Report 6—Community Supervision—Correctional Service Canada

At a Glance Report 6—Community Supervision—Correctional Service Canada

What we examined (see Focus of the audit)

Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, most offenders become eligible for release before their sentences end. As a result, nearly all serve a portion of their sentences under supervision in the community.

This audit focused on whether Correctional Service Canada adequately supervised offenders in the community, and accommodated them when required, to support their return to society as law-abiding citizens.

Why we did this audit

This audit is important because offenders’ gradual and supervised return to society leads to better public safety outcomes. Correctional Service Canada’s responsibilities include helping to rehabilitate offenders and reintegrate them into the community as law-abiding citizens.

Overall message

The number of offenders released into community supervision had grown and was expected to keep growing. However, Correctional Service Canada had reached the limit of how many offenders it could house in the community. As a result, offenders approved for release into the community had to wait twice as long for accommodation. Despite the growing backlog, and despite research that showed that a gradual supervised release gave offenders a better chance of successful reintegration, Correctional Service Canada did not have a long-term plan to respond to its housing pressures.

It could take more than two years from the time a site was selected with a community partner to the time the first offender was placed at a new facility. Given that Correctional Service Canada was already at capacity, this meant that the housing shortages were likely to get worse.

Our audit also found that Correctional Service Canada did not properly manage offenders under community supervision. For example, it did not give parole officers all the information they needed to help offenders with their health needs, and parole officers did not always meet with offenders as often as they should have.

This meant that Correctional Service Canada could not find places in a timely manner for many offenders who should have been released into community supervision, and it did not properly monitor many offenders under community supervision.

What we found about …

Accommodation in the community

Supervision of offenders

Measurement of results

Entity Responses to Recommendations

The entity agrees with our recommendations and has responded (see List of Recommendations).

Related information

Report of the Auditor General of Canada
Type of product Performance audit
Completion date 24 August 2018
Tabling date 20 November 2018
Related audits

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Illustration with a quote from the report