INMATE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
It is out of concern for prisoner rights and prison conditions that the need
for a channel for inmate grievances emerged. At present, there are several
avenues that an inmate can pursue in order to address a grievance. These
avenues can be laid out in the following way:
Commissioner of Correctional Services Canada
Deputy Commissioner at Regional Headquarters
Warden of Institution
Inmate Grievance Committee
Director of Institution
Internal Grievance Procedures
Before an inmate attempts to file a written complaint with either the
Ombudsman or the Correctional Investigator, he or she should first try to
resolve the problem through the internal grievance procedure, and before going
through the inmate grievance process, inmates are advised to first talk to
staff to try to solve the problem informally.
|The institutions have different
policies for dealing with complaints:
Within each institution, there is
an inmate grievance clerk, entitled the Institutional Grievance Coordinator.
This individual meets with the inmate to discuss the complaint. Often, the
inmate can settle the grievance informally. If the inmate wishes to pursue the
grievance formally, the clerk will assist in putting the grievance in writing
and in submitting the complaint.
Some institutions have Inmate Grievance Committees, composed of two
staff and two inmate members, and chaired by a non-voting person who may be
either a staff member or an inmate. Written complaints must be submitted to
them and they subsequently render a decision on the issue.
In those institutions that do not have a grievance coordinator or
grievance committee, the inmate must make a written complaint of the grievance
and address it to the appropriate authority, such as the unit manager, the
correctional supervisor, or the health care manager. At Bowden Institution in
Alberta, a written complaint must be sent to the Chief of Administration who
subsequently passes the complaint on to the proper authority.