Streamlining Offender Grievance Process

30 May, 2012

“CSC is streamlining the of- fender grievance process to produce greater consistency of grievance reviews and to achieve cost savings,” CSC spokeswoman Suzanne Le- Clerc said. Seventeen CSC positions across the country will be affected.

Currently, if an offender has a complaint and it can’t be resolved informally, that of- fender can go through a for- mal grievance process that starts with the institution, then moves on to regional adminis- trators and then on to head- quarters.

That second, regional stage, is the one being eliminated. The streamlining is expected to save the CSC over $1.5 million.  John Edmunds, President of the Union of Solicitor Gen- eral Employees, said that the elimination of that process will mean fewer complaints get heard, “and more anxiety and potential violence in institu- tions.”

But Canada’s Correctional Investigator, Howard Sapers, who has called the grievance process convoluted and dys- functional, said that he sup- ports eliminating the second stage in principle because it will help achieve a fairer, more effi- cient and less complex grievance system. He also said removing the second stage will create more flexibility to address backlogs in the other stages.

Don Head, Commissioner of the CSC, recently told a parlia- mentary committee that about 2 dozen federal inmates lodge more than 100 grievances each year with the aim of clogging the sys- tem and harassing corrections staff. He said inmates have com- plained about ice cream being ‘too cold’ or eggs being ‘too small’.

Source: The Montreal Gazette 


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