This fall, the Ombudsman and a team of managers set off on the first leg of her tour to promote fair decision-making in adult provincial correctional facilities. The visits stemmed from a pilot presentation at Edmonton Remand Centre in March 2019, where investigators were invited to speak on the importance of good administrative fairness practices.
The southern leg included stops at Medicine Hat Remand Centre, Lethbridge Correctional Centre, Calgary Correctional Centre and Calgary Remand Centre. New investigators from our Calgary office took advantage of the timing and attended a full tour of both Calgary facilities, including a look at admissions, areas for inmate healthcare, and administrative segregation.
The northern leg took staff to Peace River Correctional Centre where other educational initiatives in the area were also taking place.
The tour concluded with visits to Calgary Young Offenders Centre where Calgary’s adult female inmates are now being housed, Red Deer Remand Centre and Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre (FSCC). Over 20 senior correctional officers and healthcare workers attended the FSCC presentation following a morning facilities tour for Edmonton Ombudsman staff.
“Our office receives a fair amount of complaints from people incarcerated and we wanted to help corrections in their decision-writing abilities and their process to make sure that they’re addressing all areas of fairness that we think are important. We’re not there to overturn a decision, we’re just there to make sure they understand what constitutes a fair decision,” said Marianne Ryan to a Fort Saskatchewan reporter in an article about the tour.
A proactive approach and working collaboratively with authorities is an effective strategy to preventing unfairness before it occurs. We appreciated the opportunity to talk about our fairness guidelines and how they can be applied in the correctional setting.
If you would like us to visit your community, or you have a question or concern about unfair treatment in the delivery of a public service, contact us. We are here to help.