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What is a file correction?

Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, Correctional Service Canada “shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that any information about an offender that it uses is as accurate, up to date and complete as possible.”

This provision is part of a prisoner’s rights package, and it recognizes CSC makes better decisions about prisoners when information is accurate, up to date, and complete.

If a prisoner believes there is an error or omission in their file, then they can submit a file correction request. A request must be made in writing and submitted to the author of the report or the prisoner’s parole officer. Requests will normally be processed within 30 days.

If the request is granted, then the information will be corrected in all CSC files. In the event that it is denied, then the prisoner’s records will simply be amended to note that a file correction has been requested (and the details of the request will be noted). Prisoners are to receive written reasons if their file correction request is denied, which can then be grieved.

If file information was accurate and complete in the first place, then a prisoner may need to produce evidence to show that it no longer is. For example, if a prisoner was part of a security threat group (a gang, organized crime, tc.) and has cut ties, then they may have to produce some kind of evidence to show they are no longer associated with that group.

File corrections can be difficult when it comes to challenging certain kinds of information, especially allegations against a prisoner. CSC is entitled to maintain information about allegations made against prisoners, even if the allegations are totally spurious. However, there may come a point when the information becomes stale and is of little value or relevance in making decisions.

Moreover, file corrections are generally not meant to challenge the Case Management Team’s opinions. However, file corrections can be useful to challenge the facts and information that underpin the Case Management Team’s opinions about security classification, parole recommendations, etc.

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