher skills to be part of that market.
View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
Let's go back briefly to the situation of indigenous people. You say that we need in-depth reform, but I see that measures have been put in place recently, in 2019, including a memorandum of understanding.
Have you seen any results from these initiatives, particularly for indigenous youth?
Results: 1 - 15 of 26 | Page: 1 of 2

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