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Home News Ministry policy on prolonged segregation not being consistently followed says auditor

Ministry policy on prolonged segregation not being consistently followed says auditor

Ministry policy on prolonged segregation not being consistently followed says auditor
PRINCE ALBERT SK PHOTO: BRADLEY RUSZKOWSKI

As part of her 2022 report, Saskatchewan’s Provincial Auditor Tara Clemett made seven recommendations after examining the Ministry of Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety’s processes to administratively segregate inmates in its adult secure-custody correctional centres.

The Ministry placed 49 inmates on administrative segregation in 2021, with over half due to violent or aggressive behaviour. In 2021, there were 13 inmates segregated for over 15 days, with one recorded as going over 43 days straight.

According to Clemett, good practice expects inmates to be on administrative segregation no longer than 15 consecutive days.

“Effective processes to administratively segregate inmates contribute to the safety and well-being of inmates and staff,” said Clemett in a media release.

“Although the Ministry’s Administrative Segregation Policy aligns with good practice, inconsistencies in following its guidance can cause unnecessary and prolonged segregation that may negatively affect segregated inmates’ health and well-being.”

Based on the audit, she recommended that the Ministry have appropriate staff authorize administrative segregation placement decisions and have inmate appeals reviewed by independent adjudicators, formally communicate the decision of administrative segregation to inmates, broaden its quality assurance reviews to assess compliance with all key policies including appropriately documenting daily reviews and adequately completing healthcare assessments.

Clemett also suggested that an ongoing training plan for correctional centre staff involved in administrative segregation be developed and written reports to senior management and the public about the use of administrative segregation be enhanced.

“Regular refresher training on administrative segregation processes and enhanced quality assurance evaluations will increase the likelihood correctional centre staff consistently follow administrative segregation policy requirements such as daily inmate meetings and healthcare assessments,” said Clemett. “This ensures inmates are treated equitably in line with good practice or adjustments to conditions are made timely.”

The report found that the Ministry’s healthcare assessments are not completed as required or completed late. She was also unable to confirm that inmates are receiving a minimum of two hours of out of cell leisure time per day as daily reviews aren’t documented; one inmate spent 24 days on administrative segregations with only eight daily reviews documented. Out of 20 placements, five were approved by correctional officers rather than correctional centre managers.