OCDC Task Force - Progress Report #3

Corrections

Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre Task Force Recommendations


Tracking Institutional Trends
Population Management and Administration
Bail and Remand
Health Care
Conditions of Confinement
Capital Improvements
Reintegration in to the Community
Appendix


Progress Report #3 - Report Back

On June 1, 2016, the OCDC Task Force submitted an action plan with 42 recommendations that provided short, medium and long term solutions to improve the health and safety of all inmates and staff at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. The ministry committed to publically report back on the progress of all recommendations on a quarterly basis for a total of three reports.  The first progress report was released on October 27, 2016 and the second progress report was made public on January 30, 2017. This report marks the third and final progress report on the OCDC Task Force Recommendations.

The ministry will continue to track and implement all long-term corrections-specific recommendations as part of Ontario’s commitment to Correctional Services Reform. Many longer-term initiatives will build on the work the province is undertaking to increase access to health care services, improve conditions of confinement and support rehabilitation and reintegration programming for adult inmates.

The ministry would like to thank the OCDC Task Force for their hard work, commitment and insight. The Task Force provided a unique opportunity to bring ministry officials, community groups and the union together to collectively improve the conditions at this institution and to Ontario’s correctional system as a whole.

The ministry would also like to thank all staff including those at OCDC and at the Ministry of the Attorney General who have worked diligently in implementing OCDC Task Force Recommendations.

Tracking Institutional Trends

Quarterly Trend Analysis – Short Term

Recommendation 1:

MCSCS should conduct a quarterly trend analysis in order to better monitor conditions at OCDC, and the progress being made on implementing Task Force recommendations.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The latest quarterly trend analysis for the period of October 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017 (Q3 and Q4 of 2016/17) has been completed.
  • The ministry will continue to monitor trends and identify any emerging patterns that may require action.
  • The latest Quarterly Trends Analysis will be posted on the ministry website. All future data will be shared on the Open Government website.

Open Data – Medium Term

Recommendation 2:

Within the terms of the Open Data Directive, all data collected by MCSCS as a result of the Task Force recommendations should be made available to the public.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The ministry continues to work with the Open Government Office to have OCDC-related reports posted on the Open Data website by August 2017.
  • Subsequent data releases related to OCDC will be posted on Open Data for continued public access on an annual basis.

Population Management and Administration

Provincial Inmate Transportation Coordinator – Short Term

Recommendation 3:

MCSCS should reintroduce the position of Provincial Inmate Transportation Coordinator to balance inmate capacity throughout the province and reduce overcrowding at OCDC and other institutions.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Movement of Sentenced and Long Term Remand Inmates – Short Term

Recommendation 4:

Offenders at OCDC that are sentenced to more than 30 days should be moved to other institutions that provide access to increased programs and services to assist with offender treatment and rehabilitation.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Phone Calls to Family Members – Long Term

Recommendation 5:

MCSCS should explore more cost effective measures for inmates to communicate with family members and other support networks when transferred to an institution outside of the inmate’s community. Additionally, remand offenders that are moved from OCDC to alleviate capacity pressures should be provided one phone call a week to family members at no cost.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The ministry is implementing a Virtual Personal Identification Number (PIN) system, which will be in place by October 2017. Once implemented, OCDC remand inmates who are transferred within the Eastern Region (which includes: Central East Correctional Centre, Brockville Jail, St. Lawrence Valley and Quinte Detention Centre) will be able to use unique PIN numbers for one free call per week and will be able to make calls to cellular phones.
  • Please see Recommendation 33 – Institutional Phone System.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Inmate Request/Complaint Tracking and Processing – Short Term

Recommendation 6:

MCSCS should review and revise the inmate request and internal complaint process to ensure the systems in place are tracked, clear and transparent, with clearly defined service standards for complainants. This should include annual public disclosure of the nature of inmate complaints made to the ministry, remedial action taken and number of days to resolution.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Provincial Bailiff Transfer Schedule –Medium Term

Recommendation 7:

MCSCS should review the provincial bailiff transfer schedule to ensure it meets the needs of the operations of OCDC with the least intrusive impact on the inmates and the courts. Schedule revisions should be reviewed quarterly by the Assistant Deputy Minister of Institutional Services to ensure they meet the transfer needs of the institution.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Professional Visits – Short Term

Recommendation 8:

MCSCS should increase the time available for professional visits in order to ensure these visits are more effective and useful for inmates. The ministry should also explore providing legal counsel with a laptop with appropriate software during legal visits strictly for the purposes of disclosure.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #2

Bail and Remand

Pre-Trial Custody Project – Medium Term

Recommendation 9:

On May 2nd, 2016, the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) launched a Pre-Trial Custody Project for six months deploying two prosecutors with specific expertise to provide timely advice to police on police releases and bail, and to expeditiously and efficiently review all in coming and existing custody matters with a view to resolution on a principled basis. This project also aims to reduce time to trial where possible.

Data should be collected by MAG on the project in order to determine if it has resulted in a reduction in remand within the region, and whether there has been a subsequent reduction in remand overall. If the project meets its objectives, the Crown should incorporate the methodology of the Pre-Trial Custody Project into internal practices.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #2

Additional Dedicated ‘In Custody’ Trial Court – Medium Term

Recommendation 10:

The Ontario Court of Justice should establish an additional dedicated ‘in custody’ trial court in Ottawa, with the appropriate court and crown staffing, to reduce the time to trial issues related to in-custody matters. This recommendation aligns with the Pre-Trial Custody Project.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

As indicated in Progress Report #2, the assignment and scheduling of judges and justices of the peace are within the independent and exclusive jurisdiction of the Ontario Court of Justice.  The Ministry of the Attorney General has brought this recommendation to the attention of the Office of the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Funded Bail Beds – Medium Term

Recommendation 11:

MCSCS and MAG should work with partner ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and community agencies to review the feasibility of funding bail beds for offenders whom the court determines could be appropriately housed and supervised in the community.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

As of April 1, 2017, MAG has launched an innovative Bail Beds Program in Ottawa that will provide safe, supportive and supervised housing to vulnerable accused people who require extra help to be able to meet their bail conditions. The men’s program is being delivered by the John Howard Society of Ottawa, while the women’s program is being delivered by the Elizabeth Fry Society, with 12 bail beds available with each organization.

Those in a bail bed program will have access to life skills programming, cultural support and services and employment and education services (through service provider partnerships with community organizations).

Bail Process – Medium Term

Recommendation 12:

MCSCS should, in collaboration with MAG, examine the bail process, including possible increased appearances by video and early access to Legal Aid.

The greater use of technology and/or the presence of duty counsel or legal aid within the institution should also be considered. Lastly, Justices of the Peace should be encouraged to routinely consider whether it is appropriate to endorse bench warrants to give police officers an option to release at the station on arrests related to breaches of recognizance.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

Since Progress Report #2, MAG has continued to move towards the implementation of this recommendation. Specifically:

  • The duty counsel bail coordinator for the Ottawa courthouse has been hired and is expected to be fully in place by July 2017. The duty counsel bail coordinator will work with Crowns, including the new dedicated bail vettor Crown, to triage and expedite the bail process (including Legal Aid applications) and ensure meaningful, timely bail decisions are made.
  • The dedicated on-site duty counsel in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre has been hired. This dedicated duty counsel is currently working out of the Ottawa Courthouse until security clearance for the Institution has been granted. Once the security clearance has been obtained, the duty counsel will begin working out of the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. The dedicated duty counsel will facilitate faster, more meaningful bail appearances by providing legal advice, facilitating quick Legal Aid applications and preparing accused persons for their bail hearings.

Policing Reforms– Long Term

Recommendation 13:

MCSCS should develop a policy for police services with the goal of diverting low-risk individuals away from pre-trial detention. Specifically, explicit guidance should be given to arresting officers and officers in charge regarding what classes of offences should be presumptively subject to release from police stations.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

Work on Recommendation #13 will be encompassed under ongoing research and modernization efforts as part of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario. As part of the Serving Vulnerable Persons initiative of the Strategy, the ministry is working with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other inter-ministerial partners on a long-term approach to expand pre-arrest, pre-charge and post-charge diversion programs for persons in crisis through a whole-of-government approach.

  • The Strategy for a Safer Ontario (the Strategy) was introduced in 2015. It advocates a shift from a model of policing that is reactive and enforcement-driven, to a model that is proactive and community focused.
  • Generally speaking, the Strategy will consider how to:
    • Promote collaborative partnerships between police, the public and other sectors, such as education, health care and social services, to ensure that those in need of help receive the right response, at the right time, and by the right service provider;
    • Improve interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians, including enhancing front-line responses to those in crisis; and
    • Clarify police duties, modernize training programs and deliver services using a range of public safety personnel. Since then the ministry has been consulting with the public and our stakeholders on how to modernize the province’s policing framework. The Strategy is about finding smarter, better ways to make our communities safer.

In addition, MCSCS is engaged in the government’s Criminal Justice Modernization initiative with the objectives that include:

  • Reducing the number of accused in bail phase by appropriately increasing releases;
  • Developing and delivering police education regarding forms of release and exercising discretion; and
  • Enabling police access to Crown counsel for advice regarding release decisions.

Policing Reforms – Medium Term

Recommendation 14:

Individuals released from police custody should be proactively informed of the procedures that can be used to vary police-imposed conditions under ss 499(3) and 503(2) of the Criminal Code.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

MCSCS is drafting a memorandum to all police services boards and Chiefs of Police in Ontario about the OCDC Task Force Recommendations to inform services and for them to take appropriate action. The memorandum is projected to be distributed to all Chiefs of Police in Summer 2017. Work on Recommendation #14 will be encompassed under ongoing research and modernization efforts as part of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario.

Enhancing Community Support Programs – Long Term

Recommendation 15:

Ontario should work with community agencies to examine strategies that would assist vulnerable individuals who are in the court system such as phone call reminders, transportation assistance, and referrals to social service agencies.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

As part of the Attorney General’s Action Plan, MAG has made substantial new investments to expand the Bail Verification and Supervision Program (BVSP) across Ontario, including in Ottawa.  The BVSP provides support to low-risk accused who do not have the finances or social ties to be released safely into the community on bail.  The program ensures people have supervision, attend court dates, meet their bail conditions and helps them navigate the criminal court process.

Ontario has provided additional funding to John Howard Society in Ottawa to expand the reach of the existing Ottawa BVSP. The expansion of the BVSP in Ottawa includes amending the eligibility criteria of the BVSP to allow for more people who are struggling with mental illness, poverty, homelessness and addictions to access this program and be safely released into the community. The enhancements also include additional funding for mental health services for BVSP clients and continuation of funding provided to Ottawa BVSP for Weekend and Statutory Holidays Court to alleviate overcrowding pressure at OCDC.  In addition, MAG is pleased to report that funding has been provided to the John Howard Society in Ottawa to open satellite offices in Pembroke, Perth and L’Orignal. All three satellite offices are operational and available to take BVSP clients.

As of April 1, 2017, MAG has launched an innovative Bail Beds Program in Ottawa that will provide safe, supportive and supervised housing to vulnerable accused people who require extra help to be able to meet their bail conditions. The men’s program is being delivered by the John Howard Society of Ottawa, while the women’s program is being delivered by the Elizabeth Fry Society, with 12 bail beds available with each organization.

Those in a bail bed program will have access to life skills programming, cultural support and services and employment and education services (through service provider partnerships with community organizations).

In addition, as reported previously, MAG has developed an Indigenous Bail and Remand Program - a comprehensive strategy to address some of the unique issues and barriers faced by Indigenous persons at bail. This initiative includes creating new Indigenous BVSPs operated by Indigenous organizations and communities, and enhancing existing BVSP programs to improve and expand the services provided to Indigenous clients by building relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations, and incorporating culturally appropriate programing, training, case management and dedicated Indigenous staff positions.  MAG is pleased to report that it has recently funded the Odawa Native Friendship Centre in Ottawa to provide Bail Verification and Supervision services to Indigenous people in the Ottawa region in collaboration with the John Howard Society’s BVSP.

Enhancing Judicial Decision Making–Long Term

Recommendation 16:

Given the fundamental importance of bail decisions and conditions of release, further specialized legal training prior to adjudicating bail matters should be considered for justices of the peace.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

As indicated in Progress Report #2, education of judges and justices of the peace is within the independent and exclusive jurisdiction of the Ontario Court of Justice. The Ministry of the Attorney General has brought this recommendation to the attention of the Office of the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Addressing Delays in Bail Court –Medium Term

Recommendation 17:

Bail cases that are not ready to proceed in the morning should be held down until later in the day. All hold down requests that are intended to facilitate the timely release of the accused should be granted by the presiding justice.

It should be presumed that all cases will be dealt with to the fullest extent possible each day. Policies should ensure that the courts have the resources to remain open until individuals who are ready to have their bail hearing have been addressed.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

Decisions relating to the scheduling of cases are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the judiciary.  This recommendation has been brought to the attention of the Office of the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Diversion Programs–Long Term

Recommendation 18:

MCSCS and MAG should increase the availability of pre- and post-charge diversion programs for individuals suffering from addictions and mental illness. Particular attention should be paid to the development of pre-charge diversion options for administration of justice charges for those with mental illnesses.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

As reported in the second OCDC Task Force Progress Report, MAG has launched a new program as part of the Attorney General’s Action Plan, in which an “embedded Crown” is now working at the Ottawa Police Service station.  The “embedded Crown” is providing real-time advice and support on bail decisions to police upon request.  In addition, the “embedded Crown” is working with police and community-based health and social service agencies to facilitate pre-charge diversion – where appropriate – for vulnerable, low-risk accused, including those who suffer from mental illness and do not belong in a correctional facility.

Further, one of the province’s new dedicated bail vettor Crowns has been placed in the Ottawa Crown Attorney’s office. The bail vettor is continuing the work of the Pre-Trial Custody Project to make bail court more efficient, by facilitating more timely and informed bail positions, and in appropriate cases, earlier resolutions which may include mental health diversion.

The expansion and enhancement of the BVSP in Ottawa has made it possible for more people who are struggling with mental illness, poverty, homelessness and addictions to access this program and be safely released into the community.  As part of the Attorney General’s Action Plan, funding has been provided to the John Howard Society in Ottawa to provide these additional supports in the community, as well as to expand their services to new satellite locations in their area including Pembroke, Perth and L’Orignal. All three satellite locations are operational and available to take BVSP clients.

Additionally, as of April 1, 2017, MAG has launched an innovative Bail Beds Program in Ottawa that will provide safe, supportive and supervised housing to vulnerable accused people who require extra help to be able to meet their bail conditions. The men’s program is being delivered by the John Howard Society of Ottawa, while the women’s program is being delivered by the Elizabeth Fry Society in Ottawa, with 12 bail beds available in each organization.

Those in a bail bed program will have access to life skills programming, access to enhanced mental health or addictions support, cultural support and services and employment and education services (through service provider partnerships with community organizations).

Bail Conditions–Medium Term

Recommendation 19:

The courts should refrain from imposing bail conditions that are likely to criminalize the symptoms of an underlying mental health issue.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

As part of the Attorney General’s Action Plan, Ontario has committed to introducing and implementing a revised and modernized Crown policy on bail.

To support this work, three prominent and well-respected bail experts - former Chief Justice Brian Lennox, former Deputy Attorney General Murray Segal, and Deputy Crown Attorney Lori Montague – were appointed to provide advice on modernizing Crown policies and procedures on bail.  Over the course of the last six months, the bail experts have consulted widely with stakeholders across the justice system, and across the province. These experts will provide specific advice on a number of subjects related to effective and timely bail decision-making, including appropriate positions on bail and requests for bail conditions with respect to populations with mental health issues.

Ontario has committed to introducing a revised and modernized Crown policy on bail upon receipt of these recommendations.

Gladue Considerations–Short Term

Recommendation 20:

Courts should develop ways to incorporate Gladue considerations into the bail process and have regard to the systemic barriers Aboriginal people face in the process of arrest and judicial interim release in order to properly consider these in the determination of release.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

MAG has developed an Indigenous Bail and Remand Program - a comprehensive strategy to address some of the unique issues and barriers faced by Indigenous persons at bail. This initiative includes creating new Indigenous BVSPs operated by Indigenous organizations and communities, and enhancing existing BVSP programs to improve and expand the services provided to Indigenous clients by building relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations, and incorporating culturally appropriate programing, training, case management and dedicated Indigenous staff positions.  As noted above, MAG has recently funded the Odawa Native Friendship Centre in Ottawa to provide Bail Verification and Supervision services to Indigenous people in the Ottawa region in collaboration with the John Howard Society’s BVSP. At the bail verification stage, Indigenous BVSP workers have the knowledge, experience, and cultural awareness to effectively interview Indigenous clients, identify Gladue factors, provide relevant information and recommendations to the court, and provide culturally appropriate support, referrals and counselling.

Access to Video Technology – Long Term

Recommendation 21:

MCSCS should expand the use of video technology for counsel to provide legal advice for inmates and facilitate professional visits.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The expanded use of video technology for professional consultations and video court appearances is scheduled to launch at OCDC in September 2017.  The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.
  • Further to what was reported in Progress Report #2, the SWDC pilot project had been extended to May 2017 to allow for more data collection and analysis.  Assessment and analysis of findings is underway and a final report is expected in September 2017.
  • Video consultations for professional visits were successfully launched at Monteith Correctional Complex (MCC) on March 20, 2017 and its use is being monitored. The video bail court appearances are being launched using a phased approach in order to capture the needs and demands of MCC, the courts and the judiciary. As a result, bail-related court appearances for inmates are now being conducted in Haileybury as of May 15, 2017 (Phase 1). This also allows for a specific time slot for duty counsel consultation with inmates prior to video bail court. Targeted date for Cochrane court (Phase 2) and Timmins court (Phase 3) is July 2017.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Health Care

Comprehensive Health Care Review – Medium Term

Recommendation 22:

MCSCS should undertake a comprehensive review of health care services provided at OCDC to ensure the adequate, effective and efficient delivery of services to meet the complex needs of the male and female inmate population.

This review should include, but not be limited to, the timely access to medication, engagement of nurse practitioners and staffing overall, methadone delivery and timely access to health care professionals including dentists. The purpose of the Health Care Review and the implementation of its findings should be to improve the immediate health care conditions at OCDC.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The review was reported completed in the first progress report. However, the ministry continues to monitor progress and report on the status of plan objectives to senior ministry representatives.
  • Work continues on the implementation of the review recommendations. Progress to date includes:
    • Hiring of 6 new Fixed Term nurses, and permanently filling another nursing vacancy in March 2017
    • Creating a new nursing schedule which has also been voted on by staff. The schedule includes enhancements to mental health nursing coverage and 24/7 general nursing coverage
    • Completing of an analysis of all health care positions and responsibilities, with comprehensive post descriptions distributed to all staff on March 20, 2017
    • Hiring of a temporary file clerk to assist with developing new processes to ensure that health care information received from various providers are quickly filed with the appropriate inmate health care record
    • Determining appropriate private spaces for inmates to see health care professionals privately on each living unit, and
    • Continuing audit of health care records to ensure files are accurate, complete and up to date.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.
  • Please see Recommendation 27: Transfer of Health Care Delivery. 

Addiction Support – Medium Term

Recommendation 23:

Given the increasing number of inmates with substance alerts at OCDC as indicated in the trend analysis, MCSCS should expand programming and support for inmates with addiction issues.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • OCDC social workers completed the required training and a new addiction support program began in March 2017. The programming is available for both male and female inmates, regardless of whether they are sentenced or remanded. 
  • The volunteer Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programming continues to be offered at OCDC to male and female inmates. 
  • The ministry will continue to explore opportunities for additional programming and support for inmates with addiction issues.

Step-Down and Mental Health Units – Long Term

Recommendation 24:

MCSCS should establish Step-Down and Mental Health Units with dedicated trained staff for both men and women at the OCDC to better support inmates with mental healthcare needs.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The ministry has completed the preliminary design of the proposed Step Down and Stabilization areas. 
  • The proposed areas have been cleaned and the redevelopment of the proposed Step Down and Stabilization areas is anticipated to be completed in December 2017.
  • As part of corrections reform, the ministry also announced funding approval for the construction of a new 725-bed multi-purpose replacement correctional centre in Ottawa. The design of the new facility will incorporate dedicated Step Down and Stabilization units to support better outcomes for inmates with specific programming needs.
  • Three interim step down units continue to operate.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Alternative Housing Options – Long Term

Recommendation 25:

MCSCS should, through the Correctional Services Transformation Strategy, collaborate with partner ministries and community agencies to explore alternative housing options such as mental health facilities or dedicated addiction treatment spaces for those sentenced offenders with mental health needs.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • As part of the Inter-ministerial Mental Health and Justice (IMHJ) Initiatives, MOHLTC is proceeding with forensic bed pilots. Pilot implementation includes establishing small pilot programs in Toronto and Hamilton where forensic mental health programs provide beds for acutely ill inmates.  Local representation to be identified to determine scope and protocol. 
  • In addition, as announced on May 4, 2017, the construction of a new multi-purpose replacement correctional centre in Ottawa will incorporate dedicated alternative housing units, such as mental health and infirmary to support better outcomes for inmates with specific programming needs.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Mental Health Training – Short Term

Recommendation 26:

MCSCS should periodically review correctional officer curriculum to determine if any further training is required and ensure all inmates have access to the Segregation Guide as committed to under the Jahn settlement.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Transfer of Health Care Delivery – Long Term

Recommendation 27:

The ministry should initiate discussions with the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC) and other partner ministries to transfer the delivery of health care services provided at Ontario’s adult correctional institutions to the MOHLTC.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • In May 2017, MOHLTC and MCSCS announced that preliminary discussions had begun regarding options to shift oversight and the provision of healthcare services within provincial correctional facilities to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This includes providing health care services for those with complex needs and ensuring continuity of care for those entering and leaving our system.
  • The ministry continues to work to transform healthcare services in correctional facilities through Correctional Services Reform.

Conditions of Confinement

OCDC Information Brochure – Short Term

Recommendation 28:

To assist inmates in orienting themselves to the institution, an OCDC information brochure on procedures, rights and operations at the institution should be developed and distributed to inmates. This should also include information on complaints, requests, visits, as well as the process and contact numbers for Legal Aid Ontario.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Cleanliness of the Institution – Short Term

Recommendation 29:

To improve the health and sanitary conditions at OCDC, an enhanced schedule and scope of cleaning for the entire institution should be put in place to improve and maintain the overall level of sanitation and to prevent spread of contagious disease and mould, including a regular and thorough cleaning of all walls, showers, floors and windows, and insect extermination.

This should also include the disinfection of all hygiene products and regular washing of bedding for inmates as per the standing orders of the institution. In order to prevent the spread of disease in the shower area, shower sandals should be provided to all inmates.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Food and Nutrition – Medium Term

Recommendation 30:

MCSCS should re-evaluate its food delivery system options including dietary requirements, quality of food items purchased and costs. The ministry’s food services managers, dietary coordinator and procurement staff should meet on a regular basis to review complaints arising from food service at all institutions, determine if new food items are to be added and whether existing vendor contracts should continue. There should also be nutrition information and education made available to inmates.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The ministry is examining a variety of options to modernize the food service delivery program throughout the province. The future model of food services is being considered as plans for the design of the new provincial institutions are developed. Work is continuing on the formalization of a continuous quality improvement process for the Cook Chill Program which operates as follows: The Cook Chill Food Production Centre presently serves nine (9) Receiving Institutions (RIs) in Western (1), Eastern (3) and Central (5) Ontario, with meals being delivered for approximately 5,200 inmates. Meals are centrally produced, portioned and distributed to the RIs across the province. Improving the delivery of food remains a priority in the design of the new facilities in Ottawa and Thunder Bay.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Recreation – Long Term

Recommendation 31:

MCSCS should reintroduce recreation positions at OCDC with the necessary resources and equipment.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • Eight recreation positions were allocated to the institution following the December 2016 announcement, and all have been hired.
  • Improvements to recreational programming continue at OCDC, and will be ongoing as part of Correctional Services Reform.

Support for Diverse Inmate Population – Medium Term

Recommendation 32:

MCSCS should provide increased spiritual/cultural counselling and programming for the diverse inmate population at OCDC. This should include, but not be limited to Indigenous Persons, Muslims, new immigrants and racialized inmates.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The Native Inmate Liaison Officer, the Multi-Cultural Inmate Liaison Office, the Muslim program and the Sweat Lodge program continue to offer culturally specific programming to inmates. 
  • OCDC will continue to explore additional programs to support other racialized inmates.

Institutional Phone System – Long Term

Recommendation 33:

MCSCS should review its inmate telephone system with a view to improving affordability and making calls to cellular phones.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The ministry is implementing a Virtual Personal Identification Number (PIN) system, which will be in place by October 2017. Once implemented, OCDC remand inmates who are transferred within the Eastern Region (which includes: Central East Correctional Centre, Brockville Jail, St. Lawrence Valley and Quinte Detention Centre) will be able to use unique PIN numbers for one free call per week and will be able to make calls to cellular phones.
  • The ministry will continue to conduct jurisdictional scans across other provincial correctional institutions within Canada and the United States to compare and consider options for improving the Offenders Telephone Management System (OTMS) in Ontario.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Use of Segregation – Medium Term

Recommendation 34:

Specific to this review and at OCDC, the MCSCS should:

  • Ensure inmate access to privileges, rights and entitlements such as fresh air, interaction with others, out-of-cell activity and mental health supports.
  • Enhance or establish mental health treatment capacity across the system to address the overuse of segregation for those with mental health needs.
  • Ensure the implementation of the segregation review is supported by the appropriate staffing models and staff training.
  • Focus on data collection and tracking, including greater public accountability and transparency in publishing segregation data.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • Since the release of the OCDC Task Force Action Plan, OCDC has enhanced their health care department by adding 10 new full time nurses. OCDC will also be recruiting a new psychologist by Fall 2017 to improve access to mental health care in the institution.
  • On December 15, 2016, the ministry announced that it will hire an additional 239 staff to increase supports for inmates, particularly those with significant challenges related to long-term segregation. As a result, OCDC hired 25 staff in the following positions:
    • 4 correctional officers
    • 2 sergeant
    • 1 staff sergeant
    • 1 deputy superintendent (security and compliance)
    • 2 records clerks
    • 2 mental health nurses
    • 1 nurse
    • 1 rehabilitation officer
    • 2 social workers
    • 1 social work manager
    • 8 recreation officers
  • Two significant reports regarding the use of segregation in Ontario’s provincial adult correctional facilities have also been released since the previous report back – the Ombudsman’s Report on Segregation on April 20, 2017 and the interim report from the Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform, Howard Sapers, on May 4, 2017.
  • The government has committed to addressing all recommendations contained in both Mr. Saper’s and the Ombudsman’s reports.
  • The recommendations provided by both Mr. Sapers' interim report and the Ombudsman will support the government's ongoing work to reform Ontario's correctional system.
  • This work includes strong action the government has recently taken to change segregation practices, as well as investments made to increase staff and mental health supports for those in custody. The province recently announced a series of initiatives to improve conditions of confinement and support rehabilitation and reintegration. This includes an investment of $33M annually to address immediate priorities in the system, including $14.8M for initial capital improvements.
  • Additional staff resources have also been allocated specifically to OCDC to support the opening of temporary step down units, while longer terms solutions are considered.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Direct Supervision – Long Term

Recommendation 35:

MCSCS should implement the direct supervision model at OCDC. Task Force members understand that this would be a lengthy implementation goal that would go beyond the definition of long term as defined in this report.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • The broader provincial review and evaluation of resources and infrastructure changes continues.  The evaluation of the direct supervision model in place at the Toronto South Detention Centre and the South West Detention Centre will inform any decision to expand the direct supervision model across the province.
  • Work will continue on exploring this recommendation through Correctional Services Reform.
  • The ministry intends to design the new OCDC institution to accommodate the direct supervision model.

Community Advisory Boards – Short Term

Recommendation 36:

MCSCS should ensure that information about the OCDC CAB is available to all inmates across the institution including how an inmate or staff member can contact members of the CAB.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Community Groups and Volunteers – Short Term

Recommendation 37:

MCSCS should facilitate more involvement from community groups and volunteers who can provide voluntary educational and other programs to inmates.

Status: Complete

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • In September 2017, the Walls to Bridges program will be available to inmates at OCDC. Walls to Bridges is an educational program that provides incarcerated students and university students the opportunity to complete a credited course. OCDC will be operating the program in conjunction with both Ottawa and Carleton Universities.
  • OCDC will continue to seek opportunities with additional volunteer groups.

Capital Improvements

Infrastructure Modifications – Long Term

Recommendation 38:

In addition to infrastructural modifications to accommodate Step-Down and Mental Health Units (see Recommendation 24), MCSCS should examine additional infrastructural needs of the institution to improve the health and safety of both inmates and staff and also accommodate the delivery of expanded programing.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • In March 2017, the ministry identified the need for larger cell door windows to improve the conditions of confinement by increasing visibility within cells, in addition to the replacement of meal hatches. Upon further investigation, it was determined that it is more cost-effective to install new cell doors instead of modifying them. The new cell doors are currently being manufactured and installation is anticipated to be completed in October 2017.
  • New cell doors will also be installed in the segregation area. The installation of these new doors is anticipated to be completed in October 2017. The ministry will also complete the repair work (flooring, shower enclosures, toilets, etc.) in the proposed Step-down and Stabilization areas in order to minimize impacts on correctional service delivery.
  • As part of corrections reform, the ministry also announced funding approval for the construction of a new 725-bed multi-purpose replacement correctional centre in Ottawa which will further improve the health and safety of staff and inmates and also accommodate the delivery of expanded programming.
  • A senior ministry executive has been assigned to support corrections infrastructure projects and ensure new institutions align with the government’s vision for corrections.
  • The continued progress for this initiative will be monitored through Correctional Services Reform.

Physical Inspection – Long Term

Recommendation 39:

MCSCS should undertake a full facility physical inspection to improve health and safety conditions, and create a more hygienic environment for inmates and staff. This inspection would determine and recommend immediate maintenance and renovations, including, but not limited to, security, painting and cleaning of air ducts. It would also establish a long-term, lifecycle approach for the physical infrastructure.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #2

Reintegration into the Community

Intermittent Community Work Program (ICWP) – Short Term

Recommendation 40:

MCSCS should evaluate the utilization of the ICWP to ensure its use is being maximized and take appropriate measures for the program to be expanded. This should include measures to ensure better access for female offenders at OCDC that have been convicted for impaired driving charges.

Status: Complete

See Progress Report #1

Temporary Absences Permits – Long Term

Recommendation 41:

MCSCS should increase the use of temporary absences for inmates near the end of their sentences by working in collaboration with the Ontario Parole Board.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • OCDC has a coordinator responsible for temporary absence permits for long-term sentenced inmates. OCDC inmates that are transferred to another institution do not have access to this program.
  • The ministry continues to meet with the OPB to discuss next steps and to look at options in order to increase appropriate temporary absence permits through a consultative process.  Work in this area will continue through Correctional Services Reform.

Discharge Planning and Parole Application Support – Long Term

Recommendation 42:

MCSCS should provide necessary resources to assist with discharge planning for inmates and better support mechanisms for inmates preparing for parole applications at OCDC. This includes incorporating a case management team approach for discharge planning and parole applications, initiating discharge planning upon admission and enhancing community partnerships to better support the reintegration, discharge and parole planning for inmates.

Lastly, the Task Force also recommends the Ontario Parole Board and the ministry to review the role of community agencies in facilitating an inmate’s preparation for parole.

Status: In Progress

Action since Progress Report #2:

  • OCDC has a Discharge Planner on site that sees approximately 20 inmates per week. The John Howard Society has been identified as a community partner that will assist with inmate discharge planning and cooperation is ongoing.
  • Work in the area of discharge planning and parole application support continues through Correctional Services Reform.

Appendix

OCDC Task Force Recommendations: Implementation Summary

Recommendation Ministry Lead Status
1. Quarterly Trend Analysis (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
2. Open Data (Medium Term) MCSCS To be posted August 2017
3. Provincial Inmate Transportation Coordinator (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
4. Movement of Sentenced and Long Term Remand Inmates (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
5. Phone Calls to Family Members (Long Term) MCSCS Long term remand inmates transferred from OCDC within Eastern region to receive Virtual PIN cards by October 2017
6. Inmate Request/Complaint Tracking and Processing (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
7. Provincial Bailiff Transfer Schedule (Medium Term) MCSCS Complete
8. Professional Visits (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
9. Pre-Trial Custody Project (Medium Term) MAG Complete
10. Additional Dedicated ‘In Custody’ Trial Court (Medium Term) MAG Under jurisdiction of Ontario Court of Justice
11. Funded Bail Beds (Medium Term) MAG/MCSCS Complete
12. Bail Process (Medium Term) MAG/MCSCS Duty counsel bail coordinator to start by July 2017
13. Policing Reforms (Long Term) MCSCS Work is ongoing as part of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario
14. Policing Reforms (Medium Term) MCSCS Memorandum is projected to be distributed to all Chiefs of Police in Summer 2017
15. Enhancing Community Support Programs (Long Term) MAG Complete
16. Enhancing Judicial Decision Making (Long Term) MAG Under jurisdiction of Ontario Court of Justice
17. Addressing Delays in Bail Court (Medium Term) MAG Under jurisdiction of Ontario Court of Justice
18. Diversion Programs (Long Term) MCSCS/MAG Complete
19. Bail Conditions (Medium Term) MAG Experts have been appointed to revise and modernize Crown policy on bail
20. Gladue Considerations (Short Term) MAG Indigenous Bail and Remand Program developed
21. Access to Video Technology (Long Term) MCSCS OCDC pilot to begin in September 2017
22. Comprehensive Health Care Review (Medium Term) MCSCS Complete
23. Addiction Support (Medium Term) MCSCS Complete
24. Step-Down and Mental Health Units (Long Term) MCSCS Expected to be complete December 2017
25. Alternative Housing Options (Long Term) MCSCS/MOHLTC/MAG MOHLTC to proceed with forensic bed pilots in Toronto and Hamilton
26. Mental Health Training (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
27. Transfer of Health Care Delivery (Long Term) MCSCS/MOHLTC Preliminary discussions  with MOHLTC have begun
28. OCDC Information Brochure (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
29. Cleanliness of the Institution (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
30. Food and Nutrition (Medium Term) MCSCS Food services delivery currently under review
31. Recreation (Long Term) MCSCS Complete
32. Support for Marginalized Inmate Population (Medium Term) MCSCS Complete
33. Institutional Phone System (Long Term) MCSCS Long term remand inmates transferred from OCDC within Eastern region to receive Virtual PIN cards by October 2017
34. Use of Segregation (Medium Term) MCSCS In progress, additional have been hired to increase supports to inmates who have significant challenges related to long-term segregation. 
35. Direct Supervision (Long Term) MCSCS Ministry intends to use this model when designing new institution in Ottawa
36. Community Advisory Boards (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
37. Community Groups and Volunteers (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
38. Infrastructure Modifications (Long Term) MCSCS New cell doors to be installed by October 2017
39. Physical Inspection (Long Term) MCSCS Complete
40. Intermittent Community Work (ICWP) (Short Term) MCSCS Complete
41. Temporary Absence Permit (Long Term) MCSCS Ministry continues to consult with Ontario Parole Board
42. Discharge Planning and Parole Application Support (Long Term) MCSCS On site discharge planner sees approximately 20 inmates per week