OTTAWA, Sept. 5, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement.
“On July 27, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of Anne Kelly as the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), effective July 30, 2018. Today, I am pleased to publish her mandate letter, marking the first time that a CSC Commissioner has received a public mandate.
With this mandate letter, the Government of Canada is providing clear direction on its priorities and vision: that the safety of the public is best protected by effective rehabilitation and safe reintegration of people serving a federal sentence.
The mandate emphasizes that external partnerships and engagement will be essential to the success of our correctional system, which ensures the safety of our communities. Building relationships with community groups, Indigenous Peoples, volunteers, and others is invaluable to achieving positive rehabilitative outcomes that help prevent re-offending. Exploring new, supervised uses of information technology can help prepare offenders for today’s job market and maintain the family and community ties that help foster their eventual safe reintegration as law-abiding Canadians. The input of independent researchers can help identify what works and what doesn’t, strengthening correctional approaches to protect Canadians.
The letter also emphasizes that different groups of offenders—including Black Canadians, women, young adults, LGBTQ2 people and aging offenders—have different needs and experiences, which require tailored approaches. In particular, more work needs to be done to address the needs of Indigenous Peoples, who are overrepresented in federal custody. This includes increasing the number of community-run healing lodges and re-examining CSC’s governance structure to better integrate Indigenous needs and perspectives.
CSC’s Commissioner has four critical responsibilities. To Canadians: ensuring that offenders are well-equipped to live productive, law-abiding lives when they return to the community. To employees: ensuring that they have a safe and supportive workplace. To victims of crime: ensuring that they receive the compassion and information they deserve. To offenders: ensuring that they receive the programming and treatment they require in a safe, humane environment.
Commissioner Kelly will build on the important progress that has been underway at CSC to promote public safety and rehabilitation, including: better addressing the needs of those with mental health issues; reducing the rate of infectious diseases; modernizing CSC’s approach to gender identity or expression; launching new measures to better reintegrate and rehabilitate previously incarcerated Indigenous people; and restoring prison farms.
I look forward to a productive and collaborative working relationship with Commissioner Kelly, taking best advantage of her 35 years of experience in the corrections field.”
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