Evidence of meeting #32 for Public Safety and National Security in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was complaints.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Don Head  Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada
  • Michael Côté  Director General, Rights, Redress and Resolution, Correctional Service of Canada
  • Shane Dalton  Acting Analyst, Offender Redress , Correctional Service of Canada

3:55 p.m.

Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Do you have that number handy?

It appears to me that the grievance is something that you take quite a bit more seriously in terms of your response.

3:55 p.m.

Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Don Head

Yes.

We take it all very seriously and we try to encourage inmates to work with our front line supervisors and managers to resolve a complaint so that it doesn't become a formal grievance. It's part of the reason that we've implemented this pilot project around alternative dispute resolutions.

3:55 p.m.

Michael Côté Director General, Rights, Redress and Resolution, Correctional Service of Canada

The number of complaints so far, in percentage terms, is that 71% are submitted at the complaint stage. Then it goes to the first level. About 11.6% are escalated up to that level—

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Oh, I missed this. In order to file a grievance, must it have first been filed as a complaint?

3:55 p.m.

Director General, Rights, Redress and Resolution, Correctional Service of Canada

Michael Côté

That's correct.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Okay.

Do you keep statistics as to how many of these complaints and grievances are successful? By successful, I mean that the filer has received some sort of satisfaction and that the commission has done something to remedy the alleged complaint or grievance. Do you keep those stats?

3:55 p.m.

Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Don Head

Yes.

We have stats for all the levels, but I'll give you an example of the third level, which is my level or that of my delegate, who is the senior deputy commissioner.

At the third level, 32% of the grievances that came to the third level are either upheld or upheld in part. Actually, the vast majority of those are upheld in part. They're usually upheld in part because the timelines at the lower levels were not met and the inmate has made that part of the grievance. We end up upholding the fact that they had a late response.

But 55% of those that come to the third level are denied, and some 20% are rejected for various reasons.

4 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

How does this system overlap or interact with the office of Mr. Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator? I've always been of the view that it was his job to investigate complaints against the service.

4 p.m.

Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Don Head

He can investigate basically anything he wants. He may get complaints from inmates directly that do not come through either our complaints or grievance system.

That's why if you try to compare numbers in his annual report with our statistics, they will never match. He's dealing with the complaints that come in; under the law, though, my staff and I are responsible for responding to the grievances of offenders. He's responsible for responding to complaints that come directly to his office.

4 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Do I have any more time?

4 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

You have 30 seconds.

4 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Thank you very much.

4 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

We'll now move back to Mr. Scarpaleggia, please, for seven minutes.

March 27th, 2012 / 4 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Thank you.

Welcome again, Commissioner and guests.

Is there an external review committee as well?