OTTAWA, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement in response to the Office of the Correctional Investigator's (OCI) 2018-19 Annual Report:
"We thank the Correctional Investigator for the diligent work that went into the 2018-2019 Annual Report. This report raises many pressing and important concerns, including gaps in service and care for vulnerable populations and issues around workplace culture in federal institutions.
The report puts forward sixteen concrete recommendations. The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has identified a path forward to address the many issues raised, and I will work closely with CSC leadership to ensure that real progress is made.
The Correctional Investigator plays an important role in our society, contributing to public safety by identifying issues of concern within the federal correctional system. By collaborating with stakeholders and partners, the Correctional Investigator, the Correctional Service of Canada, and the Government of Canada all work toward the same goal: ensuring that Canada's federal correctional system is safe, humane, and effective when it comes to rehabilitating offenders, reducing the risk of re-offending, and keeping our communities safe.
Addressing the challenges facing the federal correctional system remains a priority for the Government of Canada. This includes ensuring that employees have a respectful and healthy workplace and addressing gaps in services for various offender populations, including Indigenous peoples, women, aging offenders, and those living with mental illness.
There have been important correctional reforms in Canada recently – the introduction of new Structured Intervention Units (SIUs) is one notable example.
We also continue work with our partners, as part of a whole of government approach, to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system, both as victims and offenders.
The issues raised by the Correctional Investigator are extremely important as we strive to meet the highest standards when it comes to protecting the public and maintaining public safety. Federal corrections is currently in a period of rapid transformation – over the coming months and years, I expect the CSC and the OCI to continue to work together to resolve correctional matters and ensure that we are serving all Canadians to the very best of our ability."
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Mary-Liz Power, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, [email protected]; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657, [email protected]