Correctional Service of Canada

Correctional Service of Canada

December 11, 2014 15:45 ET

The Correctional Service of Canada Announces Long-Term Agreement for Mental Health Spaces With the Brockville Mental Health Centre

Government responds to the Ontario Coroner's Inquest into the death of Ashley Smith

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 11, 2014) - Correctional Service Canada

Today, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) that has been signed between CSC and the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group's Brockville Mental Health Centre. This long-term MOU builds upon the successful pilot program between the two agencies, as announced in May 2014.

The agreement provides guaranteed access to two inpatient beds, strengthening CSC's capacity to address the unique needs of women federal offenders with the most complex mental health needs. Services provided through this MOU will include forensic psychiatry and psychology, nursing, social work, and vocational therapy. Women offenders with all forms of complex mental disorders may be considered for admission to the Brockville Mental Health Centre.

This MOU builds on the Mental Health Action Plan for Federal Offenders, launched on May 1, 2014. With five pillars (timely assessment, effective management, sound intervention, ongoing training, and robust governance and oversight) the Action Plan ensures that CSC has the tools to effectively manage and treat federal offenders with complex mental health needs. The Action Plan forms part of the government's response to recommendations made in the report released following the Ontario Chief Coroner's Inquest into the death of Ashley Smith. Today, a full response to those recommendations was provided to the Ontario Chief Coroner. The response was developed under the guidance of a multi-disciplinary Deputy Minister Steering Committee who oversaw a rigorous review process that included consultation with the Auditor General of Canada and the Correctional Investigator of Canada.

Quick Facts

  • CSC invests approximately $90 million annually to address the mental health needs of federal offenders.
  • As part of the Mental Health Action Plan for Federal Offenders, CSC has revised its model of health care to better match services to the needs of the inmate population. There is a planned realignment of health care resources to enhance capacity to provide intermediate mental health care. This will allow inmates to receive the most appropriate type of care when they need it.
  • In addition to the new bed spaces in Brockville, CSC has an existing capacity of 20 psychiatric bed spaces for women offenders at CSC's Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon and an additional 12 beds for women offenders at L'Institut Philippe Pinel in Montréal through a separate MOU.
  • CSC is in the final stages of negotiation for a similar agreement with the Capital District Health Authority, Province of Nova Scotia. Under this agreement, the East Coast Forensic Hospital would provide accommodation and services to women with complex mental health needs on a fee for service basis.
  • Since 2007, approximately 10,800 CSC staff working in both its institutions and community facilities received the Fundamentals of Mental Health training.
  • Almost 90% of women offenders voluntarily complete mental health screening at intake, and over 98% of women with identified needs then received mental health services.

Quotes

"By taking proactive steps in partnership with the Brockville Mental Health Centre, our Government is taking unprecedented action to treat federal offenders with the most complex mental health needs, in order to change the way we view mental health overall. This includes understanding that prisons are not always the most appropriate place for the most seriously mentally ill. Our Mental Health Action Plan is ensuring the continued safety and security of Canadians."

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

"The recommendations of the Coroner's Jury were a valuable contribution to CSC's review of our mental health services. CSC's response to those recommendations sets the stage for continued improvement to our capacity to provide the appropriate care and facilities for those offenders with complex mental health needs."

Don Head, Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada

"Treating women with complex mental illness and helping them reintegrate into the community and with their families is at the core of our forensic treatment program at The Royal. This signed agreement signals an important step forward in treatment and rehabilitation and we will work closely with CSC to address the mental health needs of women offenders."

George Weber, President and CEO, The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group

Related Products

Response to the Ontario Chief Coroner's Inquest into the death of Ashley Smith

Verdict of the Coroner's Jury, Inquest into the death of Ashley Smith

May 1, 2014 News Release - Mental Health Action Plan for Federal Offenders

Associated Links

http://www.theroyal.ca/

Contact Information

  • Jason Tamming
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Public Safety
    and Emergency Preparedness
    613-991-2924

    Media Relations
    Correctional Service Canada
    613-992-7711