Statement - Minister Mendicino welcomes Auditor General's audit report on federal offenders
OTTAWA, ON, May 31, 2022
OTTAWA, ON, May 31, 2022 /CNW/ - The Minister of Public Safety Canada issued the following statement on an audit report tabled in Parliament by the Auditor General of Canada on the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC):
"I would like to thank the Auditor General for her audit report and recommendations. I strongly believe that open conversations about these important and complex issues are essential to improving outcomes, especially for Indigenous and Black offenders, to support their timely, safe and successful reintegration into our communities.
It is essential that we work to better support Indigenous, Black, and other racialized offenders, and address the barriers they may face. To this end, CSC has accepted all of the Auditor General's recommendations and is taking concrete actions to address them. CSC has begun an arm's-length initiative to develop an Indigenous-informed security classification process, from the ground up, to ensure it is gender-informed and culturally relevant for Indigenous peoples. CSC will also validate its processes and tools to ensure that women and Black offenders are initially placed at the most appropriate security level. CSC is focused on providing timely access to correctional programs by expanding existing delivery options, and continues to prioritize staffing efforts for employment equity groups.
In addition to the actions already underway, CSC will create a position of Deputy Commissioner for Indigenous Corrections dedicated to addressing Indigenous issues in the correctional system, including the overrepresentation of Indigenous offenders, especially women, and help CSC implement the many other Calls for Justice that fall within their purview. CSC is working on a number of initiatives to address systemic barriers within the organization, including the implementation of an Anti-Racism Framework and Actions. CSC is building a dedicated team to support this work.
I am committed – as are my portfolio deputy heads – to combatting systemic racism and discrimination, and addressing the disproportionate representation of Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians in our criminal justice system, including corrections. The Government of Canada has legislation before Parliament, Bill C-5, which proposes to reform sentencing measures for certain offences, including mandatory minimum penalties. This, together with continued work to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and address root causes of this overrepresentation, will help improve outcomes for these individuals. I will continue to work on this priority closely with Indigenous peoples, my colleagues, public safety departments and partners, and stakeholders.
Once again, I would like to thank the Auditor General for her report. I am committed to working with Commissioner Kelly on additional ways we can support positive outcomes for Indigenous, Black, and other racialized individuals in our correctional system. In the end, this is how we will advance reconciliation and build safer communities for all Canadians."
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada