How do federal inmates get to lower security prisons?
- Kate Mitchell
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There are three factors that Correctional Service Canada considers when deciding whether to classify an inmate as minimum, medium, or maximum security:
Institutional adjustment: this refers to the inmate’s behaviour while incarcerated, and CSC will consider
- Violent incidents while in custody
- Reports from staff about the inmate’s behaviour
- Behaviour while in intake and provincial/territorial custody
- Membership in any gang/criminal organization
- Transfers to higher security prisons
- Mental health issues
Escape risk: this (obviously) refers to the risk of the inmate escaping, and CSC will consider
- Convictions for escaping, being unlawfully at large, breaches of trust, etc.
- Time on bail
- Length of the inmate’s sentence and time to serve before eligibility for unescorted temporary absences
- Successful periods of parole or statutory release, and successful temporary absences or work release
- Outstanding charges or appeals, including immigration/deportation proceedings
Public safety: this refers to the risk that the inmate poses to public safety, and CSC will consider
- History of violence (including nature, gravity, and number of prior offences)
- Past performance on temporary absences and work releases
- Mental health concerns and emotional stability/instability
- Alcohol and drug use
- Affiliations with criminal organizations/gangs, terrorist organizations, or radicalized groups
- Notoriety of the inmate
To get to a lower security prison, offenders need to lower their scores in these areas. A parole officer may recommend lowering one or more of these scores when an offender has had a prolonged period of good behaviour, completed programming, successfully completed a temporary absences or work release, participated in counseling or treatment, etc.
To get to medium security, an offender needs to have a low/moderate escape risk and a moderate public safety risk OR require a moderate degree of supervision and control in the prison.
To get to minimum security, an offender must have low scores on institutional adjustment, escape risk, and public safety.