statisticsWe have another comment from our prolific inmate in a local federal prison. (Apologies for scanning his work instead of retyping it.)





recidivismOur correspondent asks why more effort isn’t put into rehabilitating those with lower scores. Do you think our current government in Ottawa cares at all about rehabilitation?



Images courtesy of:

  1. Laurel Lafaut says:

    Based on the number of rehab programs/resources available to inmates, how could one come to any conclusion but “no”.

  2. Joanne says:

    Unfortunately, CSC focuses on the bottom line, as we do live in a capitalist society. They put the resources where they have a better chance of paying off. I say unfortunately, because this does not do anything for those in the third who want to make a difference in their lives. Also, this assumes that the SIR score is accurate for each individual, which, of course, it isn’t and cannot be. All that can come out is an estimate and there’s no real way of knowing for sure which way an individual will go.

    Historically, the SIR was used to assign people to the proper intensity of programming–not to exclude them altogether–but because resources for programs are dwindling, the effect is that those that require greater intensity, simply get nothing. in truth, with the constant erosion in the quality of programs and the qualifications of those who deliver them (all in a short-sighted attempt to save money), most get close to nothing anyhow.

    As for “What happens when someone is treated like a hopless case…”, I couldn’t agree more!

    All I can conclude about our current government is that they appear to care more about votes and money than they care about people.

  3. The short answer, as usual with CSC, is no, because they can’t be bothered (they are lazy and don’t have to do rehabilitation, according to themselves and their superiors, so they don’t) and incompetent (no training), as well as being childishly irresponsible. The SIR scale is peferred because it is static–only deals with whatever is on the prisoner’s file reagrding previous offences– and only has 15 items. There is a much better assessment tool: LSI-R. It includes what has happened to the prisoner since incarceration began (such as rehabilitation programs and assessment by CSC’s numerous psychologists), but it has 54 items and requires paying some attention to the prisoner. It was prepared by, among others, CSC staff, and is well thought of and used in many of the (numerous) U.S. correctional and parole systems. Nevertheless, CSC staff don’t like it, because it hurts their little heads (CSC is the only part of government that I have ever seen that devotes pages on their website arguing against staff refusal to do their work, such as using assessment tools), and pays attention to the prisoner reality, and requires actual work, which is against their religion. There are whole regions in which LSI-R is never used.
    As for rehabilitation, like the “actuarial assessment tools”, that they boast about in their Commissioner’s Directives and their Annual Report, and their statements to Parliament and the public, they are lying about that. too. The ’11-’12 Office of the Correctional Investigator Annual Report is out, and shows that, on a sample date for 7 sample institutions, the number of prisoners in the “Core Correctional Program” was all of 12.5% of the total number of inmates in those institutions. Given CSC’s long and proud history of delivering their rehabilitation programs so badly as to make them worthless (as intended, presumeably), the effective proportion of prisoners given these programs is closer to 0.0%. OCI also notes that the number of prisoners on waitlists for these programs “exceeds 35%”, and that 60% have their parole hearings delayed or cancelled, normally because they have not completed the program. Of course, this all is exactly the opposite as what all of the findings of all of the research says will diminish recidivism (that is, result in less crime) and make citizens safer, but CSC seems not to care about any of that. Probably, since the Harper government has loudly enacted all of this, currently unnecessary, anti-crime legislation, they would really prefer if there was more crime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s