When are federal inmates entitled to make representations?
- Kate Mitchell
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While Correctional Service Canada has the ultimate say over most decisions affecting inmates, inmates are often entitled to make representations. This means that inmates are statutorily entitled to present arguments to the decision-maker. Even if the decision-maker isn’t convinced by the inmate’s arguments, the failure to meaningfully respond to those arguments in the decision can be a ground to later challenge the decision.
Inmates are statutorily entitled to make representations regarding:
- Penitentiary placements
- Placements in structured intervention units (segregation)
- Demands to provide urinalysis samples
- Refused or suspended visits
- Intercepted communications
- Prohibitions on communicating with particular persons
- Prohibitions on assemblies of inmates or activities of inmate organizations
- Demands to wear a monitoring device
Representations may be made after the fact. For example, when inmates gets emergency transferred to another institution, then they are typically given an opportunity to make representations within several days of the transfer.
Inmates may also be permitted to make representations in other circumstances. For example, in applications for UTAs/ETAs, at the end of parole hearings, or by filing grievances.
Good submissions can help inmates get the results they want at the first stage or, at minimum, set up a good record to challenge decisions down the road. If you have questions about making representations or need assistance preparing them, contact us today.