In 1996-1997, the Correctional Investigator received a total of 6,366 complaints, and resolved 551 of them. Not all of the complaints received by the Correctional Investigator's Office are resolved. In fact, of all the complaints received by the Correctional Investigator's Office in 1996-1997, less than 10% were resolved. The following table illustrates the disposition of complaints in 1996-1997:


Table 2 - Dispositions of Complaints 1996-1997

Advice given

   

583

     

Assistance given

   

957

     

Information given

   

1832

     

Not justified

   

471

     

Not within mandate

   

185

     

Pending

   

274

     

Premature

   

1282

     

Resolved

   

551

     

Unable to resolve

   

81

     

Withdrawn

   

150

     

TOTAL     6366      

Source: “Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator, 1996-1997,” Government of Canada, 1997, p. 20.

THE OMBUDSMAN

The term "ombudsman" originates from Sweden and means "agent," "attorney" or "representative." Because it was not easily translated, the word was accepted into the English language. Alberta has the distinction of having the first official Ombudsman in North America. The very first complaint to come into the Alberta Office of the Ombudsman was from an inmate in an Alberta mental health facility who had been denied a hearing before an unprejudiced medical board, as was his right. Although the inmate had already completed successful treatment at the hospital, he was transferred back and remained there from 1961 until 1967 when the Ombudsman intervened and obtained a formal release hearing. The Office of the Ombudsman consists of the Ombudsman, investigators and administrative staff.


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