Thank you, Chair and members of the committee, for inviting me here today to talk to you about Correctional Service of Canada's efforts on electronic monitoring.
As mentioned, my name is Dr. Larry Motiuk, and I'm currently a special advisor on assignment with others on a transformation and renewal team in Correctional Service of Canada. I have a doctorate degree in psychology and a master's degree in clinical psychology.
Before this assignment, I served as the director general of the offender programs and reintegration from 2006 until 2010 at CSC national headquarters. In this position I provided advice on policies, planning, and legislation related to institutional, community, and operational management of offenders. It was during this time that I became involved with others in our management team in the establishment of the electronic monitoring pilot project.
As an employee of CSC for the past 25 years now, I also served as director general of research for 13 years, supervising and evaluating operational research projects on a national scale. These included national standards for conditional release supervision, mental health, sex offenders, risk management, and correctional program effectiveness.
Over the years I have published widely, and I have worked directly with various departments of corrections in jurisdictions abroad. Moreover, I served on the board of directors for the International Community Corrections Association from 1999 to 2005.
Similar to the study the standing committee is undertaking, in October 2007 the Correctional Service of Canada review panel examined the use of electronic monitoring in the community. They heard a variety of opinions on the matter, from applying this technology to all released offenders in the community to using it only for selected offenders under extended supervision by CSC.
Also around the same time, CSC was exploring the use of electronic monitoring, and I understand that you heard about the review of the literature on electronic monitoring conducted by the CSC research branch.
In response to the many observations and recommendations made by the panel, a transformation agenda, an ambitious initiative, was launched to improve CSC operations and enhance public safety for Canadians.
While the many initiatives established under the transformation agenda have been integrated into CSC's operations and plans, the work is not over and the transformation agenda continues to be of utmost importance to CSC. CSC continues to make progress on ongoing transformation agenda initiatives, which have better positioned CSC to effectively manage today's offender population and meet new challenges.
The interrelated initiatives fall under the following themes of enhancing offender accountability, eliminating drugs in institutions, enhancing correctional interventions and employment skills of offenders, modernizing the physical infrastructure, and strengthening community corrections.
The electronic monitoring pilot project was seen as supporting CSC's transformation agenda by enhancing community and staff safety while helping to strengthen offender accountability, a key component of the strengthening community corrections theme.
Correctional Service of Canada is now in phase three of its transformation agenda, which focuses on ensuring continued integration of transformation initiatives.
In September 2008, the electronic monitoring pilot project, EMPP, was implemented, and this had been done within a relatively short timeframe. A project proposal, project charter, concept of operations, and privacy impact assessments were completed. Guidelines and response protocols were drafted and developed to support the EMPP and approved. Numerous operational forms and documents were created to support the project and to mitigate risks.
Several working groups who were involved back then, involving internal stakeholders, were established, including the EM working group, the EMIS working group—our technology side for computers—and including access to information and privacy, ATIP. There were weekly referral committee meetings and an evaluation working group was formed.
Training of community parole officers took place in Hamilton, downtown Toronto, Toronto east, Toronto west, London, and Kingston, with 32 staff trained at that time.
Information sessions were completed at various institutions in the Ontario region and with placed partners in the metropolitan Toronto area. All external stakeholders were informed with personal letters and distribution of information pamphlets on the EMPP and all were invited to make any inquiries.
The pilot was initially implemented in the central Ontario district and was later expanded to include most of Ontario and Nunavut district.
Parole officers provided CSC with the capacity to monitor up to 30 offenders at one time. CSC obtained the services through a letter of agreement with the Government of Nova Scotia, which had provided expertise in technology.
The original agreement with the Government of Nova Scotia ended in September 2009, but the service for the pilot provided by Nova Scotia was extended for one year, ending in August 2010.
My direct involvement in the electronic monitoring pilot project ended in March 2009, with, at that time, 22 offenders having participated in the EMPP, all without significant incidents or concerns. Three offender participants had successfully completed the project and the bracelets were removed.
I would like to conclude my opening comments by saying that Canadians have always been able to take pride in being international leaders in corrections research and rehabilitation. From the creation of scientifically derived assessment tools for security classification, program assignment, and release risk to the development and delivery of state-of-the-art rehabilitative programs and supervision methods, Canadian correctional practitioners have always been at the vanguard of best practices.
Canada's advantage is primarily due to the talents and efforts of researchers and practitioners themselves. Building on our correctional technology and research advantage is more important than ever.
I look forward to the discussions here today. It is important that the correctional perspective is represented at these kinds of meetings, and that all the components of criminal justice continue to work together to achieve an effective and positive public safety outcome.