Committees Within a Prison

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A Prison Committee is made up of a group of individuals who gather to serve a specific function.  For example there may be a committee for providing a formal channel of communication between inmates and staff.

There are community-based committees and institutionally based committees.

Institutional Committees

Inmate Committee: An Inmate Committee is elected to provide an exchange of information between inmates and staff regarding Institutional programs and activities.  The Committee usually has a Chairman, Vice Chairman, and a Secretary/Treasurer.

The Committee develops a harmonious and constructive relationship between inmates and staff.  The Committee will be responsible for providing a means by which the inmate population can recommend and promote activities in support of institutional operations.  They are also responsible for arranging various functions that are authorized by the Warden.  Members are elected and removed if there are any issues, as governed by CD 083 Inmate Committees.

Elections:  Elections are traditionally held once a year, except in exceptional circumstances. Inmates are nominated or volunteer to run for council. Then elections are held and individuals are voted on by a secret ballot process.

Range Representatives:  These representatives work closely with the IC and provide inmates assistance in writing complaints and grievances, liaising with management on inmate issues and activities.  These representatives also assist the IC in decisions concerning the recommendation of expenditures within the Inmate Welfare Fund.

Citizen Advisory Committee

Mission Statement: “Citizen Advisory Committees, through voluntary participation in the Canadian federal correctional process, contribute to the protection of society by actively interacting with the staff of CSC, the public and offenders, providing impartial advice and recommendations, thereby contributing to the quality of the correctional process”.

These are members of the local community who have been appointed (for a period of not less than two years) by the CSC Deputy Commissioner of the region on the recommendation of the wardens or directors of institutions, parole offices or Community Correctional Centers.  They act as observers, advisors and community liaison representatives within the institutions and parole offices.

A major contribution of Citizens’ Advisory Committees is their ability to act as independent observers of the day-to-day activities and operations of the CSC.  This includes assisting CSC in evaluating and monitoring provision of adequate care and supervision and programs for offenders in accordance with stated values and approved regulations and procedures, such as CSC’s Mission Statement and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.