The Government of Canada established Correctional Service Canada’s (CSC) Structured Intervention Units (SIUs) to be a substitute for “Administrative Segregation” as it officially was known, or Solitary Confinement as it is more commonly known. The goals – explicit in the legislation governing federal penitentiaries (the Corrections and Conditional Release Act) – included provisions that SIUs were to be used as little as possible and that prisoners would be transferred from them as soon as possible.
This report examines some aspects of the operation of the IEDMs – the only SIU oversight mechanism that is currently active – using administrative data provided to us by CSC in January 2021. These administrative data deal only with IEDM reviews of the length of an SIU stay (CCRA: s37.8). We did not have data on other important reviews carried out by IEDMs, most notably the reviews that are required when a prisoner does not get the requisite number of hours out of the cell.
Jane B Sprott, Anthony N Doob, & Adelina Iftene, Do Independent External Decision Makers Ensure that “An Inmate’s Confinement in a Structured Intervention Unit Is to End as Soon as Possible”? [Corrections and Conditional Release Act, Section 33] (Ottawa: Public Safety Canada, 2021).