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Joint News Release – Meeting the special needs of aging and elderly federal offenders

by ahnationtalk on February 14, 201854 Views

February 14, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), and the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI)

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI) are launching a joint investigation into the systemic discrimination of aging and elderly offenders (those 50 years of age and older) in both federal prisons and community corrections. This investigation, which will span several months, will inform a comprehensive report to Correctional Services Canada (CSC), outlining recommendations on how best to balance public safety while respecting the special needs and protecting the human rights of this vulnerable group.

“It is widely acknowledged that our aging and elderly populations are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses, and these vulnerabilities are all the more acute during and after a period of incarceration,” said Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. “Our organizations are uniquely placed to assess these vulnerabilities and provide a way forward.”

“My Office has raised concerns regarding the challenges facing the aging and elderly in federal custody for more than a decade. Over this time period, the aging inmate population has continued to grow and now comprises 25% of the total inmate population” said Ivan Zinger, Correctional Investigator of Canada. “Aging offenders use a disproportionate share of prison health care services, are vulnerable to victimization and often reside in prisons that are inaccessible and ill-equipped to manage their health care needs. This is an innovative partnership drawing on the expertise of both organizations.”

Over the course of the next few months, officials from the CHRC and OCI will be conducting interviews within federal institutions and the community in all five Correctional Service of Canada regions (Pacific, Prairie, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic). A final report will be made public and presented to CSC in late 2018.
Background / Quick Facts

  • A memorandum of understanding was jointly signed by the CHRC and OCI in February 2018 to begin the investigation.
  • The OCI and the CHRC will share expertise and provide leadership/guidance regarding legal and policy issues within their respective mandate and functions.
  • The OCI and the CHRC will jointly conduct interviews within institutions and the community in all five Correctional Service of Canada regions (Pacific, Prairie, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic).  Specific institutions chosen for the investigation will be determined based on those institutions with large populations of elderly offenders in order to maximize the sample size, and to ensure that the sample reflects the intersectional profile of the entire federal offender population (e.g., women, Indigenous, etc.)
  • Institutional visits will take place between March 2018 and May 2018.
  • The OCI and the CHRC will develop a joint final report based on the interviews and expertise of each organization.

Quotes

“It is widely acknowledged that our aging and elderly populations are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses, and these vulnerabilities are all the more acute during and after a period of incarceration. Our organizations are uniquely placed to assess these vulnerabilities and provide a way forward.”

—Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

“My Office has raised concerns regarding the challenges facing the aging and elderly in federal custody for more than a decade. Over this time period, the aging inmate population has continued to grow and now comprises 25% of the total inmate population.”

— Ivan Zinger, J.D., Ph.D., Correctional Investigator of Canada

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Media Contacts

Canadian Human Rights Commission Media Relations
613-943-9118
communications@chrc-ccdp.gc.ca

Office of the Correctional Investigator
Marie-France Kingsley, A/Executive Director
(613) 990-2690
Marie-France.Kingsley@oci-bec.gc.ca

NT4

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