Evidence of meeting #36 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 victims.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Ross Toller  Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada
  • Alexandra Budgell  Counsel, Department of Justice
  • Susan O'Sullivan  Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

4:05 p.m.

Counsel, Department of Justice

Alexandra Budgell

I would say that it would really depend on the particulars of that issue.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Okay.

I'll change pace, then, a bit. Do you have any idea of how many inmates might possibly have financial obligations for spousal and child support, legal restitution orders, or victim surcharge orders?

4:05 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

Some of them I do. I mentioned those that come to us through the court system. Right now, the total number of restitution orders we have in our system is 576. Fines, which I understand are not quite part of the proposal here, are at 1,136. And surcharges are at 725. Now, there could be a double count there, but those are the numbers that show up in our system relative to those areas.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Are those outstanding, or are those just on...?

4:05 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

These are ones on the system that we've recorded and will show up.

You mentioned the family systems. We are currently revamping our offender management system, as a result of Bill C-10, to add that particular segment. But again, at this point in time, we couldn't give you any data on that in terms of the numbers. It's not captured.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Okay.

When looking at those raw numbers—the 576 for restitution, the 1,136 for fines, and the 725 for surcharges—you'd have a rough idea of how successful your encouragement of accountability is through case management. If you look at the numbers, in terms of their paying and taking accountability, how successful is your encouragement of accountability, based on those numbers you've provided?

4:10 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

What I don't have is whether there are ones on there that have satisfied the orders that have come on. It would be really difficult for me to make a comment on that specifically.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Okay.

What role right now do family groups and victims groups play in the operation, policy development, day-to-day life, and engagement in the institutions across Canada?

4:10 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

Do you mean family groups of inmates?

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

No, I mean family groups outside, not of inmates. What role do family groups and victims organizations play, or how substantial is that role, in terms of policy development or institutional operations from locale to locale across Canada? How significant are they, in terms of the CSC working with them?

4:10 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

I'd say a couple of things. Each facility has a citizen advisory committee, where we look to hear the local citizens' perspectives. They meet with the inmates on any input they can provide from that particular level or perspective. Certainly in policy formulation, we look to other stakeholders who might have input into some of the areas we're developing. With respect to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, section 74, we also look at policies that will affect major inmate issues.

In terms of victims, there's a lot of contact with victims. There's a national victims advisory committee. Each region has a regional victim advisory committee that gives us input on policies and issues. Bill C-10, again, just expanded the definition of a victim. It would also provide information to victims that they did not receive in the past. That came as a result of considerations and developments through Parliament and with input on policy development.

There is lots of communication with external groups.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Thank you.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

Thank you, Mr. Leef.

Mr. Rousseau, you have five minutes.

May 1st, 2012 / 4:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau Compton—Stanstead, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Toller and Ms. Budgell, welcome.

My first question is for you, Ms. Budgell, since it touches a little more on the application of the legislation. Could the current bill be applied to the situation of a citizen held for a certain period of time, but who we determine was wrongly convicted and who is compensated by the state—and this is very hypothetical—for the time spent in detention? If so, could you talk about that?

4:10 p.m.

Counsel, Department of Justice

Alexandra Budgell

The only comment I would make is that, obviously, so long as he is an offender, he will fit the definition of an offender before the appeal process goes through. Since the bill uses the term “offender”, he would be an offender so long as that appeal process has gone on.