Provincial inmates have a different grievance process. Inmates in provincial institutions must first place their grievance in writing to the director of the institution. If the inmate does not agree with the decision made by the director, he/she can file a grievance with the provincial Ombudsman.
The provincial Ombudsman, established in Alberta in 1963, is used as a last resort for provincial inmates after all other avenues have been exhausted. An investigator from the Ombudsman=s office reviews all complaints made and will return a report on his/her findings to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is able to make recommendations to governmental offices but can never order them to make changes. In most cases though, the departmental heads heed the recommendations of the Ombudsman. Of the 119 Correctional Service complaints received in 1997, and the 26 previously opened files, 124 files were closed in 1997.
The office of the Canadian Federal Correctional Investigator was established in 1973 and deals exclusively with complaints from federal inmates across Canada. The Correctional Investigator is in essence an Ombudsman for approximately 15,000 federal inmates. An inmate is not required to exhaust all internal avenues before turning to the Correctional Investigator, but it is suggested that the inmate first discuss the problem with correctional staff or pursue the internal grievance process. The Correctional Investigator prefers to be used as a last resort. In 1996/97, the Correctional Investigator received a total of 6,366 complaints but only 551, or less than 10%, of them were resolved.