Wednesday 26 January 1994

Annual report, Provincial Auditor, 1993: Ministry of the Solicitor General

and Correctional Services


*Chair / Président: Cordiano, Joseph (Lawrence L)

*Acting Chair / Président suppléant: Murphy, Tim (St George-St David L)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente: Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L)

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND)

*Callahan, Robert V. (Brampton South/-Sud L)

*Duignan, Noel (Halton North/-Nord ND)

Frankford, Robert (Scarborough East/-Est ND)

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC)

*O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York ND)

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND)

*Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND)

Tilson, David (Dufferin-Peel PC)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Akande, Zanana L. (St Andrew-St Patrick ND) for Mr Bisson

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND) for Mr Frankford

Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC) for Mrs Marland

Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND) for Mr Owens

Villeneuve, Noble (S-D-G & East Grenville/S-D-G & Grenville-Est PC) for Mr Tilson

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services:

Humphries, Dr Paul, senior medical consultant and manager, clinical services

Jensen, Kurt, manager, analysis and support, correctional services

McKerrell, Neil, assistant deputy minister, correctional services

Noble, Michele, deputy solicitor general and deputy minister

O'Brien, John, director, eastern region

Page, Don, director, western region

Peters, Erik, Provincial Auditor

Clerk / Greffier: Decker, Todd

Staff / Personnel: Anderson, Anne, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1018 in room 151.


The Chair (Mr Joseph Cordiano): The public accounts committee will come to order to deal with our agenda this morning. I guess I see a quorum. Some of our colleagues are out in the hall. We've waited long enough, so we'll proceed with this morning's agenda.

Once again, we have the deputy minister and the assistant deputy minister with us. Mr Mills?

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. In your absence yesterday, we had quite a large portion of the hearings set aside for opening remarks and I'd just like to lead right in with some comments and questions.

One thing I want to clarify right off the bat is that there were some remarks made yesterday about cooks guarding inmates. The suggestion in the press indicated that somehow we'd run out of correctional guards and cooks were filling in. It wasn't made quite clear yesterday that in fact the cook in question and all cooks in the correctional system get paid extra money in recognition of the fact that they qualify to guard prisoners.

Having visited the most secure prison of all in Canada, in Penetanguishene, I can tell you that it's common practice there for the inmates to prepare the meals under the supervision of a cook. This is general policy in the federal penitentiaries, and I must say from my experience, it's also the policy in military prisons as well. So it's not a precedent-setting idea at all when we have cooks supervising people within the domain of preparing meals.

Having said that and realizing that 83% of all the people who come under the system are free, out on the streets, interacting with society, working and making a meaningful contribution to their lives, that leaves 13% who remain in the system under some form of custody.

In a newspaper I read yesterday, it was suggested that somehow these people lead the life of Riley. It was suggested that we need to get back to a boot camp, paramilitary type of management of these offenders. It was suggested by the leader of the third party, Mike Harris, in some sort of policy statement yesterday, that somehow we've got to get back to some idea where people are accountable, where they don't eat popcorn and watch television all day and they don't get lobster on the weekend. That is an absolutely preposterous suggestion.

My question this morning is to ask the deputy minister or whomever she may designate to give us a rundown on the work programs for the 13% who are actually incarcerated; never mind the 83% who are making a meaningful contribution to society. I'd like the deputy to share with us the work program, the self-sufficiency of the system.

Also, I might comment that the community programs, where people are ordered to perform community work, account each year for $5 billion. That's a lot of money. People say, "These people are having the life of Riley." They contribute to society as well. Maybe I've made a mistake. It's $5 million. I stand corrected. Is it billion?

Mr Neil McKerrell: Billion.

Mr Mills: It's $5 billion that comes out of people serving their sentences in community programs and helping society. Having made that sort of preamble, I'd be very interested to know the work programs to counteract this suggestion that somehow these people are not productive, they're not paying their way. I want to hear about the self-sufficiency of the system.

Ms Michele Noble: I will turn that question to Mr Kurt Jensen, who can speak in great detail to the kinds of programs we have of self-sufficiency in the institutions.

Mr Kurt Jensen: Before I move into self-sufficiencies and industrial programs, I should just mention that in addition to these two types of programs, inmates who live in institutions are responsible for keeping their own living areas clean. So they clean floors and their toilets and all the rest of what it takes to keep the institution clean. They are also assigned to do various maintenance work. They work with maintenance people to do general upkeep on the institution. They're assigned to work with officers outside to keep the grounds looking well. There's a lot of activity involved in running an institution the size of Metro West Detention Centre, which has 670 inmates, so you can imagine those types of programs, as well as working in all institutional kitchens to help prepare food.

With regard to self-sufficiency programs, in fiscal year 1991-92, the ministry produced food which had a value of $964,000, and that represented 21,000 inmate work days. Self-sufficiency programs are spread throughout the province, some to a larger degree and some to a lesser degree. The three main self-sufficiency centres are the Monteith Correctional Centre in northern Ontario, the Rideau Correctional Centre in eastern Ontario and Burtch Correctional Centre in western Ontario.

Perhaps just to give you some sense of what happens at one of these self-sufficiency centres, at the Rideau Correctional Centre the prison farm supplied food for 1,400 inmates over the course of a one-year period. Rideau has about 1,200 acres that surround the institution and it cultivates 300 acres. They have 40 acres of potatoes, 18 acres of sweet corn, five acres of fresh vegetables, and the rest is hay and corn silage products to feed their animal stocks.

On a regular basis, 25 inmates are employed in running the farm program at Rideau. From an animal point of view, they have 150 beef cattle at any one time and they have 150 hogs that they buy as weaner pigs which are subsequently fed up and shipped to market. They also have 24,000 laying hens which produce an average of 10,000 dozen eggs a year.

That's an example of the type of activities that inmates are involved in, in self-sufficiency programs.

We also have quite an extensive program which is run under the umbrella of Trilcor Industries and it's industrial programs within our institutions. We have sales of approximately $6 million a year to various levels of government. We don't produce products for the private sector. We only produce products for government, be it municipal, provincial or federal. Maybe one of the products that you're most familiar with is that all the licence plates on cars are produced at the Millbrook Correctional Centre. All the picnic tables in the parks are produced at the Guelph Correctional Centre. The range of products that we are involved in includes inmate clothing. We provide all the flame-retardant mattresses to old folks' homes in our halfway houses and institutions and some federal institutions throughout the country in some other jurisdictions. We make a range of six or seven different sizes of flame-retardant mattresses and we also make blankets and pillows and park equipment, computer tables, institutional furniture, various canned products resulting from the self-sufficiency program at the Burtch Correctional Centre.

We recently have become involved in a different kind of product for the province of Ontario, and that is to support environmental concerns and green workplace initiatives in Ontario. We're currently responsible for the new experimental composter which is at the Ontario Science Centre, where we pick up wet waste from all our Toronto institutions as well as the Queen's Park cafeteria and two hospitals within Toronto. This is leading-edge technology in North America and perhaps the world. The Mimico Correctional Centre is responsible, as part of its industrial program, for doing the pickup of these products and taking them to the science centre where it's a five-year demonstration project. At the end of the five years that composter will be turned over to us and we'll use it to deal with wet waste from our institutions, to divert those wet wastes from landfill sites.

At the Mimico Correctional Centre we also have an extensive paper recycling and paper shredding centre. We collect waste paper products from a lot of government offices and we divide them into the various sorts of paper that can be recycled and the ones that can't. We shred some of it for animal bedding. We're just negotiating with a number of ministries now to provide them confidential shredding services. We feel that we have a rather secure location for providing confidential shredding services and we provide pickup for that.

We also look after most of the plants in various government buildings throughout the Toronto area. They're grown at the Mimico greenhouse and they're cared for by staff and inmates from the Mimico greenhouse.

In the next couple of weeks, if you look around the Legislature building you will see that all the fluorescent lights will have some modification. We'll take the guts out and they'll have a high-energy reflector put in place with new ballasts and they'll put a two-tube reflector in. The jobbing shop at the Guelph Correctional Centre is going to produce 15,000 of these to do Queen's Park at a cost of $28 a unit as opposed to $36 a unit the government would've had to pay for that product on the open market.


The payback period they anticipate is 18 months to do the replacement of all these, and after that you have a 50% saving in the hydro required to run your fluorescent lights. On a government-wide basis that translates into 350,000 light fixtures that we could possibly end up producing for the government.

The government is looking at a new type of licence plate which the Millbrook Correctional Centre will also undertake to produce. We have an extensive jobbing shop -- I've referred to it briefly -- at the Guelph Correctional Centre which produces a range of furniture products, bed frames, beds and just about anything you can think of. The most recent is that we were asked to produce some waste containers for the Ministry of Natural Resources, so we went ahead and designed them and we were able to produce those.

Most of the products that we produce for the Ontario government we tender on, just like any other company. The reason we don't go outside of government is that we don't want to intrude on the private sector. We're sensitive to the fact that if it's not for government then it's really not something we want to be involved in. Even last year, with the recession, we managed to maintain our sales at $6 million by expanding the range of products that we produced.

Mr Mills: Thank you very much for those. I'd just like to make another comment that it would seem to me, notwithstanding the fact that 83% have already contributed in the society, notwithstanding the fact that the community progress contribute $5 billion to our society, now we have some figures here that $6 million is contributed by people who are incarcerated in our institutions. I think that, to me, sends a clear message to the taxpayer that contrary to people hanging around eating popcorn and lobster, and all these kinds of outrageous allegations which I see, it's really well run, almost like a corporation. I know that you have another program I would just like to ask you to expand on: Trilcor.


Mr Mills: It's a fact. Let's face it. All this gloom and doom that Harris -- come on, it's disgusting to talk about boot camps.

Mr Jensen: I might just make one more comment around Trilcor. Trilcor's really what we call our industrial programs. I did forget to mention one very important program, and that is that we have recently moved to establish a central laundry at the Maplehurst correctional facility which will be able to service all of the institutions in the Golden Horseshoe area. We have the ability to look after six million pounds of laundry per year.

One of the reasons we undertook this was that in many of the institutions in the Toronto area, their laundries were coming up to a point where the typical life for laundry equipment is about 10 years and if you run them at the capacity that we run our institutions it's somewhat less than that so the equipment was deteriorating throughout the province, and we thought that now was a good time to move into a central laundry.

By doing that, we're able to reduce the water that we use by 50%, which again translates into the amount of discharge we put into the sewers. Our utility costs are only 65% of what they were before, and we've also found that we can use environmentally friendly chemicals to carry out the laundry facilities because it's a much more modern and advanced type of laundry facility. In addition, by having this type of facility we extend the life of our clothing products and linens by almost 50%.

The Chair: Coming out of these programs, an inmate would be qualified when he does leave your institution in that area that he's been working with inside the institution. Is there a program of seeing to it that the inmate would then go out into the community, having learned some of the basic skills that then could be used to seek employment etc in a meaningful way? What are the objectives in the programs that you do have while the inmate is in the institution? How do those lead to the kind of personal skills that are necessary once that inmate leaves the institution?

Mr Jensen: There are really a number of benefits that we hope to derive from it. Obviously, in this time of constraint, cost-avoidance of products is high on our list of things that we would like to accomplish, and we do that. The example of the reflectors for Queen's Park is an example, where the whole government benefits. We also produce canned products at the Burtch Correctional Centre that are sold to other ministries.

You are quite right that inmates involved in these types of programs do learn some skills that they will be able to carry into the community with them. We purposely tried not to go into things that are too high-tech, because with the amount of time that we have inmates in our custody, there isn't the time to teach them very complex skills. However, if you can teach somebody to run a shredding machine, that's something that they can go and do almost anywhere. If you spend six months in the mattress factory at the Mimico Correctional Centre sewing up mattresses, you can probably go to any bedding company and get a job as a sewer. If you get a job at the Guelph Correctional Centre operating the forklift truck or the bender --

The Chair: What you're telling me is generally the inmates have a very low skill level to begin with.

Mr Jensen: Pardon?

The Chair: What you're saying then is that most of the inmates have a very low level of skill or education, for that matter, and that's the kind of population that by and large you're dealing with.

Mr Jensen: That, in a general sense, is true, yes. Educational values tend to be less than the general population and sometimes their skill base is not what it might be. In our industrial programs and self-sufficient programs, we support those with educational programs throughout all of our institutions. We also, in our correctional centres, have industrial officers or trades training instructors who would teach inmates in specific trades areas such as small engine repair or masonry or carpentry and that type of thing. Certainly, if they're there long enough they can actually earn certificates or begin apprenticeships in these types of programs.

Mr Robert V. Callahan (Brampton South): I'm pleased to hear of those programs because I'm old enough to remember a very famous bank robber in the United States called Willie Sutton, who appeared on the Johnny Carson show of the day and actually suggested -- and this has probably got to be 30 years ago -- that if you want to keep inmates from returning, what you've got to do is you've got to give them something worthwhile to do, teach them something to do so that when they get back out into society, they can be worthwhile citizens.

I'm sorry to hear that the whole program that you've just remarked about is only applicable within the government milieu. I would think you should be out there. There are probably things that can be done at various correctional facilities -- I'm sure that all the people you have in there are not without talent -- that could be used to open up markets outside of the correctional facility and perhaps even create a stimulus for these people when they get out to start up a small business.

That was one of the things that Willie Sutton suggested, that these people should be making things other than just licence plates; that's a pretty low-skilled operation. In fact, that probably is done to a large degree in a mechanized way -- obviously it is. I love it when they do them upside down. I think that's a great opportunity to get back at the people who've incarcerated them. But I would certainly hope that the program would go beyond that.


The problem I have is that in the auditor's report he says, at page 166, "Of the 48 superintendents who responded to our survey" -- this was a survey to determine whether the corporate objective of motivating offenders towards personal change was being monitored at the institutional level. You surveyed 50 provincial institutions. I guess the auditors did this survey, didn't you? "Of the 48 superintendents who responded to the survey question asking whether their institutions were effective in positively changing the behaviour of inmates, 29 said that their institutions were either not effective (40%), or that they did not know (20%)."

I find it difficult to understand how you have all this information and yet the people who are on the ground level, the superintendents, have absolutely no way of determining what degree of effectiveness they're having. In addition to that, the auditor says that when they followed up with the five institutions, only one institution could provide them with a report on the recidivism of their offenders.

I would think that would be a key item that any correctional operation would want to know, what rate of recidivism you have. That's certainly an indicator of just how successful you are being in terms of dealing with these people, or I suppose in order to arrive at the best possible program to ensure that what you're doing is not simply warehousing people but that you're sending them back out on the street, hopefully, with the skills that they won't reoffend.

I wonder how you respond to that. You've given us certainly a glimpse of what seems to be very positive, but quite frankly I've never heard of that. I've been around corrections and criminal defence work for 30 years and I've never heard of the things you're talking about. I knew that Guelph agricultural college had nice, rolling hills and farms and all the rest of it; I didn't know about all this other stuff.

Mr Jensen: The Trilcor initiative is a fairly new one, within the last five years, and we really work to expand the range of products and the things that we can do in our industries. Certainly the auditor makes the point that 29 institutional superintendents said they didn't have sufficient work for their clients.

On kind of a daily basis, out of our sentenced population we'd have 2,500 inmates who are actively in work programs, and the other ones would be involved to some degree in cleaning their own living quarters. Where we have the most difficulty is in our remand centres. The programs I described to you, with the exception of working in the kitchen, doing regular grounds maintenance, cleaning cell areas and living quarters and doing general maintenance around the institution, are primarily focused in our correctional centres, which is where our sentenced inmates, who we have for the longest period of time, tend to go.

The auditor is quite right that we do have difficulty in keeping inmates in our large urban remand centres occupied. For instance, the Toronto West Detention Centre has 670 inmates in it and it's hardly got enough grounds for parking. So other than activities involved in keeping the institution clean and looking after those grounds and maintenance and working in the kitchen, there are no industrial programs attached to our remand centres. Our remanded inmates, by the fact that they have not been found guilty of a crime, can't be required to work. What we do require them to do is to keep their own living quarters clean.

Mr Callahan: I want to go to another area. I remember public accounts had corrections before us at an earlier time -- and I guess everybody sees it. They see police vans transporting prisoners from Metro West, Metro East, out to Brampton, out to various other facilities.

There was a pilot project in place for video transmission of remands rather than transporting these people constantly back and forth. It seems like an awful waste of money to transport them all the way to the courthouse for them to show up for 30 seconds and say, "My lawyer's not here; I want to put it over till tomorrow." As one person said to me, "Every time you provide for this transportation, you also provide for the opportunity for them to escape." Has anything further been done about this process? I'm not talking about trials; I'm talking about just remands.

Ms Noble: In terms of the pilot project that would have been discussed earlier, that was proceeding. There were discussions that have slowed it down in terms of trying to work out the issues of security, the setting to which the prisoners would be taken for the videotaping session.

The pilot never got established to the point of getting some evaluative information up until this point in time. However, I think the members would be aware of the AG's discussions and the Martin committee recommendations coming out. As a consequence of that, we're in the process of renewed discussions with the Attorney General on the use of videotaping generally around the whole justice system, and the issue of going back and looking at this particular concept as a project is again under discussion.

That's one where there were difficulties in the implementation that slowed it down and we do not have the results. However, it's back up for discussion.

Mr McKerrell: If I could just add one other point on that, as we got down to the nitty-gritty and looking at the details of it, once there was the court decision that limited the legal activities that could be carried out by video conferencing, the numbers of people who would qualify for that type of program were reduced.

So the money saving in using video conferencing is particularly in reducing the transportation of offenders between the institution and the court, as you indicated. The fewer people you can actually handle by that process, the less saving there is. If the police end up having to make as many or almost as many runs with their vehicles to transport the people who do have to go to the court physically, then you have to weigh the amount of money that would be saved versus the amount of money that you would spend to operate video conferencing. In other words, it might not be cost-effective.

Mr Callahan: Have any studies been done to that effect?

Mr McKerrell: Yes. In fact, we are conducting renewed analysis on that right now in one or two different sites. The technology is also improving quite significantly from when we were looking at this three years ago when the pilot was done. The technology has improved, I'm told by the electronics experts, by quantum leaps. The resolution is better. Some of the judges were concerned about the resolution of the image and so forth.

The technology is now much improved and it's now to the point where the Attorney General's ministry and ourselves are again very interested in re-examining the possibility of this. But it really does come down to cost-benefit: Can we get sufficient people done by this method to warrant the capital investment? Because it isn't cheap and there has to be a clear saving.

Mr Callahan: Do you have any information to tell us the cost in a fiscal year of transporting prisoners to the various courts throughout the province versus the cost of establishing, let's say, a video location to beam it? Has there been any cost analysis done in that regard?


Mr McKerrell: I don't have an overall figure for the whole province, but I know that in Toronto, when they were looking at the pilot, the Metro police force does the transportation and they did have a figure as to how much they were spending. Where the pilot operated was between the Toronto Jail, which you're going to see tomorrow -- in fact, we can even show you the video conferencing courtroom that was set up there.

Mr Callahan: At the Don jail?

Mr McKerrell: Yes.

Mr Callahan: When was that done?

Mr McKerrell: This is where the pilot was done three years ago, four years ago, whenever.

Mr Callahan: I remember the Don jail study where they were going to close it down.

Mr McKerrell: That part of it is closed. This is in the new wing, the 1955 wing. But we actually built the video court in the basement of the old Don that is closed. It goes between the old building and the old city hall in Toronto, and that's where the experiment was done.

So the Metro police calculated how much money they would save -- and frankly, I don't remember now off the top of my head, but they figured out how much they were spending for all the transportation. On a given morning between the Toronto Jail and the old city hall court, they can have six, seven, 10 what they call wagon loads of people going back and forth, and where they save, of course, is if they can reduce that number. But if they're having to have as many vans going back and forth with only fewer people in them, then the saving isn't there.

Mr Callahan: Okay.

Mr McKerrell: So that's what we're looking at.

Mr Callahan: One further item is, we've seen co-op type of activities within the schools being very helpful in terms of creating an understanding between employers and their co-op students, so that they can understand whether they want to hire them or the young student who's a co-op can decide whether that's the type of work he or she wants to go into. Is there anything within the correctional system, either on the ground or being considered, in terms of some type of co-op program for those prisoners who would be acceptable for that type of operation, between that and industry?

Mr McKerrell: Not on any large scale, Mr Callahan, but there have been examples of people who have gone through the industrial training programs that Kurt Jensen spoke to, where people have been placed into job opportunities as a result of the trade instructor liaising with the community. Sometimes, if the person is in long enough in one of these correctional centres and has developed the qualification, the instructor has been able to work out an opportunity in industry for the person, even while they're in the institution, and they would then go back and forth and perhaps go into a community resource centre, as we talked about yesterday. But those are isolated cases at this point in time.

Just to pick up on what Kurt was saying about Trilcor and your point about moving into the community with it, other correctional jurisdictions do in fact sell products to the community. In the United Kingdom they do it, in the English prison system and in the Scottish prison system, and they have worked out agreements with the unions on sort of a quota system. In this country, the federal government has an industrial program which is called CorCan. I don't want to tout their products or anything, but they have this program.

Now in Ontario, our production has been strictly in-house, as has been indicated, at this point in time. We decided to get into this Trilcor, which stands for Trillium Correctional Industries -- that's what it stands for -- about three or four years ago, and we wanted to get a logo for our products and really make an effort here because, as you've pointed out, there are some benefits here in teaching people trades and offsetting the cost of government, and if we can get things to the point where we're proud of the product, why not talk about it? So we wanted to make sure, before we get too ambitious, that we had good products and that quality control was essentially assured, and that takes a bit of time to get to that point.

Mr Callahan: This co-op program would seem to me to make sense, because the majority of your correctional facilities are located certainly within the greater Toronto area, are located quite close to factories and so on. I'm thinking of Mimico; it's right in an industrial basin. Maplehurst, I guess, is not that centrally located but it's certainly close enough to opportunities. Metro West, Metro East are in industrial areas.

Mr McKerrell: Metro West and Metro East are detention centres, so they don't have the physical capability to operate those programs within the secure perimeter, but you're right that the majority of our correctional centres are in southern Ontario with the exception of the one in Thunder Bay and the one in Monteith.

Mr Callahan: It might be worthwhile for the government to look at attempting to negotiate arrangements with industries within the perimeter of those correctional facilities that are housing prisoners serving their terms, to get them to take them on either a cooperative basis or some other program. I think the most serious problem, as I rate them anyway, is that number one, we've got mental patients, people with mental disabilities, and 15% I think was the figure, in our correctional systems who shouldn't be there. All we've done is we've traded off the institutions and taken a great pat on the back, and at the same time we've been dragging them back into the correctional system. They should be out of there. There should be some alternative to that.

The other side of the coin is that I think the public wants to be sure that when these people serve their sentences, that when it's over, they're going to not return. I know that may be dreaming in Technicolor in all cases, but certainly we should be striving towards achieving that end as best we can.

The Chair: Mr Callahan, there are a few minutes left, and Mr Murphy asked to ask a question, if possible.

Mr Callahan: Okay, but those I would certainly urge the ministry to do.

Mr Tim Murphy (St George-St David): In the short time left, I'm going to ask some specific questions.

The Chair: Perhaps one.

Mr Murphy: It's quite short.

What percentage of people in provincial centres are people who are in there because of non-payment of fines?

Mr McKerrell: I can't give a precise figure off the top of my head, but I can tell you there are two categories under that general heading. There are people who would be in the institution solely for the non-payment of fines, and that is a very, very small percentage.

What does happen frequently is that when people are incarcerated, either awaiting trial or in fact serving another sentence, they know that they have outstanding fines in other jurisdictions or maybe even in the same jurisdiction in which they're at that point residing. They can ask to have those warrants executed on them and that's done often, and then people are actually working off the fines while they are either on remand or serving the other sentence. I've seen people with rafts of fines all being executed.

Mr Murphy: If you have actual figures, if you could provide that to me. You don't need to do that right now.

The other quick question, if I have time, is how you calculate time. I did some part-time prosecuting work prior to my being a member and one of the unfortunate examples that I had was where the judge sentenced someone to five days on a Friday. Because of the way the system works, they only serve essentially two days of that sentence, which means they would have been out on a Sunday. They can't let them out on a Sunday, so the person actually beat the police officer out of the jail, because they get released right away. The person basically got processed in, processed out and was done. Does that person's time count as part of your count or do they have to actually be in the jail, or would that count as a one-day sentence for the purposes of your statistics?

Mr McKerrell: It would count as an admission, yes.

Mr Murphy: Would you count the sentence of five days or the 10 minutes or the two days?

Mr McKerrell: The actual time in the institution, one day.

Mr Murphy: So do you have any idea how many people fit in that kind of category?

Mr McKerrell: No, frankly.

Mr Murphy: Because the other thing that happens is, people go in on the Friday at 6, come out on the Monday and that counts as three days. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. That's right; four days, yes.

Mr Murphy: To a certain extent, that's going to skewer your statistics a little bit. Do you know to what extent you count, then, full-day admission numbers that are in fact full-day admission numbers?

Mr McKerrell: Do we have a track of the number of one-day-only admissions?


Mr McKerrell: One to five would be the smallest increment that we would show.

Mr Murphy: So you really don't know.

Mr McKerrell: No, not at this point.

Ms Noble: I think just in terms of going back to the statistics we were using yesterday when we were using average days stay, that would be the average days that we are counting them that they're in the system, that would not be the average sentence.

Mr Murphy: No, but it would count as part of that. This person who was in for 10 minutes would count as a day and a person who was serving on weekends would count as four days, although they were there 60 hours.

Ms Noble: That's correct. I was trying to clarify the point that what we'd be counting are the days they're in the institutions and that would not reflect the average sentence that was being given to these individuals.

Mr Leo Jordan (Lanark-Renfrew): I'd like to go back to the report you just gave us on the agricultural aspect of the centre at Rideau. I understand that we went through this all a number of years ago, had the same type of operation and then it was discarded completely at an auction sale and so on. Why was that?

Mr McKerrell: The farming programs were closed down essentially a number of years ago. I don't really know, and there's nobody around now who would be in a position to, because that was quite a long time ago.

Mr Jordan: I guess what I'm concerned about is, are we going to cycle again, or is it proving to be --

Mr McKerrell: I think what we find is that if we concentrate the farming in the places where we can make it most efficient, then it's worthwhile, the capital investment, and that's exactly what we're doing by concentrating the farming in the areas where it is most efficient rather than having too many of them. So at Rideau, the ground is good and there are certain products that do very well there, and we're going to concentrate on that. Similarly, with Burtch and Monteith in the north and even Thunder Bay, there are certain things that we can do well in those places, and if we concentrate on that then it is cost-effective, but if we try to get into full-range farming for the sake of it, then it's not cost-effective. So we're limiting what we're doing in different places according to what's most economically viable.

Mr Jordan: Are these people who are trained in, say, dairy farming eligible to go out and do work in the community for neighbouring dairy farms? Can they be hired out by the surrounding dairy operations?

Mr McKerrell: Yes. It's not uncommon for people to go to the institution and say, "I would like to provide a work opportunity for someone." It would be looked at, and as long as the administration of the institution didn't feel it was exploitive, because you want to make sure that somebody isn't looking for cheap labour sort of thing, as long as it's a genuine opportunity and the institution has someone who could benefit from it, then yes, they would be matched up.


Mr Jordan: Are we doing that?

Mr McKerrell: In some cases, yes. It's not a large program by any means, but there are examples of it.

Mr Jordan: The Rideau Regional Centre has about 400 acres of land. They used to do a lot of farming there, but I don't believe it's being used now.

Mr McKerrell: I don't know. That's the Ministry of Health, Rideau regional.

Mr Jordan: Is it not part of your --

Ms Noble: You're referring to the correctional centre?

Mr Jordan: Yes.

Ms Noble: There are also facilities up there that the Ministry of Community and Social Services has.

Mr Jordan: You don't intervene at all in that?

Ms Noble: That's not part of our operation, no.

Mr Jordan: I was wondering if you could lease that land, or use it, because it's all government land and it's good farm land and it's very close to the Rideau correctional centre.

Mr McKerrell: Actually, I don't know where it is physically myself, that one. I know where ours is. I don't know where the other one is. Is it in the same general vicinity?

Mr Jordan: Yes.

Mr McKerrell: That might be something we can look at.

Ms Noble: I think we'll take that as a suggestion and we can look at our capacity to make productive use and then based on that we could definitely pursue it and talk about it with them.

Mr Jordan: There used to be a very active farm operation there.

Mr McKerrell: In fact, since the eastern regional director is sitting at the other end of the table --

Mr Jordan: He probably knows this.

Mr John O'Brien: I do. I'm relatively new to the area, but I do know it. It's a good suggestion and I agree we should pursue it.

Mr Jordan: Thank you. I would like to move to Dr Humphries, I believe, for the Dr Calzavara report. I understand the study collected over 12,00 urine samples in 43 jails and detention centres.

Dr Paul Humphries: Yes, that's correct.

Mr Jordan: I guess my first question is, why were none collected in the correction centres?

Dr Humphries: This study was done by Dr Liviana Calzavara from the department of epidemiology and biostatistics with the University of Toronto. They approached our ministry a little over two years ago with this proposal. It was to be done for research purposes and bring information to light. Approximately a year ago we undertook the project. It was funded by National Health and Welfare. The provincial lab for the Ministry of Health did the testing and our staff collected the urine samples.

For each individual who comes into our institutions, as part of their clinical examination, we take urine for medical reasons, and there's always some left over, so it was felt this could be a very useful means of determining the incidence.

Coming right to your question, the reason for jails and detention centres, and not correctional centres, is the possibility that they could move out from the jails and detention centres into the CRCs before the research would be completed, because it took us close to a year to do that. Maybe six months of collecting is the best way of doing it. We would run into the problem of possibly testing the same person twice, so it would skew the statistics. By doing only jail and detention centres, it kept it very proper.

Mr Jordan: I understand that there is in fact a testing method for HIV available that they're using in Japan that's more or less instantaneous and you don't have this waiting period.

Dr Humphries: I'm sorry; it's my fault, Mr Jordan. That isn't the issue we were worried about. It was the fact that the individual would come into Toronto West Detention Centre and his urine at time of admission would be used. But if we did the CCs as well, two or three weeks later, he might be transferred to the Guelph CC and his urine sample would be collected a second time. So we might be counting the same person twice.

By limiting it totally to the jail and detention centres, there was no chance of that except for recidivism, and recidivism was concerned in the overall statistics.

Mr Jordan: The purpose of my question was to try and identify the inmates who had HIV. To me it's very important for the protection of the staff and so on. All the means available to you, it seems to me, were not used to try and identify these people. We're leaving the staff in a sort of hazardous --

Dr Humphries: Yes, I follow your line of questioning now. The intention of this study was not in any way to identify who were the individuals who were HIV-positive. This was an epidemiological study to give us overall statistics of how many people within the system, percentagewise, had it. It was a totally anonymous study. Of the 12,000 samples, approximately 1,000 of them were destroyed to ensure the anonymity. Names were not involved. It was done on men, women, young offenders.


That was one of the big issues we had to take through the ethics committee with the University of Toronto. We had to go through that committee twice before it was approved to do it. But what we did do was we put up signs in the health care areas indicating that the leftover urine samples may be used for research purposes. We put it up in the different dialects as well. But that was a totally anonymous one.

There were also instructions given that anybody who wished to have a blood test done to determine whether he or she had HIV or not could certainly request that and discuss it with the health care people. But that's an ongoing policy of our ministry. If we think somebody, because of lifestyle, should be tested, we will recommend that they be tested. If, for clinical reasons, we believe that they should be tested, we will recommend that they be tested, but they can refuse. On the other hand, if they come to us and request a test, we've never refused it, and it's free.

The Chair: I thought I heard that you were able to test inmates with urine samples for HIV?

Dr Humphries: That's correct, and that was the nature of this study; 12,000 samples were collected.

The Chair: Is that a new development? This is just for my own edification. You can test for HIV through a urine sample?

Dr Humphries: Yes, it is new. It doesn't suggest per se that the virus is present in the urine. It may be, to a small extent, but the products that are in the urine will be picked up by this test. The researchers in the AIDS community indicate that they feel it's as accurate as the ELISA test, which is used regularly at the provincial lab. In addition, there's another new one out now where they can do it on saliva, and one of the new tests that they're proposing for our ministry suggests that as well.

Mr Jordan: I feel, though, that we're sort of blocking an opportunity to identify the virus in those people whom the guards and other staff are going to be dealing with. I wonder why you're doing that, why you're not more concerned about identifying. You seem to be giving me reasons why you're not going to do it.

Dr Humphries: Number one, one of the proposals which is presently on the table from the University of Toronto would involve the correctional centres, as well as possibly Correctional Service Canada, but those negotiations have not begun, and I won't make any commitments on that behalf. But this proposal would involve our correctional centres, for sure.

Still it comes back to the question yesterday about mandatory testing. It's the same idea. Again, we have to worry about the windows there, as I mentioned, plus the legality, but we don't even try to work through the legality because the windows would create problems for us. We know that even if a person is positive, he or she may not show positivity for six weeks to six months after becoming infected, and if the stay is less than 80 days, if we start doing all of these tests and none of the --

Mr Jordan: Excuse me, but are you familiar with this new method of testing that they're using in Japan?

Dr Humphries: I've heard of it. I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to comment on its effectiveness for us right now.

Mr Jordan: Are you, as an employee of the ministry, interested in looking into that so that you might have almost immediate identification of the virus?

Dr Humphries: Yes, absolutely. I do my best to stay up to date in this area, but we're still dealing with the windows until something comes up that will give us a better immediate response.

Mr Jordan: When will that report be made available?

Dr Humphries: The initial results have already been reported. The final report was to be prepared early in January, and the last we heard would be the end of January. I last talked with Dr Calzavara just before Christmas, so I assume it's very close to coming out.

Mr Jordan: I understand there were two further studies.

Dr Humphries: There are two further proposals to us.

One is what they call a KAB study, and that's knowledge, attitude and behaviours. That would again take in a very large group of people to determine how much they know, what they don't know, what are the fears, what are the wishes, that kind of thing.

The second one would be to determine the conversion rate within the correctional system. That would involve picking up a person when they first come in, and here the individual would be known. It would require his ethical approval, and the people with longer stays would then be followed. That's what I mentioned, that when they went into the correctional centres they would be followed. We would probably do testing at three months, six months, nine months, 12 months etc. It could also involve following them into the federal system, if the federal system agrees. That's to determine how many people convert while in the institutions.

What is fascinating is that our original study, the one that you have a copy of, showed that among our male population, 0.99% were HIV-positive. At Joyceville, at approximately the same time that our study was being done, Dr Ford there did a study for a two-day period. This was worked out with the inmate committees, and I believe they used blood tests on that one; I won't say that for sure. Their tests came out about 1%.

It's fascinating that the people we admit, malewise, it is 0.99%; our females were 1.23%, but our males were 0.99%. Here, later, inmates in a federal system in an institution showed a 1%. So we're not sure whether there really is very much conversion that occurs, but we can't take our big 12,000 samples and say that's relevant to the one institution that was studied by them.

Mr Jordan: I understand the study did a breakdown by region. Why not by individual facility?

Dr Humphries: In fact each institution, there is information on those. Remember, we were looking for an overall prevalence and we were interested in male-female and young offenders. We weren't per se zeroing right in on the Toronto Jail or Toronto West. We wanted an overview. But now that we have the overview, any kind of spinoffs could come off that -- there's still a lot of information on the computers -- or additional research could be done in that regard.

But we had to start, first of all, with a study that wasn't biased. In other words, if you went to the Toronto Jail, with the transient population through there and the drug users and the kind of population, we might have got a higher percentage there, but it would not be reflective of the whole province. So we had to start with what we would consider as an unbiased study and then maybe zero in on pressure points.

Mr Jordan: Are you being pressured at all by the Ministry of Health to become more active in pursuing a better solution to this problem?

Dr Humphries: Absolutely. Dr Richard Schabas, the chief medical officer of Ontario, is a good friend of mine, as well as Dr Jay Browne, who is the AIDS coordinator for the Ministry of Health. We are all good friends.

They would like us to do more and they say that quite actively. We talk about it. We've set up an interministerial committee which has Health on it, ourselves, Comsoc, the Ministry of Education and Training. We've issued invitations to the Attorney General and to the native groups, the secretariat, and the racial secretariat.

We're just at this point pulling all these pieces together. We have a number of meetings. We meet about every six weeks, as an approximation. The chairman of the committee is Celia Denov from the Ministry of Health. She's an executive director there. We talk about these things, as I say, at least every six weeks to determine what they would like us to do and what we think is possible.


Mr Jordan: Is it because of the cost that you foresee if you were to identify these people, the extra cost that would be there, and you just can't face it?

Dr Humphries: Not per se. As I say, the study that we already completed was paid for totally by National Health and Welfare, plus the assistance that we got from the provincial lab, and our contribution was really the time of our nursing staff. So that was not a major issue.

Mr Jordan: If you were to identify the cases that were in the correctional centres, what would you project the cost to be of dealing with them in protection of guards and other staff and so on?

Dr Humphries: As I mentioned, we use the Universal Precautions approach, so other than the cost of medications, many of which are provided by the Ministry of Health, these are not per se costs that are affecting us or making significant problems for us.

Certainly if we were able to go in the ideal solution, we would probably want to go with specialized areas where we could work with their individual problems, and we would probably want stepping stones back into the communities. There are a number of ways of doing that in outreach projects, but I certainly wouldn't expect that to occur at this time or in the near future because of the funding situation.

Mr Jordan: Is part of the reason for your staffing up to almost a one-to-one basis for staff relative to the inmates your way of trying to guard against what could be a high ratio of HIV in the correctional centres?

Dr Humphries: No, I wouldn't say that. Remember, our statistics show 0.99%, less than 1%, of our population. You heard me say the other day that 6.7% of our population have a very serious and significant mental health problem. You're getting into your paranoid schizophrenics and things like that. That would probably put more demands upon our staffing approaches. We do not find the HIV people difficult to handle or controversial or things like that.

Mr Jordan: But they could have a combination of --

Dr Humphries: Absolutely.

Mr Jordan: And you're not solving it; you're just compressing it or keeping it under control sort of thing.

Dr Humphries: As I say, we brought in these new communicable-disease policies to make it as humane and workable as possible. We've trained all of our staff twice.

Mr Jordan: If you had money, what would you do? How would you go about it if the money was available?

The Chair: Mr Jordan, if I may just interrupt, we've run a little over the time. Perhaps you could ask that question in the next round. I'll turn to Mr Mills, who has 10 minutes.

Mr Mills: Thank you very much, Mr Chair. I know that the thrust of the auditor's report was managing and controlling costs, and I'm going to get to that, but first of all I'm going to have a little preamble.

Yesterday you weren't in the chair and I attempted to arrange the way this would go in so far as the questions to particular aspects of our ministry in the hope of better managing and cost-controlling the staff that are here. That wasn't agreed to by the committee. As a result, we have questions that are being jumped all over the place.

I'm bringing this up because it was brought to my attention by a member of this committee other than a government member that the reason the staff are here from the ministry is because we have to be prepared; we never know what question is going to come up. So that answers the question. I attempted to manage that, but the committee members did not agree to that.

Having said that, I'd like to get on to the managing and controlling costs, which is really the thrust --

Mr Murphy: Do you want our questions written out beforehand?


The Chair: Order, please. If I may just comment on that, I wasn't here but I would like to say that in each of the previous instances where we have had ministry officials here, we've tried to maximize the use of our time and the use of their time.We're sensitive to the fact that there are lot of people who come before the committee within a ministry.

But in any case, the committee is only having its deliberations heard this week, and after that you're free to go. So you'll bear with us. Questions are wide-ranging, and it's difficult to manage that at the best of times.

Mr Mills: I agree with you. The only reason I bring it up is because some criticism was directed to me by a member of another party. Having said that, let's move on.

Mr Callahan: Not me.

Mr Mills: No, it wasn't you.

Managing and controlling costs, which seems to me to be the thrust of the auditor's report -- and I want to get into that cost relationship here this morning, which is a lot of the substance of the report: Why does it cost so much? First of all, I've got a few questions to ask about this.

I'd like to get some input about the implementation of the Young Offenders Act and how that affected this cost. Then after we've had some answer to that, I've got a couple more questions I want to ask along that vein.

Ms Noble: I think we've anticipated that there would be committee interest in the subject of the impact of the Young Offenders Act on the ministry because it was raised in the auditor's report. We have prepared some background to go into more depth in terms of some of the more specific information around exactly what were the kinds of impacts on the system brought in by the legislation that resulted in the increase in staffing.

In general, I think one of the most telling issues was the need to keep the young offenders separate and apart from the adult offenders in our institutional system, and I think a lot of the impacts flowed from that.

What I'd like to do is ask Mr Don Page to comment specifically in more detail.

Mr Don Page: My name is Don Page. I'm the regional director for the western region for the ministry.

As the Provincial Auditor noted, between April 1, 1985, and March 31, 1988, the ministry increased its staff by some 915 positions in order to provide service to clients referred under the YOA.

I think, first of all, it should be noted that some 500 of those staff were directly transferred from the Ministry of Community and Social Services when responsibility for the four secure custody facilities was delegated to our ministry. Those people were in fact already provincial government employees working for another ministry and when the four training schools, as they were called in those days -- youth centres, as they are now -- were transferred to our ministry for the 16- and 17-year-old young offenders, the staff came with them.

The remaining 400-plus staff were added to meet the requirements that are stated in both the declaration of principles of the Young Offenders Act and the amendments to the Ministry of Correctional Services Act to provide rights in custody for young offenders.

The federal Young Offenders Act is unique legislation in that it actually had a declaration of principles, which said how the act was to be administered and within that declaration of principles was the necessity for people administering the act to be aware of the special needs of young people.

It says, "because of their state of dependency and level of development and maturity, they also have special needs and require guidance and assistance." The declaration of principles also requires that people administering the act should make sure that the rights and freedoms of young offenders were guaranteed and that parents would have a specific responsibility with the ministry in carrying out any sanctions that were applied.

What this meant, basically, was that there was a whole new process of dealing with the 16- and 17-year-olds in custody who now became young offenders. As the deputy has said, the very first one was to keep them separate and apart from the adult inmates, so we had to set up separate facilities in some of our institutions with separate staffing in order to do that. We had to ensure they had rights in custody in regard to visiting, mail, religious instruction, recreation, and a variety of other things like that, which were different from the adult requirements.

We were required to establish a plan of care for each young person and to provide case management techniques to work this person through the system. We're also required to be involved in a review process, which is court-directed but which requires us to return young offenders to court at certain specific times during the course of their sentence for a review by the court. This requires not only preparing documentation but actually transporting the young offenders from their place of custody to the courts.


There was both a necessity under the requirements of the act and also a willingness on the part of the administrators to give these special services to young offenders and to invest what we could at that point in their development in the hope that we could have some impact on their future actions. Of the 915 positions 500 came from other ministries and 400 were added in order to provide separate, apart facilities and also to provide the special services.

Mr Mills: Thank you. Through you, Mr Chair -- pardon?

The Chair: I have Ms Akande on the list as well. Can she ask a question?

Mr Mills: How much time have we got?

The Chair: You have about four minutes left.

Mr Mills: Hopefully, this is very quick, but I think it's very pertinent. We've had the cost control, the per diem compared with other provinces vis-à-vis Alberta, that ours are higher, so maybe you can answer this quickly. Have you done any research into what effect the Young Offenders Act had on the other provinces? Were they lighter, heavier or what?

Mr Page: There have been, and continues to be, regular meetings of people responsible for the administration of the Young Offenders Act in each province. They meet regularly with the federal government. All provinces have had increased costs as a result of the Young Offenders Act, some more than others. In Ontario, when the Young Offenders Act was introduced, our adult age was 16. In other provinces, the age was 18, and they already provided services for the 16- and 17- --

Mr Mills: If I can stop you there, it would appear to me that we have a bigger load than any other province of young offenders.

Mr Page: We certainly do.

Ms Zanana L. Akande (St Andrew-St Patrick): You've already recognized that the reason for the Young Offenders Act was a recognition that there were different needs for the youth, different from what was expected and required for adults, so there was a separation.

You've told me where the 500 staff came from and you said that 400 were added. Certainly if there is a separation from an adult facility into one that is specifically for young offenders, there's also a loss of jobs from the adult facility. It is my understanding that many of the 400 who were added to the young offenders facility came in fact directly from adult facilities.

Mr Page: Yes, when we increased the staff, the positions were posted for competition, people would apply and obviously some of the staff in adult facilities were successful in those competitions.

Ms Akande: Thank you. Then how did you accommodate or plan for or achieve the attitudinal change that would be necessary if the staff were now to deal with young offenders with an attitude, a perspective, that is different from what they had been accustomed to in dealing with the adults?

Mr Page: That's an excellent question and one that we did certainly wrestle with in 1985 as we were launching into the delivery of young offender services. We had very extensive training programs in each site as staff came on. Initially, we had to rush into a few sites, but for most of them, we had the time to actually get the site prepared, have the staff in there and some time -- two, three, sometimes a month -- before we actually received the young offenders. So we could have some very intensive training programs.

Ms Akande: Yet the training --

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Akande.

Ms Akande: Could I indulge this group, please?

Mr Murphy: Absolutely.

Ms Akande: Thank you very much. Yet the training and the ministry's attempts to achieve that kind of change with those 400 was in fact the subject in part of a report that was done by Joanne Campbell, in that it was not quite achieved and that there was in fact real similarity found in the way many of the staff dealt with the adults and the way they were dealing with the young offenders. Am I not correct?

Mr Page: I believe that is so, yes.

Ms Akande: Has there been a change since, or an attempt to create a difference since?

Ms Noble: Perhaps to just pick up on that, obviously when the Campbell report was done it was taken very seriously in the organization, and the ministry also then worked with the advocate, who is part of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, in doing follow-up work within our young offenders system in terms of how we had managed to make and implement further changes following the recommendations in Joanne Campbell's report.

I think it's fair to say that in my most recent discussion with the advocate's office it is seeing change in the system and it is very definitely working very closely with us in trying to implement those changes. In the standalone institutions, it was not really where the focus of the problem was; it was where the units are still part of the adult institutions.

What we're finding is that we are very genuinely making progress, and I think what the advocate is most pleased with is the management support that she's receiving from the superintendents in those institutions now in dealing with some of the issues. I think there has definitely been change positively instigated by the Campbell report.

Mr Murphy: I'm sorry if I bounce around, but I'm going to start with the Provincial Auditor's comments relating to the two corporate objectives of the department and I'm going to deal with the motivating offenders one as opposed to the security issue.

Most people, I think, would look at the corrections system and say -- we touched on this yesterday -- there are those two purposes. One is to send a message of deterrence to others and presumably to the individual incarcerated, the other of rehabilitation, those combined messages, so that the person doesn't return to the system.

The auditor points out that there seems to be a great deal of doubt about recidivism as a good indicator of the success of that message, at least in the provincial system. Some of the superintendents themselves don't think it's useful, and you've indicated some of the reasons why, everything from a short stay to lots of remand. A third of your population is remand. But I'm wondering, how can you decide if you're achieving this objective?

Ms Noble: I think in fact the auditor has raised the point and was basically raising with the ministry the issue of the objective setting. You need to think about your statements of objectives, and in doing so, you need to think about what indicators you are going to use in order to be monitoring and measuring the achievement of the objectives.

I think the ministry in its response was identifying the fact that we were in the process of looking at the language of our objectives, and in saying that we're looking at it, I'm not trying to suggest to the committee that we would want to be substantively changing our commitment to providing opportunities for personal change. I think it's a question of taking that kind of language and finding the most appropriate way to talk about that as an objective for our system, recognizing some of the factors we've been talking about.

On the issue of measurement, I think the issue that the auditor has raised is that we do not have the statistics being kept on the recidivism in a cohesive way which would allow us to measure it. In our response we indicated that there has been redevelopment of the computer system that the ministry uses.

The primary and the most critical element of the development of that system was in fact to allow us to use it for tracking the individual inmates as they move through the system. As an operational necessity, it was of the first priority. Consequently, the resources and time at the front end of the development were devoted to that.

As a consequence, having in place the ability to extract the kind of statistics on recidivism that we were looking for had not and, at this point, has not yet been achieved. However, work is being done. It was started during the period of the audit and is continuing. We're looking forward to having some results over the next three to four months in terms of beginning work now on the ability to extract that kind of information which will allow us to monitor.


I think the answer to the issue which is being raised is an acknowledgement by the ministry that we have not had that capacity in place. We are working to ensure that it is there. The reason that it hasn't been is that in terms of a priority for development of the system, that first priority had to be the tracking of the inmates for operational purposes.

Mr Murphy: Obviously, you've said you're in the process of developing statistics to give you some sense of what the recidivism rates are, but I saw the Provincial Auditor reflect some doubt that this is an effective indicator, at least with respect to provincial institutions. Do you agree with that assessment?

Ms Noble: I think what we would say is that we shouldn't be using it as the only indicator. What we're acknowledging is that if we set the objective in language of rehabilitation in the system that we're talking about, we're not situated the same as the federal system in terms of the length of time they have to work with the inmates. Therefore, as part of our discussion, as part of our strategic planning, we're looking at that language, we're looking at the statement. I think what all of us here have variously stated is a recognition that we do have a role to play in providing opportunities for change, providing supportive environments, providing work experience, the kind of thing we were talking about this morning.

We need a way to capture that in terms of the commitment to the inmate population, and then I think what we need to do is look at not just recidivism. We may want to look at other statistics in terms of just looking at participation in programs, monitoring the number of inmates who, in spite of short stays, actually proceed from programs started within the institutions into those programs outside. But that's a discussion that has to flow from the work we're doing in the strategic planning area.

Mr Murphy: You'll forgive a bit of a speech, but I guess my problem is, when you have a clear absence of an ability to say that -- I mean, most people would look at the corrections system and say it works if the people who go into it don't come back into it. The message is sent and they no longer commit a crime again. Sort of generic public understanding of an effective system would be that they go in once and they ain't ever coming back.

In the absence of an ability to tell people that on any coherent measure, either because of the absence of statistics or because the statistics may not be able to tell you that message, the other sort of simple understanding of corrections -- and not simple in an insulting sense but in an easy-to-understand one -- is that you're sending a punishment message; you punish people.

I think what has resulted, at least in part, or has caused in part the desire for greater punishment in dealing with crime in our society is that we have a complete inability to communicate to people that the system has the effect of preventing people from coming back into the system. So they say, "If you can't tell me that, and crime's going up, I want to punish them harder."

I think that's what drives the desire that we saw responded to yesterday by the Conservative Party in saying, "Let's whack them with harder sentences; let's do this." I'm wondering how you as a corrections ministry tell people -- or maybe you can't tell people -- whether the system prevents people from coming back to it.

Can you tell people that it does that, or can you say on a scale of one to 10 how successful it is at getting people to not come back into the system, so that you don't see them again, so that they've learned their lesson or whatever sort of simple language concept we can understand about the system working? Can you tell people that, the people viewing on television or the people who want to know? Can you say the system stops people from coming back?

Ms Noble: I think if you take the question at the level of, can the correctional system tell the public that what happens in the correctional system is preventing people from coming back into the justice system, part of the answer would have to be that the answer to that cannot be restricted simply to the operations of the correctional system.

I think, as is referenced in some of the discussion in the auditor's report, but certainly contextual information to the discussion of corrections costs, we're very much a part of a larger system. So I think the issue and the discussion that this ministry is engaged in and works with with other partners in the justice system is to try and take a look at the overall system.

I think there has been identification of various issues in the justice system at this point in time. I made reference a little while ago to some of the recommendations coming out of the Martin committee. Basically they were looking at the courts, but I think if some of the changes that were recommended there to change the court system are implemented, we'll start to see a change in who's coming into corrections in the first place; that the way in which the justice system is dealing with some offences is going to be more appropriate to some of the offences that have been committed. Hopefully, in that process, by dealing with them more effectively through the justice system, people will be encouraged not to be back with us.

I think in terms of the question of how effective individual programs are, we heard yesterday Dr Humphries's comment that we have done some work specifically in terms of the recidivism rates out of some of our treatment programs. I think we do have partial information in certain areas of the ministry's operations.

As I said a few minutes ago, do we have information on the overall recidivism rates within our institutions at this point in time? We're working on it. We don't have those statistics right at the moment. But I think certainly what we're saying and recognizing is that there is a need to make sure that we work to ensure that this is in place and that we do think through the information we need to have available in order to communicate to the public.

I think the other point you're making is very well taken, and that is that there are very much issues which are under discussion currently and we probably have not done a sufficiently good job in many areas of getting information about the justice or the corrections system out. I think that point is certainly worthy of further reflection, and we will do so.

The Chair: Mr Murphy, you have time for one final, quick question, and then I'll turn to Mr Jordan.

Mr Murphy: This may not actually have an easy answer. If not, I can defer the answer to this afternoon. I was looking through the public accounts document, which is your public accounts. It lists here, I think, $51 million in grants to non-commercial institutions, listing a whole variety from Operation Spring Board to Belleville Youth House. That's a substantial amount of money. What systems do you have in place to monitor that money you pay out to these organizations is effectively and efficiently delivered? I bet you that's not a short answer.

Ms Noble: We can give you a short version or a long version, but we can provide you with an answer. It would be just a question of when the committee wants it.

Mr Murphy: I'd like the long version --

The Chair: We're running out of time.

Mr Murphy: -- so why don't we delay the answer?

Ms Noble: Okay, fine. We'll come back to that this afternoon.

Mr Murphy: But you have that as notice.

The Chair: Before I turn to Mr Jordan, I would like to ask, following on Ms Akande's question around the advocate's report that was referred to in her question, would it be possible for you to make that report available to the committee?

Ms Noble: It was a report she gave me that I can share with the committee, but it was as part of a meeting with her. Some of what I was saying also came out of the discussion. But certainly the report that sits behind it I'm prepared to share.

The Chair: Very good. Whatever you are prepared to share, we will accept.

Ms Noble: I can't replicate the discussion, that's all.

Mr Jordan: I had a couple more questions for Dr Humphries if he's available. I was wondering, do you have a copy of the Calzavara report?


Dr Humphries: I have a copy of what was released to the press. The formal report, as I mentioned, has not been completed. The difference is that what was reported was the provincial report, and it was not weighted the way that an epidemiologist will do in the final reporting. For instance, if you have one case of HIV in a small 20-bed jail, that percentage is very, very different from two cases in a 600-bed institution. All of those factors will be taken into consideration in the final report.

Mr Jordan: When will that be available?

Dr Humphries: I was expecting it by the end of January, and we may still have it by then, but I'm not certain because they're working at it. It's a big project. There are, as I say, all these samples to go through. I know I will have it within three to four weeks because I'll make a point of asking for it specifically. I have not pressured at all up to this point.

Mr Jordan: Mr Chairman, would it be possible to have that report made available to this committee at a later time?

The Chair: Certainly, if the report can be shared with the committee. If you're prepared to share that report with the committee, then certainly we could accept it later.

Dr Humphries: Yes, absolutely. That will be a scientific report that will be shared with the research society. It has the potential to have international connotations, so there'll be no problem whatsoever.

Mr Jordan: Just from your knowledge of what you expect in the report and what you know about it in the preliminary, do you see yourself as highly recommending to the ministry that it get on with this closer watch and testing for HIV among the inmates? Basically, what I'm concerned about is protection of the staff who work there.

Dr Humphries: Based upon everything that's known, this ministry is consistent with all other correctional services in the civilized world. We use Universal Precautions. We put people in the population as much as possible. We respect their confidentiality. We've trained our staff twice. We provide them with the latest equipment that's available, including the little microshields for their mouth, and we have special masks that have disposable mouthpieces and one-way valves. They have little pouches on their belts where they carry their latex gloves and things like that. We have done everything possible to prepare them.

Again, as I mentioned yesterday, if we identify somebody as AIDS with a little stamp on their forehead, then that person will get special attention, but if three or four other people who may be in a dorm are HIV-positive and not known, then our people may get too lackadaisical. What we're trying to say to our staff is, "Anticipate that every person you deal with is HIV-positive and anticipate that every body spill has HIV in it." We even provide them with the special cleaning materials that will kill HIV. The virus may very well not be there, but the solution is still used. That approximately right now is where the civilized world is at from a correctional point of view.

Mr Jordan: What would your view be on the supplying of condoms, accepting the fact that they have approximately an 18% failure rate?

Dr Humphries: Yes, a very good question. Again, as I mentioned yesterday, the condoms are there for health reasons. Consistently on television and in newspapers and in educational activities people are told, "Please use condoms and please use latex condoms," or, "You should consider latex condoms." If that is the message to the population, even if there is an 18% failure rate, we have to carry the same policies inside the institutions.

The condoms that we buy are properly approved. They're also used by Correctional Service Canada. They're bought from the company. They're handed out packaged. It's not like they're not packaged and someone could in some way make them less safe. The inmate gets them in a package just like buying them in a drugstore and opens the package and would take his risk like anyone in the community. We can't do much beyond that.

When asked the quality, we went for a medium-style brand because we felt if it was too heavy, we'd be criticized that it wasn't sensitive enough, and if we went with the lighter ones, there might be more chance of breakage. Again, we tried to take the safe path down the middle.

Mr Jordan: Do you also hand them out to young offenders?

Dr Humphries: Yes, that's correct. Because, remember, that the young offenders we have are 16- and 17-year-olds. It's not like they're under 16.

The Chair: There are two minutes remaining. Mr Villeneuve.

Mr Noble Villeneuve (S-D-G & East Grenville): Thank you, Mr Chair. Sorry I'm in late, but I was seconded from another committee.

I see from the information provided that many of our provincial institutions have got continuing education and rehabilitation as a very important aspect of incarceration. Nowhere do I see the Cornwall Jail, which is in the area that I represent. I know it's a very old building. Could you comment on what possibly are the problems with a jail like the one in Cornwall, apparently not on any of your educational programs, rehabilitation programs?

Mr McKerrell: The Cornwall Jail, like most of the smaller institutions, does not have a major in-house educational program. What it would have, however, would be the availability of correspondence education, distance education. In other words, if the offenders in that institution, who are primarily on remand, were interested in pursuing academic upgrading all the way from, I guess, the most fundamental literacy material up to more advanced high school programs, that can be handled through correspondence education.

Mr Villeneuve: I really don't know what would be the average population within that particular jail. Could you enlighten me on that? How many people would be incarcerated there at any one time on average?

Mr McKerrell: It's about 32.

Mr Villeneuve: About 32. What jail population would you consider as sufficiently high to make an arrangement with the Ministry of Education and Training or wherever the funding comes from? What are the criteria here? Where does it begin to be economically viable, feasible?

Mr McKerrell: The educational programs that we operate are in a variety of different categories. For example, in the young offender facilities the educational programs are provided directly by the local boards of education and are funded dollar for dollar by the Ministry of Education.

In ministry institutions, primarily the correctional centres, we have a number of ministry employees who are teachers. They're in the longer-stay institutions, primarily Maplehurst Correctional Centre that I mentioned yesterday, Guelph Correctional Centre, and Burtch Correctional Centre has some. OCI and Vanier have teachers as well.

In the grants program with the Ministry of Education, there's a cutoff for adults and funding is not provided for the adults who would be in our system. We've conducted negotiations with the Ministry of Education for years, even to the point of considering handing over all the educational programs that we operate to the Ministry of Education, in the sense that they're the experts in the business, therefore, would they carry it on our behalf. We certainly haven't reached that stage yet, although we do continue the ongoing discussions.

With respect to providing adult education, the Ministry of Education is concerned about extending it to this ministry because others would also be knocking on its door. If they were to provide funding for the kind of educational programs that would enable us to have something in every one of our sites, that would be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the obligation that would be created.

Once people reach adulthood, then the distance education through the correspondence courses is what's available to them, unless they are in our correctional centres, the longer-stay places where we have our own teachers.

Mr Villeneuve: Would there also be a consideration of taking an incarcerated person, say from Cornwall, and placing him in another institution where indeed these services are available? Does this occur?

Mr McKerrell: Oh, yes. Once the person is sentenced, then he's transferred from Cornwall to one of the correctional centres and where the person ends up is a result of a discussion with the individual -- the classification process is what we call it -- to see what the problem is. Why is this person coming into conflict with the law? What are the person's interests? What's the background? What level of security is required to contain the individual while he is with us? All of those factors are brought together in making a plan as to where the individual will go.

Let's say the person is not a maximum security risk. If they were, they would end up in our Millbrook Correctional Centre, which is the only one with the traditional walls and what have you. The others are a lower level of security and can have a wider range of programs, frankly.

Let's say we're talking about an average offender, maybe doing 12 months for break and entry. That individual may have an interest in academic upgrading, and if he does, would in all likelihood be transferred to the Maplehurst Correctional Centre. They would then go on the waiting list until there was an opening in the school as a result of the flow-through. Then they would be placed into either the full-range academic program or they might be streamed into a particular area of interest.

If the person had more of an interest in trades training, then we could send him to one of the places that has a specific trade that the person has an interest in. Indeed, as we were talking about earlier, if they're interested, say, in working on the farm, we have a couple of farms in southern Ontario and they may find themselves ending up there.

It just depends on the nature of the security at which we need to keep the person, and once that's done, we then look at the kinds of programming, be it educational, trades training, literacy upgrading, even the most basic things, treatment interventions, cross-addictions, psychiatric, psychological and so on and so forth.

It's an involved process of deciding what the person wants, what they want to participate in. Nothing is forced, but the opportunity is provided and we try to point them in the right direction.

Mr Villeneuve: Thank you. Possibly after the break I want to talk about rehabilitation, particularly when it's recommended by a judge, the abuse of alcohol and what have you and when indeed you're able to pursue it.

Mr McKerrell: Yes, we can get into that for you.

The Chair: Thank you very much. I think we will recess for lunch and reconvene at 2 o'clock.

The committee recessed from 1204 to 1407.

The Chair: Members of the public accounts committee, we'll resume our deliberations for this afternoon. Once again we have before us the deputy minister, Solicitor General and Correctional Services, the assistant deputy minister and another of her staff. I'm sorry, I didn't get your name.

Mr Page: Don Page.

The Chair: Don Page. Welcome this afternoon. I believe we are going to start with Mr Callahan, who has some questions.

Mr Callahan: I'd like to go back to the issue of AIDS in the correctional facilities. Perhaps we could call Dr Humphries forward.

Doctor, this morning you talked about a report which is still in the making, the Calzavara report.

Dr Humphries: Yes, that's correct.

Mr Callahan: As I recall from the questioning that took place, unlike a report in Quebec where there was 7% of the inmates with AIDS, the report seemed to indicate that there was 1% in the federal penitentiary and 0.999% in the Ontario system.

Dr Humphries: Yes. Those are male statistics.

Mr Callahan: Would you agree with me that in the federal penitentiary system it would be almost a death warrant to participate in a program such as that because if you were identified as having AIDS, you'd certainly be someone who would be in very serious jeopardy?

Dr Humphries: It would certainly be more difficult for that individual.

Mr Callahan: Okay. That report is going to be forthcoming when?

Dr Humphries: It was supposed to be done by January 1; then the last we heard was the end of January. As you may have heard this morning, I have not put any pressure on my colleagues but I have undertaken to do so, and if we don't receive it very shortly, I'll try to push for the next three or four weeks.

Mr Callahan: All right. I wasn't sure; do we have an undertaking that the report will be provided to this committee as soon as it's available?

Dr Humphries: From my point of view, yes.

Mr Callahan: Do we have that from the deputy minister?

Ms Noble: I don't see any reason why not. It's a report that's essentially coming out of the University of Toronto, so my offer would be subject to any limitations they would be placing on its circulation.

Mr Callahan: Can you also make available to us a copy of the report done in Quebec?

Ms Noble: I don't have a copy of that. Dr Humphries, is that a publicly available document?

Dr Humphries: We don't have that but, yes, it is published, and I'm sure that the University of Toronto could provide us with a copy of that.

Mr Callahan: Maybe our research staff could provide that to the committee. I'm going to be asking that when those reports are available that we would reconvene with corrections. I'd like to go through that when those reports are received.

I want to go through the question of AIDS in the jails, doctor. You've indicated that it's random testing, and I suppose the reason it's random testing is because if these people were identified they would be at risk in those facilities, would they?

Dr Humphries: No more so than the ones we already know, and we do know a number who are. Rather it was done this way for the purity of the research. This was truly a scientific research that will stand up to international scrutiny.

Mr Callahan: Have there been any guards who have died as a result of contracting AIDS in the performance of their duties in any of the correctional facilities in this province?

Dr Humphries: It's been alluded to me and to others that there may be one or more who presently have HIV. I personally do not know who they are. It also was alleged that one of our correctional officers at a fairly large correctional centre died. We, the ministry, have never taken that approach out of respect to the family. All we know is one of our correctional officers did pass away and it was a sad situation. It was suggested to us that this individual died as a result of an altercation with a particular inmate of ours. That inmate was no longer in our system, but I knew where that inmate was because he was part of one of the other agencies getting assistance. He had a good relationship with that agency so at my request, he complied and had a test done and was found not to be positive. That's the best I can answer that question.

Mr Callahan: Was it just this one or have there been more than one?

Dr Humphries: This is the only one that I'm personally aware of.

Mr Callahan: Are there any indications in the records of the ministry that would tell us if there are more than one?

Mr McKerrell: No.

Mr Callahan: Is this the one where the person was bitten?

Dr Humphries: No, this is not.

Ms Noble: You were requesting situations where a correctional officer had passed away as a result.

Mr Callahan: What happened to the guard that was bitten?

Ms Noble: Dr Humphries, I think you followed up on that case. You're talking about a case just a few months back?

Mr Callahan: Yes, that's right.

Dr Humphries: I'm indicating to you the one death that was brought to my attention. The inmate was identified who was involved in the altercation and, as I say, I knew where he was. He agreed to a test and was found to be not HIV.

Mr Callahan: Was there an inquest held in that case?

Dr Humphries: I believe there was a coroner's investigation into it, but because an inquest was not required, I don't believe a formal one did take place, but I could be corrected on that.

Mr Callahan: It's my understanding that if a person dies in a public institution and the reasons are uncertain an inquest is almost mandatory. Why was an inquest not held?

Dr Humphries: That's correct, but this was a correctional officer, not an inmate.

Mr Callahan: He's still in a public institution as an employee.

Dr Humphries: I'm not a lawyer and I bow to you on that, but my understanding is if an employee of a public institution passes away, it's not mandatory to have an inquest. If a patient or an inmate passes away, that's a different matter, but I would bow to you on that.

Mr Callahan: Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, there are certain diseases, just to deal with the sexual diseases, gonorrhoea and syphilis, that you can test for mandatorily. They're not optional. Why is AIDS not included under that category?

Dr Humphries: Because it's not considered one of the more contagious or virulent diseases in that regard. It's more of a lifestyle illness. It's not contagious in the sense that tuberculosis or one of these others is.

Mr Callahan: But is it not a fact that a person who has AIDS or tests positive for HIV may very well have other diseases that show up first, tuberculosis and so on?

Dr Humphries: Absolutely. Or they may come in after the HIV, because the body's weakened and not able to fight them.

Mr Callahan: Has there ever been a recommendation that AIDS be included under the virulent disease definitions in the Health Protection and Promotion Act?

Dr Humphries: There certainly has been a fair bit of discussion and controversy surrounding it. You get into the human rights issue. One is, there would be value in doing it, but secondly, the human rights people would say, "Why? This is not something that, if you get sneezed upon, you're going to get it." My personal view on that -- I'm happy to share them with you and they certainly don't commit the ministry to anything -- is that I would like to see it as part of the virulent and contagious diseases, but not per se, because I would want us to do mandatory testing, but because it would mean if one of our people were bitten or one of our police officers were bitten, we would then have the legislative ability to do a test, which we can't do right now.

Mr Callahan: Was it ever recommended by anyone to any ministries that AIDS should become one of the diseases referred to under the virulent disease definition?

Dr Humphries: I'm certain it's been discussed a number of times within the Ministry of Health. That's their legislation.

Mr Callahan: Was it recommended by the chief medical officer of health of this province to the Minister of Health?

Dr Humphries: I believe at one point that it was, but I couldn't be certain because I wasn't there.

Mr Callahan: Do you know what the Minister of Health's response was to that recommendation by the chief medical officer of health?

Dr Humphries: I certainly know that it hasn't happened, but I do know there's been a lot of discussion and controversy concerning it.

Mr Callahan: If I suggested to you that the Minister of Health specifically denied that request by the chief medical officer of health, would that be accurate?

Dr Humphries: As I say, I have not been part of those so I shouldn't try to put my own views on that.

Mr Callahan: Can any one of the witnesses attest to the fact that the present Minister of Health, Ruth Grier, denied a request by the chief medical officer of health to list AIDS as a virulent disease under the Health Protection and Promotion Act?

Ms Noble: I have no awareness of the discussion or any position taken by the Minister of Health. If there has been discussion, it has not involved the senior management of our ministry.

Mr Callahan: But you'd agree with me that for the safety of the people who work in that workplace, and I know safety in the workplace has always been very high on the agenda of the present government, it would be very prudent if not very wise to be able to identify those people who test HIV positive?

Dr Humphries: I'd like to just back up one step. I would still like all of our people to assume that every person they deal with is HIV positive. I don't want to lose that philosophy because that's too important.

It would be nice, following an altercation or something of that nature, to be able to determine whether or not we're dealing with a hepatitis B or an AIDS situation. What we do now when that happens is we ask the inmate's permission to give blood and they almost always do it for us. We rush it by courier to the lab. We phone the provincial lab and ask them would they please give it priority and would they give us a verbal reading as soon as they've got it and a formal one after that.

For instance, if it's hepatitis B -- remember that's a more resistant organism; it's harder to kill it -- when we run into that now, our protocol, and it doesn't matter what time of day it is, we run the person first of all over to the hospital to give them gamma globulin. If they haven't already been vaccinated, we start a vaccination process. We take blood from the inmate and try to get it tested as quickly as possible. We do everything short of, while trying to find out.

Mr Callahan: Doctor, Mr Jordan this morning referred to a Japanese test that's available that has come to my attention. It can give you a result almost as quickly as you could get one with a piece of litmus paper on a diabetic test. Is that correct?


Dr Humphries: As I indicated to Mr Jordan, I am aware of this new test. We don't have any information on it yet; I personally don't have any. It's a different technology from what we're using. We're working on the antibodies with the ELISAs and the blot tests and things like that. It's really new, but it could be awfully exciting and have marvellous potential.

Mr Callahan: But it would certainly be far more effective, because of the short stays of your people who pass through your institution and then pass back out on to the street as a time bomb to people out on the street. For instance, you have people coming in there who are serving sentences for impaired driving. They come in on the weekend. They could get a very big surprise on their trip home, not necessarily AIDS, but as you agree, people who are HIV-positive are susceptible to diseases such as tuberculosis and other diseases that are communicable. You're nodding yes, for the record, and they could in fact be carrying that disease back to their family.

Dr Humphries: Yes, absolutely. We do deal with these opportunistic diseases. We recently had a cytomegalic inclusion disease in one of our institutions associated with HIV. But this new test coming out of the east, when it comes and if we get information and stuff that we can learn about, if it is a different technique and we'll pick up the virus per se and we can get rid of the windows, that could very much change our focus.

Mr Callahan: I understand this Japanese test will get rid of the windows.

But in any event, going back to the issue that the guards are instructed to treat every person as if they were HIV-positive, that may help them in terms of if they're not bitten or there's not blood spat on them, or some type of bodily fluid, but does that protect them from the secondary disorders that arise -- that you've already acknowledged arise -- unfortunately in these people who are afflicted, of tuberculosis, of a number of other diseases?

Dr Humphries: We know that tuberculosis is on the increase. We know that even the resistant tuberculosis is on the increase in Ontario. But the fact that a person whose immune system is suppressed has these illnesses doesn't necessarily mean that they would be passed on to a normally healthy working person. They're very susceptible because they have essentially very little immune system.

Mr Callahan: But I think the thing that boggles my mind is the fact that under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, all of the diseases that I'm familiar with -- cholera, diphtheria, gonorrhoea, haemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, leprosy and so on -- are listed as being diseases that, in terms of the old school when I was a kid, were quarantinable diseases.

Dr Humphries: Yes.

Mr Callahan: I can't for the life of me understand why the testing could not be made mandatory in the jails to protect the guards, so the guards would be aware of who has and who hasn't. It doesn't have to be done on the basis of putting those people's lives in jeopardy, which I would be very sensitive to, because I know in a correctional facility they're not looked upon, if they have AIDS, I guess, with the greatest of respect. But surely, there's a more important obligation: to ensure that these people are not perhaps laying their lives on the line either, because of the spinoff-type of diseases from that. Would you not agree with me?

Dr Humphries: I would agree, but remember, as you said, the diseases you've mentioned were in the past quarantinable? You would not quarantine an HIV person. You'd let them go to school, you let them work in kitchens of a restaurant and you let them be nurses. You do not quarantine people.

Mr Callahan: If you can't mandatorily test somebody for HIV when they come into the institution, how do you know whether or not the person whom you're perhaps putting in the kitchen is not HIV-positive and may infect the entire population by some type of bodily saliva, or whatever, not intentionally but by accident?

Dr Humphries: Yes, and the answer is, we don't know, just as you don't know out in the community who next to you may be HIV-positive and what they may be doing.

Mr Callahan: But I'm not placed in a position where the potentiality of that happening -- we've got rid of these myths that if you shake hands with these people, you're going to get the disease, and that's a good thing that we have got rid of those myths. But when you place people in a particularly sensitive position where there are possibilities of altercations, there are possibilities of being spat at -- I've heard of instances where guards have been spat at -- I mean, that's got to be a very frightening and stressful situation, I would think, for people who work in the correctional services.

Perhaps this is the reason we need the ratio, as the auditor has found, of one to one for prisoners, is to deal with this particular explosive issue, plus the fact that you've got 15% of the people in there who are mentally ill and shouldn't be in correctional facilities. Maybe it's time for this government, which is so concerned about safety in the workplace, to look at the question of dealing with these people appropriately, dealing with the people who are mentally ill and putting them in a facility that's able to treat their illness, not putting them into correctional facilities to cause problems, which you've already expressed, and the extreme cost.

Maybe it's important that these people who have been afflicted with the illness of AIDS should be treated with some respect as well and perhaps kept, in a facility such as Burwash, separately from the other prisoners. It would do two things. First of all, you could identify them without them being at risk with the rest of the prison population, being at risk of being killed or whatever. You could also deal with them in terms of a humane way of treating their disease.

I mean, to me it's absolutely mind-boggling that in a civilized society that we would house 15% mentally ill people and AIDS people, who we say are 0.999 -- I have some real concerns about the quality of that sample, particularly if you've got 7% in Quebec. I can't believe that Quebec's got any worse problem than Ontario does. That's why I want to see this report and compare how it was done in terms of that report and the one that's in place. I really find that incredible.

I find it incredible as well that the Minister of Health would not in fact consent to place this, at least for correctional purposes, if for no other purposes, on the list of virulent diseases, so that you could mandatorily test these people.

Dr Humphries: I should explain the Quebec experiment. That was done by Dr Kate Hankin. It was a voluntary thing. It was not anonymous. The people volunteered for it and they knew that they would be identified. As a result, we in Ontario feel that they got a rather select client group. That's very, very different from the study that was done in Ontario.

Mr Jordan: Just following up a bit on my colleague's questioning there with you, I think you're well versed on the report basically and you understand what will be coming to you and so on, but I'm sure you also realize the cost to the ministry should a policy be made to implement that report and make use of it in such a way as to identify these people.

Dr Humphries: In fact, I don't think it's going to cost us any additional resources. I think our present policies are definitely handling the problem as we know it. When I say I don't think it'll be additional costs, there are a number of people, including me, who thought that those statistics might be higher, and we were pleasantly surprised at how low they were. Based upon the Quebec study, we wondered if we might be as high as 7%. We haven't been so far.

Mr Jordan: Would you not agree that the staff level now of one to one is partially relative to this problem?

Dr Humphries: I think it's relevant to this problem, but to many other problems as well. It's a strange society we're living in these days.

Mr Jordan: It follows then that you have that concern of having treated medically, through drugs, the other problems these people have and then they go out on the street and don't have the medication they were having while at your institution.

Dr Humphries: Yes, you see, the opportunistic diseases are the easier ones for us to handle. It's not great for the HIV person, but for just about every opportunistic disease, including the resistant TB that we see, we can treat it and we can give the proper medication to control it and work with it while they're with us.

Mr Jordan: Excuse me, while they're with you?

Dr Humphries: Yes, and then we have to hope that they have a family doctor in the community they would return to. We cannot carry them beyond their committed time to us.


Mr Jordan: How do you police, if you will, the transition from your care to --

Dr Humphries: Okay. Whenever we identify an HIV person, Mr Jordan, if the patient agrees, and they almost all do because they love to get out of our institutions, we hook them up with the local AIDS treatment units. There are treatment units around the province specifically for AIDS; Sunnybrook has one, Toronto Hospital has one, McMaster has one. We put them in contact with them and we don't usually take the lead in treating them. We send them to the specialist. Dr Anita Rachlis does a lot of our patients at Sunnybrook hospital and she will send back instructions how that patient is to be treated. The same with Dr Berger; we have a lot of relationships with him.

We essentially carry out their orders. They're usually the ones who do the blood tests, the T section cells and all of those things. They do the testing, they advise us and we use the medication regime laid out by them, so we hope when we discharge them that they will continue to work with that clinic. If we don't have a subsequent probation order or something, we can't force it. In fact, we don't even force treatment within our institutions on anybody.

Mr Jordan: What other studies related to HIV prevalence in corrections are being undertaken?

Dr Humphries: The ones that I mentioned this morning -- now remember, these are not being undertaken and they haven't even reached senior management of the ministry yet. The one proposal is what they call the KAB, that's knowledge, attitude, behaviour. That's been proposed. The second one is to study the conversion rate while within our system. So where that's at, the same doctor, Liviana Calzavara, and her team have drawn up the protocols for both of those and they're in the process of submitting them to what is referred to in our ministry as the advisory committee on research and evaluation.

That is in the process of being submitted and the discussions have occurred, but the steps beyond that will then be to go to our senior management. If that's approved, then we would go to the ethics committee of the University of Toronto, just as we did with the last one. If that's approved, then essentially at that point they could begin. But at this point, the approach has been made, the discussions have started and it has been moved in the direction of what we call ACRE, advisory committee on research and evaluation.

Mr Villeneuve: I simply want to continue my line of questioning of this morning regarding rehabilitation. This was an experience that happened to someone fairly close to where I reside. A dairy farmer, on I believe a couple of occasions, was charged with impaired driving and the judge gave him a sentence of 30 days in jail, plus rehabilitation for his alcohol problem.

When he was in the jail in Cornwall, the dairy farm was being run by his wife, some small children at home. Something went wrong one morning, so she phoned the jail about 6:30 to find out from her husband what to do. She wasn't able to communicate with her husband till 8:30; they didn't want to wake him up.

She told me that rehabilitation consisted of smoking, playing cards and watching cable TV, which they don't have at home on their farm; not very conducive to rehabilitation. This guy may well serve his sentence after he gets home, from his wife. However, that being the case or not, what sort of rehabilitation do you have in a situation where it's a 30- or 60-day sentence, I'm not sure -- but in a place like Cornwall, is there any program to rehabilitate someone with an alcohol problem?

Mr Mills: How old was this guy?

Mr Villeneuve: Thirty.

Mr McKerrell: I'm going to ask Don Page to respond to Mr Villeneuve.

Mr Page: In regard to the specific issue of substance abuse counselling and treatment programs, the ministry has a fairly large network of these programs, and I will refer to them in a minute, but your specific concern is in regard to the Cornwall Jail. I must admit I don't have with me at this point exactly what kind of program they might have at the Cornwall Jail. Specifically, they would have an AA program, because every one of our 50 institutions across the province has a very active involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous and they are very welcome in our jails and hold meetings there on a regular basis. Whether there is a specialized program for driving while impaired or substance abuse at Cornwall, I'm not familiar at this time. Perhaps before I'm finished here somebody will let me know.

If I could just give you an overview of the types of programs we do have across the province, we have programs that are run by our own ministry professional staff. In that regard, we directly employ 68 psychologists and we have fee-for-service contracts with another 47.

There are social work services. We have 208 social workers in our system. Many of those professionals would be running programs in the institutions where they're working with people with substance abuse and many other problems.

We also, as I said, have voluntary self-help groups. Basically, AA is the most widely represented one, but other groups do come in to help with both drug and alcohol abuse.

We have specific programs. Our alcohol abuse programs fall into two categories: alcohol and drug awareness, and driving-while-impaired programs.

In regard to alcohol and drug awareness, we have about 107 programs across the province, and in regard to driving while impaired, we have about 25 specific programs across the province. We also have programs that we developed in concert with the anti-drug secretariat through the Ministry of Health. We have specific programs at several CRCs, community resource centres. There is one of those in Cornwall and it may well have a program there; I'm not sure.

We offer a very sophisticated drug treatment program through the Portage Foundation in Guelph. We have a native drug awareness program in Kenora and we have a lot of programs in our treatment facilities at OCI, Guelph, Millbrook, Vanier, Rideau and the Northern Treatment Centre. These basically are group programs that consist of six or 10 people meeting and going through various sessions on the impact of alcohol or drugs, self-awareness, self-esteem, the actual medical problems that exist with that sort of problem, and some of the legal and other problems that could occur.

I've just been given this for Cornwall Jail, and they have both an Alcoholics Anonymous and a Narcotics Anonymous program. The average participation in the AA program is eight people and it's held once a week. Of course, it's voluntary.

Mr Villeneuve: When it's ordered by the judge, does it still remain voluntary, when the judge says this man needs to be rehabilitated?

Mr Page: The judge can recommend that he undergo alcohol treatment in an institution. It depends on the length of sentence whether he's actually going to get to one of the more sophisticated places where he can have a full program. In the Cornwall Jail obviously we don't have a full and sophisticated AA program or alcohol program. If he had a longer sentence, he could be eligible for transfer to the program at Rideau Correctional Centre, which is in your area, or at OCI.

If it was ordered in a probation order, and sometimes people with impaired driving charges get a sentence of a short period plus probation to follow, there may have been a condition in a probation order. Then a probation officer would follow up on that in trying to find assistance from some of the existing agencies within the community.


Mr Villeneuve: Thank you. Now, to change the subject a bit, how many locations is your head office staff distributed in? Maybe the deputy minister can answer this. Would you be in three or four locations?

Ms Noble: The minister and myself and some offices of the now integrated ministry are here in Toronto. The office in North Bay includes a substantial portion of the corporate services people plus head office or corporate level staff of the Correctional Services division as well as some staff from the information resources division of the integrated ministry. Because of the relocation of the OPP and parts of the Solicitor General to Orillia as part of the integration, we also have components of what would be called corporate support offices in Orillia as well. However, if you were going to ask whether the minister and I have multiple offices, our offices are here in Toronto.

Mr Villeneuve: I gather the Mississauga office, which was closed, still has some staff there?

Ms Noble: Yes. The office in Mississauga, which was the old central regional office, does have staff there. We have, within Correctional Services, gone from five regions to four, so that was a reduction that's been made since last April.

Mr McKerrell: If I could I just add a couple of words on that for you, the central regional office from the Correctional Services division was closed; they actually moved out in September 1993. There is a lease on that property, so it would have been sitting empty. Two groups of staff who were working in another building were moved from the other building into the leased space, and then we've been able to mothball the other building to reduce operating costs. They're just keeping enough heat in there to prevent the pipes from freezing; otherwise, we're saving on the operating costs of that other building.

Mr Villeneuve: Further to the numbers of staff in head office, would you have an idea of what possibly was your staff five years ago and what the staff is now at head office for corrections, those considered attached to head office? Do you know how many staff you have there now as opposed to five years ago?

Ms Noble: I think that if we were going to try to check actual statistics, we'd have to call for them. The other thing would be the comparison of what was a self-contained ministry up until last February, essentially, to what is now an integrated operation, so that some of the corporate office functions which up until the integration would have been only sufficient or large enough to sustain the Correctional Services ministry, through integration we've actually -- it's less than one plus one. We've reduced staff in those corporate offices. But we'd have to take a bit of time to actually try to calculate staff differences. Neil may want to comment in terms of the Correctional Services support itself.

Mr McKerrell: From what we would call the program administration part of the Correctional Services division, it's very definitely smaller than it was five years ago. It's smaller than it was two years ago. With the closing down of one of the five regional offices, there were 20-some people in that office. At the same time, I amalgamated what were two separate branches, one for institutional programming and one for community programming, in the head office structure. I combined those into one. We saved a director and so on.

We've also been downsizing some positions of analysts and so forth. During my time in the head office structure of Correctional Services, which dates back to 1987, we've steadily reduced the number of positions.

Mr Villeneuve: I understand that in the Stratford Jail there were fairly major renovations done there. It's also my understanding that the jail was staffed on a 24-hour basis when there were no inmates there while the renovations were going on. Is that what happened?

Mr McKerrell: I don't think so, but Don Page is the western regional director; perhaps he can comment.

Mr Page: When the Stratford Jail was closed during the summer of 1992 for renovations, the administration staff remained there to handle the book work and the administration for the jail, but the actual correctional staff all were transferred to other institutions during that period of time. Some of them went to Waterloo Detention Centre. A lot of them went to Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre. A couple of them, I think, went to Bluewater Youth Centre to get experience with young offenders. There were savings there because they were able to fill in where people were taking training or vacation in these other institutions.

Mr Villeneuve: So it was admin staff basically that was there.

Mr Page: The admin staff was there and a maintenance person who was sort of coordinating the construction that was going on.

Mr Villeneuve: It's my understanding, moving to the northern region, that a contract to a consulting firm to do a study -- it was known as Corporate Health Consultants -- cost the ministry about $50,000. Would that be about right?

Ms Noble: I'm not familiar with the contract you're referring to, so I would need some further details in order to follow up on it.

Mr Villeneuve: Okay. I understand that in other regions ministry staff was used to arrive at the results that they needed. The question simply was, why would the north have to purchase from Corporate Health Consultants a referral contract for the employee assistance program in the area of $50,000?

Ms Noble: Neil, perhaps you could assist.

Mr McKerrell: Yes. I'd have to refresh myself on the details, but as nearly as I recall it was more cost-effective than $50,000. That figure doesn't ring true with me but, as I say, I'd have to go back and look at it. Given the geography of the north, it was considered more cost-effective to have that service than it was in southern Ontario, where we have it on a regional basis and it's not so expensive, but I'd have to go back and get details for you.

Mr Villeneuve: Still with the north, apparently the same region received about $1 million during the current fiscal year to establish aboriginal programs. It's my understanding that never did get off the ground, yet they're still showing some sort of a deficit in the area of $1 million. Is that right?

Mr McKerrell: The northern region received funding to enhance aboriginal programming and that money's all committed to aboriginal programming.

Mr Villeneuve: And the programs are up and going?

Mr McKerrell: There's a wide range of aboriginal programs up and running with that money. There was one in the Kenora area which was not particularly successful and that money is being reallocated to other aboriginal programs that would be more successful.

Mr Villeneuve: A regional director in the east, I believe, was suspended for a year with full salary recently in the Kingston office.

Mr McKerrell: The former regional director.

Mr Villeneuve: Yes. Now --

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Villeneuve, time has expired. I'm going to have to move to Mr Mills.

Mr Mills: I want to start off this afternoon by making a correction to some things that I'm prone to say. In my old way of talking, I have called firemen "firemen" when in fact they're firefighters and I believe during the discussion here I've referred to people as guards. I want to correct the record. They are in fact correctional officers. I apologize for using any other term that some people may take offence to. I just want to put that on the record.

I've heard a lot of discussion here about AIDS. Probably it's a concern, it's an issue, but I haven't seen, unless I've flipped the page, anywhere in the auditor's report where there's any concern about AIDS and about treatment for AIDS and all that related stuff. Having said that, I'm going to get back to the thrust of what we're here for, and that's to discuss the recommendations of the auditor. I think that's really foremost here.


One of the recommendations of the auditor is that the ministry should strengthen its efforts to liaise with the judicial system to determine whether community programs could be better utilized. I am very interested and although I'm with that ministry I'm not up to pace on this. I think it's very important that we hear what community programs are in place and then we could perhaps get a better understanding in this committee, in our report, to see if in fact the programs could be better utilized. I'd like to ask Mr Page, who I believe is the expert on this, to comment on the community programs.

Mr Page: The ministry certainly supports the Provincial Auditor's recommendations for increased use of community corrections programs. As a community corrections person I applaud that particular statement, although I am a little mystified that there were some concerns that we weren't using them as much as perhaps other provinces.

Certainly the use of community corrections programs is in keeping with federal reports recommending the use of the community. Such reports as directions for reform, intermediate sanctions, papers and so on, and the heads of corrections for Canada which are represented -- the head executive for corrections in each province at their annual meetings have endorsed the concept of more use of community corrections and the use of the least restrictive alternative consistent with public safety.

Certainly in Ontario community corrections has a long history. Ontario had the first Probation Act back in the 1920s and certainly developed probation through the 1950s and 1960s until probation has become the dominant correctional option in this province. Ontario also had the first parole board. It had the first community resource centre programs and it developed a temporary absence program, all community corrections programs.

During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Ministry of Correctional Services embarked on partnerships with community agencies of all types to bring them into the correctional field as partners with us because we certainly feel that we're not going to solve the problems of our clients unless we get assistance from the community and they become more aware of the issues we have to face. That's why we have involved many community agencies and we have some 5,000 volunteers working in corrections with us. That is one of the largest volunteer programs in corrections anywhere in the world.

Among our programs, probation, parole, residential programs, and also to clarify a figure that Mr Mills used earlier today -- the community service order program, which is generally a condition of probation and which requires people to do community service in their communities rather than be incarcerated: In 1991-92 there were 786,000 hours of community service work done and if you multiply that by a minimum wage of $7 an hour you get $5.5 million; so it was $5.5 million, Mr Mills.

Mr Mills: Millions. I'm sorry for that. I thought "billion" was a little high.

Mr Page: Yes. In addition to that, we collected $4.5 million through restitution orders that were part of the probation.

What I would like to say is that in connection with the comments about dealing with the Ministry of the Attorney General to make more effective use of community programs, Ontario courts already make a greater use of probation than any other province. We have some statistics here which we can provide to you which show that Ontario has far more people on probation on any given day, in gross numbers and proportionally, than any other province.

I believe that when the Provincial Auditor was reviewing institutional programs he did not consider probation as part of the institutional stream, quite rightly, and so did not include that part of our community programs where we have large numbers.

The fact that Ontario makes greater use of probation than any other province and the fact that Ontario has its own parole board, which releases many sentenced offenders, the result is that there are probably fewer low-risk offenders within Ontario's institutions. In other words, the large number of people who could be released safely from the institutions are either not going there because the courts have confidence in probation, or they're being released on parole, or they're being released on temporary absence.

If I could just give you some figures, on any given day there are 8,000 offenders in our system incarcerated, but about a third of those are on remand. We could say that there are about 6,000 sentenced offenders, sentenced to a term of incarceration, on any given day. Of these, 1,800 are on parole on any given day, 800 are on TAP on any given day. This represents about 2,600 people out of the 6,000, and this comes to about 40% of all the sentenced offenders in Ontario who are in community programs. Another 53,500 adults are under probation supervision and, in all, about 87% of all sentenced offenders in Ontario are serving their sentences in the community. That compares with figures in other provinces -- and I will circulate this -- of 82% in Newfoundland and Labrador, 78% in Quebec, 82% in Manitoba and so on.

Mr Mills: Thank you very much, Mr Page. Mr Chair, I am going to give the rest of my time to my colleagues. You decide who.

The Acting Chair (Mr Murphy): I have Mr Duignan and then Mr O'Connor, so I'll leave it to you to decide how you want to allocate it.

Mr Larry O'Connor (Durham-York): I have a supplementary on the very same issue.

Mr Noel Duignan (Halton North): That's what I want to get in on too.

The Acting Chair: Mr Duignan is on the list so we'll go to him, and I'm sure he'll leave you some time, Mr O'Connor.

Mr Duignan: Thank you, Mr Chair. I will.

I want to follow up on that line of questioning, and I want to talk about Maplehurst and the community programs there. I have met recently, in fact over the past little while, with a number of correctional officers both from Maplehurst and indeed from Vanier over a number of issues, and one of the great concerns they have is in fact the cutback on the community programs provided by Maplehurst. Is that correct?

Mr McKerrell: There was a cutback in the number of work teams that went out into the community over the last year as a cost-cutting measure, as a constraint measure. That reduced the number of staff hours outside the institution and enabled us to reduce our operating costs.

Mr Duignan: That of course posed a number of problems for a number of agencies in the community that were relying on that service.

Mr McKerrell: That's right.

Mr Duignan: Is there a way of restoring that particular service and still keeping the cost-saving measures?

Mr McKerrell: We're reviewing that. As a matter of fact, Don Page is chairing a committee within the division to look at all the programs and services that we're providing across the system -- we call it rationalization -- to look at what we're doing, what we can do. Are there certain things that we will stop doing in order to do other things?

There are many components to this, and a month ago I placed Mr Page in charge of coordinating all these bits and pieces of reviews that I've got going on so that we can bring closure to this reasonably quickly. His mandate is to bring this forward in the summertime, and we'll be in a position then to make some decisions and decide how we want to proceed over the course of the summer and into the early fall, and then go from there.

The short answer is, there may be a possibility of putting some of these things back, but only after we've been able to review everything that we're doing and decide what we're in a position to proceed with.

Mr Duignan: So it's not a dead issue; in fact, there's a good possibility that some of these programs that were operated by Maplehurst could in fact be restored in the future.


Mr McKerrell: There's a possibility. There would have to be an offset, though. There is no new funding available, so in order to start doing something, something else would have to stop, or things would have to be rearranged in some way to enable us to do it. That's why we doing this, in essence, program review, along with a lot of other things, to see what we should best spend the resources on.

Mr Duignan: You expect that some time in the summer. You will take some time to evaluate that, with some decisions coming later in the year?

Mr McKerrell: That's right. There is a work plan with dates established. I'm expecting Mr Page's report at the end of July, isn't it?

Mr Page: Yes.

Mr McKerrell: Then I will take the balance of the summer into the early fall to review the report -- because it's going to be extensive; there's a lot of stuff -- make some decisions -- the deputy and the minister and the whole senior management group will be involved -- and then proceed from there.

Mr Duignan: When the report is finished, will you be able to file a copy with this committee?

Ms Noble: I think what we will have out of this is a set of recommendations that will be coming forward within the ministry. I don't have a problem with committing to sharing the outcome in terms of what we find. Whether that will be in the form of a report, I'm not sure that's the form it will take.

Mr Duignan: Are you saying then that the report is confidential? In other words, you say no. Right?

Ms Noble: No. What I'm saying is that the project report that is being done will be done by the staff. It will then be forwarded for discussion and will have to be dealt with in terms of decisions.

You asked whether or not when the report was finalized, ie, the results of the decisions are known, it be available to the committee. What I'm saying is --

Mr Duignan: That's not what I asked; I said the report itself, a copy of the report. Are you prepared to file a copy of the report with the committee, yes or no?

Ms Noble: You're asking in terms of the internal recommendations of the staff?

Mr Duignan: Yes.

Ms Noble: On the understanding that it would be a working report within the ministry. It would not --

Mr Duignan: So it would be confidential to the ministry?

Ms Noble: Certainly it's a draft. That's what it is. It would not represent a final decision or the participation of all of those who would need to be involved in a final decision. I'm indicating what the status of it would be.

Mr Duignan: In other words, you won't be a filing a report, simple as that. You could say that.

The Acting Chair: Are you finished, Mr Duignan?

Mr Duignan: Yes.

Mr O'Connor: I wanted to ask a supplementary on Mr Mills's line of questioning. Quite often people in the community, and I know our constituents, have problems when we hear about these alternative custody situations where people are going out to the community and doing community programs. I am aware that these are non-violent offenders, but there needs to be some involvement within communities to allay any fears. There's got to be that community involvement.

I wonder if you can tell the committee some of the types of programs you're talking about. When you talk about community programs, sometimes it's as clear as mud. Sitting here listening to you, I never heard you refer to an actual program, so maybe you could name some specific programs. The viewers at home would then know how all the fine questions Mr Mills asked refer to actual community programs.

Mr Page: When we are talking about community correctional programs, we're talking about programs that are alternatives to incarceration. So the convicted offender is serving his sentence in some way rather than in jail, but on the street.

The chief one of those is probation. It's the sanction of choice by the courts these days. As I said, there are some 53,000 adults on probation and 9,000 young offenders. Probation is a decision made by the court to release the person under a conditions of probation order. It can be for anywhere up to two years. It has conditions that require the person to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, to report to a probation officer, to refrain from certain behaviours such as drinking or use of drugs, and it may have all sorts of other conditions that might be useful in the rehabilitation of the offender.

The second-largest community program would be parole, which is different from probation in that the decision is made by a parole board and the person is released on parole after serving a portion of his sentence. He's still serving part of his sentence in the community, whereas on probation he's got probation instead of a sentence. There are about 1,800 on parole in Ontario. They are also under the supervision of probation and parole officers, required to report regularly and usually have some fairly strict conditions about behaviours and movements and so on.

The third major community correctional program would be residential programs. These were commonly called halfway houses. We call them community resource centres, but they're halfway houses where people who are released from institutions reside under fairly close supervision.

Another is community service orders, as I've mentioned, where people are required to do community service or make restitution rather than go to jail.

There are a variety of other programs that deal with family violence and, as I said, driving while impaired. These are usually conditions of a probation order, that a person get specific treatment or be involved specifically in a program related to the type of offence he committed. We use volunteers a great deal to assist us in these programs, and we use community agencies.

Those are the kinds of things. These people, by and large, people on probation and parole, are going to school, going to work, abiding by the law, supporting their families, contributing to the economy in one way or another. There are 53,000 of them out there. I'm sure you bump into one of them some time during the day wherever you might be.

Mr O'Connor: I think that's the key; the last sentence kind of sums it up. When we talk about people involved in alternative custody, quite often they're either returning to education or are in some type of therapy or perhaps involved in something like the John Howard Society, a number of different programs within the community.

Mr Page: That's right. We have 629 probation officers supervising these people and 134 offices, which are scattered. We probably have a network wider than almost any other government service. We have an office in almost every town there is. Maybe the OPP has more detachments.

The Acting Chair: The auditor wanted to follow up on the document you just passed out.

Mr Erik Peters: Just to permit the committee to relate the document you just handed out to the report. I believe at the time we were very careful in agreeing with your ministry on the statistics we were using. On page 164, we were referring to the fact that Ontario had placed only 11% of its offenders into these community programs. Do you have a further breakdown? I think here it's called probationary counts.

Ms Noble: In explaining the difference between the figures in the auditor's report and the figures we've just handed out, they're not actually inconsistent, and we weren't trying to hand them out to demonstrate an inconsistency. The auditor's report was focusing on those who were sentenced to institutional custody, and then would have been looking at those who were placed in community residential programs etc through the institutional programs. It would be 11% of the 14% or 15%, in other words; it's a subset of the institutional group. We're not at all disagreeing with your statistics in terms of those who are sentenced to the institution.

The purpose of this was not in any way to challenge the figures the auditor was showing. The point to be made was that in considering people for the community, you obviously are making decisions about those who are not going to be a risk to the community. The purpose of showing these statistics to the committee was to demonstrate that in Ontario we have a different pattern of sentencing taking place back one step; ie, the judges in Ontario, by sentencing a greater number of those coming through the courts to probation as opposed to the institutional setting, are taking some of that decision about who needs to be in an institution versus who can be in the community under probation. Comparing our percentage of those having been sentenced to an institution and then going to the community to the percentage in another province, they have a higher proportion of people coming into the institution in the first place and therefore the potential for a greater number of them able to be in the community. It wasn't intended to demonstrate an inconsistency, just to demonstrate that we are potentially dealing with a different pool of clients being sentenced to the institution in the first place.


Mr Peters: I really appreciate that. I didn't want to infer defensiveness. I knew that's what you had done, but we couldn't quite openly for the committee relate the two figures. That's much appreciated.

There's a second question, purely in the realm of speculation. We didn't get into it and you didn't, but there's an astounding difference between Quebec and Ontario in the statistics before us. Can you help us try to understand why, for example, in 1992 the total population under your custody was 55,000 and the total population in Quebec was only 15,000? For a province as large as Quebec, that is an astounding difference.

Ms Noble: This is speculative so I don't think we should any of us draw a conclusion from what I'm about to say. I have seen other data which would indicate that there may be a tendency in Quebec to longer sentencing patterns, and as a consequence, given that provincial institutions are only for sentences of two years less a day, one would need to look at what proportion of offenders through the Quebec court system may be finding themselves going into the federal system proportionate to what may be going there from Ontario. That would certainly be one dimension to be examined.

Mr Peters: I knew it would be in that realm of speculation, but it's a number that certainly jumps out when one looks at this document.

Ms Dianne Poole (Eglinton): I'd like to look at the staffing. This area has been touched on in the previous two days, but I haven't found the answers to be totally satisfactory to date. I'm looking at pages 157 to 162 of the auditor's report. The auditor has made the observation that over the decade, the total average inmate population increased by 28% while institutional staff increased by 73%.

Then the auditor has proceeded to give us the ministry's explanation on the next page, page 158, which basically comes into four categories:

-- Changes relating to the Young Offenders Act, which meant that young offenders had to be housed separately. That was 915 staff.

-- The Askov decision, which resulted in 200 additional staff.

-- Concerns about health and safety issues which has led to an additional five staff per post, which I would assume to be around 250 as you have 50 institutions.

-- The reduction of the number of working hours for the staff.

I've added up all those factors. Considering that the auditor said there was an increase of 2,900 staff in that 10-year period, the figures given for those categories add up to less than half of that 2,900. Could you explain the difference? What happened to the remainder of staff that were hired and why were they put on?

Ms Noble: One of the differences in using the 1982-83 base year to the end year is that for 1982-83, the figures did not include what would have existed at that time in terms of unclassified staff. By the end of the period, we do have the numbers and they have been included. The ones we did have were included by the auditor through the whole period, so the tracking of the numbers was there, but some portion of that number -- unfortunately, I don't have the numbers because I don't have the records back to 1982-83 -- represents the unclassified staff who would have been in the institutions in 1982-83 but for whom we don't have the count. Based on the fact that in 1985-86 it was about 800, taking that back a couple of years we could suggest that maybe somewhere in the order of 500 to 600 of that difference can be accounted for that way.

Ms Poole: But there would still be a significant number unaccounted for when you add up the four categories listed by the auditor plus the unclassified staff.

Mr Peters: Can I help? The 1985 number became significant because that was when the Young Offenders Act was changed, and that caused an increase at that point.

Ms Poole: Yes, and your report states that. But only 915 of the 2,900 came from the changes to the YOA. What concerns me is that with such a very high ratio of staff to inmates -- basically one staff person for every inmate, much higher than the rest of the jurisdictions in Canada -- I just can't seem to put my finger on why that's happening.

The auditor mentions, "The ministry has commenced a staffing analysis of its facilities based on a process developed by the National Institute of Corrections of the US Department of Justice." Does the US Department of Justice have a recommended staff-to-inmate ratio?

Mr McKerrell: The answer to the increase in staff is built into workload, young offenders, growth in the system. I mentioned yesterday that we added a number of facilities in southern Ontario. We opened the addition at the Maplehurst complex, with a number of staff added there. Staff were added at the Northern Treatment Centre. There was the additional building at Metro West Detention Centre for female offenders, as well as the expansion of young offenders, the occupational health and safety issues I referred to yesterday, plus the change in the accounting for the unclassified, plus the increases in the treatment staff that we talked about. It adds up to that difference.

We talk about having a ratio of one to one, but if you walk through the Toronto Jail tomorrow, for example, I assure you you won't see one staff person for every inmate in there. You have to look at where the people are deployed. The heaviest staff resources are in the young offenders system and in the treatment facilities. In the correctional centres, there's a higher level of staff per offender because of all the programming that goes on there. When you get into the jails and detention centres, you're dealing with essentially pure correctional supervision and it's less there. It's a matter of looking at where these people are deployed; it's not one staff person bird-dogging every offender we have.


Ms Poole: Mr Callahan wants to follow up with his other line of questions, so I'll just ask you to provide one more piece of information, and you may not have the statistics right here. Could we have a breakdown of the staff in our institutions, the percentages and numbers who are correctional officers, the number in treatment facilities, the number of social workers, and educational? Could we have that type of breakdown?

Mr McKerrell: By classification of staff? Yes, we can provide that to you. We don't have it here, but we can make it available to you.

Mr Callahan: I'd like to go back to the statement made by the parliamentary assistant to the Solicitor General, the ministry of corrections, that he didn't believe AIDS had anything to do with commentary at a meeting of public accounts on the auditor's report --

Mr Mills: On a point of order, Mr Chair: That is not correct. What I said was that I didn't see in the auditor's report anything related to AIDS.

The Acting Chair: That's not a point of order.

Mr Callahan: Let me tie it in. We've seen one-to-one ratios of guards to prisoners, and we've seen sick leaves which are rather unique. I suggest there is a tie-in, certainly a suspicion of a tie-in, that the guards at these institutions are suffering from significant stress because of their present predicament in terms of having to deal with people, all of whom have to be treated as though they're HIV-positive -- they don't know who is and who isn't -- and people who are mentally ill, 15% of the inmates in there. Anybody working in that type of atmosphere, I would suggest, you'd be lucky if they showed up for work at all. I suggest there is a tie-in very much related to the question of what the auditor has identified, and I suspect the auditor will identify it again.

Are you aware of an instance in one of the correctional facilities where the guards refused to resuscitate a patient who was HIV-positive and the inmate died? Is anybody aware of that?

Dr Humphries: I am aware of a situation at a correctional centre where there was a question about the continuity of the CPR that was provided. My understanding was that it was not known at that point whether the individual was HIV-positive or not -- I may stand corrected on that -- but that it related more to the fear of the situation. The ministry did formal investigations of the situation, if we're thinking of the same incident, and I understand there have been some grievances laid as a result.

Mr Callahan: In addition to that, are you aware of a situation where, during the course of this type of procedure, the patient vomited blood into the guard's mouth?

Dr Humphries: Yes, and I'm now talking about a different situation. I am aware of that. I was contacted immediately. We had to take the necessary steps in this situation. If we're talking about the same incident, the patient passed away. I contacted the local coroner. There was blood left over, and we had the blood from the post-mortem taken into the lab and checked. I shouldn't go beyond that for fear of breaking a confidence, but everything worked out fine.

Mr Callahan: Was the guard infected with AIDS?

Dr Humphries: No. Well, I will go the step further. It turned out that the patient who died was not HIV-positive, but nobody knew at that time.

Mr Callahan: I also have letters from inmates at Guelph Correctional Centre who claim some guards are openly hostile to them because the guards fear inmates who carry HIV and other related illnesses. I have a letter from a prisoner who writes that four guards decked out in helmets and special suits took a man from his cell to the hole because he was in pain. No one knew what to do with this inmate, who subsequently died of AIDS. He was put into a cell with no bed.

You've agreed with me this morning that these people are at risk in a correctional facility if they are identified as having AIDS. Would you agree with that?

Dr Humphries: I would say to you we have not had a patient killed as a result of AIDS, to my knowledge.

Mr Callahan: Are they kept in segregation?

Dr Humphries: Not according to the new policy, but they may be segregated for reasons other than AIDS. They may have other contagious diseases present. I do know of a case at Guelph CC, which did end up as a coroner's inquest so this is public knowledge. The individual had AIDS but also had hepatitis B as well; it was creating a lot of very difficult medical problems. This individual was in and out of hospital twice within almost a week of his death. He was in a very, very run-down condition. There may be the medical component, where the individual was placed in a cell by himself because of more than one reason.

Mr Callahan: In the letter from the fellow from Guelph, he reports that this young man had AIDS.

Dr Humphries: Perhaps I could clarify by pointing out that we have a special care unit at Guelph; as a result, most of our sickest sentenced individuals may very well end up there. We anticipated, and it's happening, that we are having more inquests there and will probably have more, because we do place our sickest individuals in that unit, plus we have 24-hour nursing and --

Mr Callahan: With respect, this isn't a unit. According to this letter, he indicated that this man was in pain, keeping the other inmates up at night. They made the order to place this dying man in a cell with no bed. Four guards decked out in helmets -- this is what I just read to you -- and special suits took this man from his cell to the hole that was only 20 feet away, and all because he was in pain. This was an AIDS patient.

In any event, I'd ask the ministry whether they've checked into the question of these significant sick days off that have been taken in various institutions by management and staff. Can you give us any indication of how many of those, if any, are related to stress and complaints about working conditions, having to work under this threat of serious illness? Is there any indication that that's what's caused this large number of days off?

Ms Noble: The circumstances around individual absenteeism in terms of what the specific issue was for an individual is not in any way on a computer system. We just look at the days and the reasons for absence. No, I can't give you specific information about these days and their relationship to stress, that level of statistics. If the question is whether days in the absenteeism would be related to stress factors, there certainly have been a number of different situations and circumstances where people have indicated that stressful working conditions are contributing to problems with the staff. As I was indicating yesterday, we're hoping to be able to work with OPSEU in particular to take a look at some of those issues in the project and study we're hoping to undertake.

Mr Callahan: Has there been a significant number of grievances filed by guards on this very ground, that they are concerned about safety in the workplace in terms of non-identification of people who have HIV in the system?

Ms Noble: I don't have the statistic, if there is one.

Dr Humphries: I believe I can answer that, because I usually get consulted by our grievance services administration when these situations occur. No, I really have not seen any related to that. I have seen one related to an institution in southwestern Ontario. This was the result of a person who tried to commit suicide, and the CPR and all, and that led to a fair bit of stress among some of our officers there. But I've not seen any other tied to that. Where I do see stress is that where we have a suicide or an attempted suicide, we often have to do a debriefing of our staff afterwards, and stress really does become apparent.


Mr Callahan: Maybe I wasn't clear. In the grievances that have been filed by guards in correctional facilities all over this province, is there a significant number to the effect that they are concerned about working in an environment where they are potentially at risk of catching the spinoffs from people being HIV-positive, having tuberculosis and so on?

Mr McKerrell: No, not to my knowledge.

Mr Callahan: What you're saying then is that the guards in the facilities around this province are quite content with the fact that HIV-AIDS is not listed as a disease which is -- what's the term I'm looking for?

Dr Humphries: Contagious and virulent.

Mr Callahan: Yes. Are you saying they're quite content?

Mr McKerrell: Not at all. I'm not implying that. I was simply stating that to the best of my knowledge, based on the last time I saw the grievance stats, there were not a large number that I recall placing grievances because they were concerned about catching HIV in the workplace.

Mr Callahan: How about the spinoff diseases of tuberculosis and so on that people who are affected with this tragic disease are susceptible to?

Mr McKerrell: Any communicable disease. I don't recall seeing a large percentage of grievances attributed to staff concern about catching communicable diseases. After all, and I don't want this to be interpreted the wrong way, just as we don't know who among the inmate population may have some of these diseases, we don't know in the staff either. Some of these diseases are attributable to lifestyle, and we have no way of knowing who may have what, just as if you walk out of here and catch the subway on University Avenue, you don't know what the person you're squeezing against in the rush-hour may have.

Mr Callahan: Yes, but I'm not required to work on the subway. This is a working-condition situation for these people.

Dr Humphries: Tuberculosis is an excellent example. If you go into the transit and somebody coughs all over you, they may or may not have tuberculosis and you may not know until you truly have it and start to cough and have blood, sputum etc. But if that individual comes to us, every one of them, unless they're already known to be positive, gets a skin test, so within 48 to 72 hours we know if somebody's positive.

Mr Callahan: Are you talking about guards?

Dr Humphries: No, inmates. If an inmate comes in and within 48 to 72 hours we pick up that that individual is positive --

Mr Callahan: How do you do that? Is that on a voluntary basis?

Dr Humphries: No, because it's under the contagious disease act. That's our policy.

Mr Callahan: You're talking about tuberculosis.

Dr Humphries: Yes.

Mr Callahan: But you can't test for AIDS at that point.

Dr Humphries: No, but you were mentioning the opportunistic diseases. As a ministry, we try to be right at the leading edge of those things. If the TB guy comes in, we can usually pick him up within 48 to 72 hours, then we can contact the correctional officers who had contact with him and the other inmates, do the necessary testing and do prophylaxis if needed.

When I say we're trying to keep up with this, we're now aware of the new resistant tuberculosis that you're probably aware of. That's because incomplete treatments have taken place in the past because people stopped taking their medication, and with the AIDS people, you get treatment but it carries on and it doesn't quite do the job. What we're finding is that although it's called resistant tuberculosis, it's not totally resistant, and where the first three drugs used to work, now out of 12 we might have to use numbers 9, 10 and 11 or something of that nature, which we're doing now.

We've brought in a whole brand-new tuberculosis policy to address all these new factors, including two-step testing, which hasn't been done in the past. What that means is that if a person comes in with AIDS he or she may not show a positive test because there's not enough immunity to respond.

Mr Callahan: That's assuming you're using the old tests. If you took up the tests that apparently are available from Japan, you'd be able to test --

Dr Humphries: But that's the AIDS. I'm talking about the resistant TB. What we will do now is a two-step test when indicated. We give one and then we'll repeat it within 7 to 21 days later and that will bring out the positivity if there's not enough immunity to do it properly with the first test. These are all brand-new things we've brought in.

Mr Callahan: My time is up, unfortunately.

Mr Jordan: A couple of quick questions relative to that. What's involved to have this virus changed from grade 22 to 35 or whatever?

Dr Humphries: That's Ministry of Health legislation, so it would require moving it from one particular section in the act to a separate section within the same act. It would mean the Ministry of Health would have to open up that act and make the necessary change.

Mr Jordan: But there are some advantages of doing that, are there not?

Dr Humphries: There are some definite advantages, one or two of which I've mentioned, but there would be a horrendous reaction from many of the social activist groups and all working in those areas, because we're all committed to confidentiality. That's very important, especially in this particular disease, so it's a real balancing act.

Mr Jordan: Do you see a heavy social reaction to it?

Dr Humphries: Yes, because you're in fact infringing on people, and you may identify somebody as being positive for AIDS who doesn't wish to be identified, who's handling himself properly and doing his best to live a quiet, normal life and keep his family out of the spotlight. If you force a test on him --

Mr Jordan: And by reclassifying the virus, you would be able to force that?

Dr Humphries: Just as with tuberculosis and things like that, the medical officer of health for a community could make judgemental decisions on the wellbeing of the community. I'm not suggesting they would go and identify that Joe So-and-so has a problem, but that possibility is there if it were going to become a communicable disease that could affect the community with opportunistic diseases. It could build into it. There's a whole argument that goes both ways.

Mr Jordan: You see it as something that is going to take place eventually.

Dr Humphries: I'm not sure. That's Ministry of Health legislation, and I really don't know. You see, there was a suggestion at one point that, like leprosy, maybe they should be placed on certain little islands, and that was shot down very, very quickly.

Mr Jordan: To the assistant deputy minister, I understand that as ADM of the operations division, you are based out of North Bay.

Mr McKerrell: Not now. In Toronto.

Mr Jordan: So you're not based out of North Bay. I realize that you're in Toronto, but --

Mr McKerrell: No, the office of the ADM, correctional services division, is located in Toronto. That's for the administration of the division, and there is a part of the office located in North Bay that looks after the communications and management of information services approximate to the operational support and coordination branch.

Mr Jordan: Then you keep some of your staff in North Bay.

Mr McKerrell: Yes, there are some staff in North Bay and some in Toronto.

Mr Jordan: Do you see this as causing an increase in cost?

Mr McKerrell: No. In fact, it probably cuts costs in terms of a bit less travel on my part between North Bay and Toronto.

Mr Villeneuve: In the same vein as my previous questioning when I ran out of time, the former Ontario east regional director was suspended for one year with pay. How many acting regional managers did you have before nominating the permanent one?

Mr McKerrell: We had three people.

Mr Villeneuve: Who were acting regional managers for the east?

Mr McKerrell: Let me think. Yes, three of the other regional directors acted for periods of time, and then I had the regional manager -- that's the regional manager in Kingston -- act for a period of time until John O'Brien became the new regional director.


Mr Villeneuve: Mr O'Brien, who's here. Was there any reason for that number of acting people? We're led to believe there were some costs incurred here which may not have been needed.

Mr McKerrell: The situation that took place was a concern in the regional office itself. In order to provide the kind of direction and leadership I felt the region required during that very difficult time, I decided that rather than using one of the regional managers, I wanted to have someone who had the experience of being a director. I used different individuals who were already directors to provide the leadership in the regional office during that very difficult time. When we began it, we had no idea it would take as long to complete the review and investigation as it did. That's why I had to rotate people through, because it was a burden on people's family life and other responsibilities that had to be carried out. For that reason, I rotated among the other directors of the division.

Mr Villeneuve: So there were some additional costs, but you feel they were well warranted because you wanted the leadership in place prior --

Mr McKerrell: I do indeed. It was a very difficult situation for the division, a very difficult situation for the eastern region. I think all of the senior people in the eastern region found it a very traumatic situation to deal with. It was critical, in my view, to have strong leadership in the regional office throughout that period, and that was why I choose that option.

Mr Villeneuve: I gather, under your title of assistant deputy minister, you have what's known as a clothing committee. Could you tell us what that is.

Mr McKerrell: Sure. The correctional services division has in essence a standing committee called the clothing committee. It consists of members from both the bargaining unit and management, and it has existed for years and years. It meets periodically as issues need to be considered with respect to the clothing that uniformed staff wear. They consider issues such as quality, style, the nature of the fabric, the comfort, are things wearing out too quickly etc.

One of the issues that has been debated for years is the style of the uniform, the nature of the uniform. There are uniformed staff -- correctional officers we're speaking about here -- who do not like the current uniform, have not liked it for years and would like to have a different type of uniform. It's an issue of whether we go to a more paramilitary type of uniform or whether we go to a less militaristic type of uniform. This is an issue with other correctional jurisdictions as well in this country and others around the world.

The current uniform is a blazer and slacks, and there are those who would prefer to see a so-called Eisenhower jacket, a bomber type of jacket which is more militaristic. There are some legitimate reasons that would be more convenient in terms of some of the equipment officers have to carry, but it also carries with it certain connotations that we don't necessarily want to reintroduce into the correctional system. The uniform used to be militaristic many years ago, and we moved away from that. Indeed, other jurisdictions across the country have been moving away from militaristic uniforms to the more casual style of blazer and slacks. Most recently, Correctional Service Canada has moved back to having a more casual style of blue blazer and grey slacks, and the government of British Columbia just in the last couple of years has similarly moved to dark blue blazer and grey slacks.

The clothing committee has looked at this issue for years, and it keeps coming up. I believe yesterday Mr Runciman asked whether there a new uniform is going to be introduced. The flat answer is no, we're not going to introduce a new uniform at this point in time. There is a prototype floating around, which I haven't seen yet. A mock-up was made, and there was an estimate that if we were to go for a new uniform for all of the uniformed correctional staff it would be $1 million-plus.

When there was a request to look at a different style of uniform, the first thing I said was that it can't cost any more than we already -- we spend a certain amount of money every year anyway for a uniform. The way other jurisdictions have done it is usually that you phase out what you currently have and then the money you're spending you simply spend on the new style. I have no problem considering that type of approach, but I prefer to look at something that would cost less money than the current outfit and not incur costs, increase expenditures for the provision of a uniform.

Mr Villeneuve: Does your clothing committee have a budget?

Mr McKerrell: No.

Mr Villeneuve: So it's simply out of operating funds, if someone needs to visit some other jurisdiction or whatever.

Mr McKerrell: I've had no requests from the clothing committee to go and look at other jurisdictions. I would probably not agree to that, if one were to come across my desk. I have a video in my office provided by Correctional Service Canada that shows some of their staff modelling the uniform. If somebody wanted to look at it, I'd be quite happy to provide them with that, rather than send the clothing committee hither and yon.

Mr Villeneuve: Corrections Canada works closely with corrections Ontario. There's a rumour that several million dollars is owed Ontario by Correction Services Canada that's not collected. Is that a fact?

Mr McKerrell: It's possible that they haven't paid their bill yet for -- and it may not be the case; I don't know. We have a contractual arrangement with the federal government to house offenders who are awaiting transfer to federal penitentiaries, once they're sentenced by the court. We keep them for a brief period at our expense once they're sentenced, and then they're transferred to federal penitentiaries. If the federal institutions are not ready to receive them, they pay us a per diem for keeping the individual with us.

There's a billing period: We save it up and send it periodically. I can't remember whether it's quarterly or every six months, so it could be that someone's referring to that. Maybe the last quarter or the last six months hasn't been received yet. But it would be something of that nature, unless we're talking about the freezing of transfer payments for YO, which is a whole other ball game.

Mr Villeneuve: What is the per diem paid by the federal government?

Mr McKerrell: It's worked out on the basis of all the institutions we have in the province and a few factors added in for transportation and so forth. If you want to know it, I can get it for you; I don't have it off the top of my head.

Mr Villeneuve: Is it close to what the auditor has established as the cost of incarceration per day?

Mr McKerrell: Let's say that it's more than the feds would like to be paying.

Mr Villeneuve: Is it close to what it's costing us?

Mr McKerrell: Yes, it covers our costs.

The Acting Chair: Mr Mills is next.

Mr Mills: The first thing I want to talk about is that yesterday we had quite an extensive discussion in this committee about sick credits and their alleged misuse. We established at that time that this hasn't suddenly happened, that it was a problem when the Conservatives formed the government and it was a problem even when Mr Callahan and the Liberals formed the government. I have heard nothing in this committee from anybody or any source that suggests that the impact of AIDS or HIV or whatever you want to call it is somehow cause for a greater increase of sick days or the alleged misuse of those sick days. I want to put that on the record. I haven't heard anything, though your line of questioning suggested that there was a problem.


Mr Callahan: You haven't heard anything to the contrary.

Mr Mills: I haven't heard anything to suggest that.

Having put that on the record, I'm going to go back to my line of questioning. I'm trying to enlighten the public through this presentation about some of the concerns contained in the auditor's report.

To my way of thinking, the public is very concerned about security of inmates and who gets away. We've already covered the infamous cook episode, but if I'm correct, the fact is that the escape ratio for the province of Ontario is 0.2%. It's in keeping with the rest of Canada.

Having established that, as the auditor reported instances of non-compliance for security policies and procedures and they should be followed up, this begs the question, what is being done at the moment to improve security within corrections in Ontario?

Ms Noble: As we indicated in our response to the auditor, we have increased the cycle from every second year to once a year for doing the security compliance reviews of each of the institutions, and we're also putting in place and implementing a committee structure to monitor the results of those compliance recommendations to ensure that they are followed up and appropriate actions taken.

With that as a general statement, I'll turn it over to John for more detail in terms of the specifics.

Mr O'Brien: The Ontario system is a very secure one. It's an area of great pride to our staff that we want to be better than the other provinces. Our security is aimed at being perfect, but we know that within corrections there is an inherent risk and things do happen. But to reinforce the need for continued vigilance and increased vigilance, as pointed out by the Provincial Auditor, and greater compliance with policy and procedures, in February of last year Mr McKerrell, our assistant deputy minister, wrote to all of the regional directors with his concerns in this area and asking that greater attention be placed on this area.

At that time, a self-assessment checklist was provided to all institutions so they are not relying solely on our annual security reviews but rather have their own staff do essentially the same work. Until that time, security reviews were done every second year. The frequency has been increased to annually, so all institutions are viewed with an outside look by an expert in security. In many ways, this parallels having your car inspected. You know that the car is running well and everything seems to be pretty good when an experienced mechanic will find a variety of things which are wrong, which are very helpful to put right.

In March 1993 a senior committee was established to review security policies and issues and made a number of recommendations, including the establishment of an ongoing advisory committee in this area. They also recommended that a technical standards committee be established -- that is in process -- and that an inventory of staff knowledgeable in this area be developed.

Subsequent to that, the operational review and audit branch has begun trend analysis work on security issues. A special committee on community escorts is continuing work on that very important high-risk area for us. Preliminary work has started on a technical security manual, and in October of this year the assistant deputy minister wrote to all regional directors clarifying responsibility for security policies and the enforcement of compliance. Most recently, a small working group has been established to develop a technical security manual. This increased emphasis, we're sure, will make Ontario an even more safe working environment.

Mr Mills: Having been in my life familiar with what I call standard operating procedures or standing orders, it's my understanding that this manual really amounts to being a standard operating procedure that will be distributed to every correctional facility so we have the same set of guidelines, the same set of rules to run by, wherever it is in Ontario. Is that the objective of this manual?

Mr O'Brien: I should explain it in a little detail. We have very extensive policies and procedures and guidelines on the area of security which are second to none in the correctional field. They've all been updated in the last several years. They are constantly updated as security problems arise. It's something we're very proud of. What has been recommended here, and what I was referring to, is a technical manual. The existing manual details policies and procedures and how things are to be done. The technical manual will deal with specifications for security hardware, construction of buildings and so on.

Mr Mills: So that technical manual is quite opposite to how people conduct -- it's about locks and the specs for the thickness of steel and all that sort of thing.

Mr O'Brien: Yes. We're confident that if the policies and procedures which we have in place are adhered to, the security breaches will be minimal. However, to strengthen that, we are going to insist that locks, for example, be standardized and so on.

The Vice-Chair (Ms Dianne Poole): If I could interrupt for one moment, the auditor has a comment on your line of questioning.

Mr Peters: I would like to refer back to your introduction of this topic. At the top of page 168, we have clearly indicated that "Ontario statistics of critical incidents, such as escapes, homicides and suicides, are comparable to those of other provincial jurisdictions." We did not indicate --

Mr Mills: I think I said that. I think I said we are on a par with everyone else.

Mr Peters: That's right. Furthermore, we had also indicated that the ministry had recently taken steps to deal with those security deficiencies. I just wanted to put this on the record.

Mr Mills: My last point is -- and perhaps my colleagues have something to add to this discussion -- recognizing how very proud you are of your record in corrections, obviously things do happen. My question is on behalf of the public, which wants to know, what are the consequences when things go wrong? How do you deal with this with your staff? Would it be fair to ask that?

Mr McKerrell: Sure. Let's say an escape happens in an institution; perhaps we can use one of the examples the auditor referred to in his report. I think it took place at one of your institutions, John, the incident where the person escaped twice.


Mr O'Brien: Yes. Perhaps I'll explain that incident, because it does illustrate what goes wrong and how we respond to it. It's a little embarrassing to see that an inmate escaped twice in a four-month period, and that was from a maximum security institution. What happened was that the inmate was in our exercise yard and hid.

Mr Mills: Hid?

Mr O'Brien: He hid, yes. There was a portable toilet and he hid in that. Staff who were counting the inmates as they returned from the yard miscounted and didn't account for him. As soon as the inmates return to their living areas, they're counted again, and that count was not done. The inmate wasn't noticed missing until another routine count about an hour and a half later. He had managed to scale a 12-foot wall and left the property of the institution. He was recaptured by the OPP 12 hours later. Discipline was taken against three staff who failed to comply with proper procedures at that time. Of course, the inmate was found 12 hours later. He was returned to us again.

By coincidence, he was using a telephone four months later and he leaned against a door which went out into the same yard. The door was equipped with an electromechanical lock which can be unlocked from a control room in the event of fire. That lock had filled with rainwater and failed. He leaned against the door, fell out the back and found himself in the same yard, almost in the same spot he from escaped before. He went over the same wall, but although he committed a prison breach, he never got off the grounds of the institution. He was captured by the staff within 10 minutes.

I think staff learned something from the first occurrence, and that first occurrence was the first escape from that institution in more than 15 years. Since that inmate escaped a second time, which was two and a half years ago, we've not had another escape.

Mr Mills: I think that's a pretty good record.

Mr McKerrell: My point in asking John to relate that to you is to indicate that we do learn from these mistakes. When there is a breach of security, whether it's from inside one of the institutions or someone escaping from an escort into the community to a hospital for an X-ray or something like that, each incident is investigated very thoroughly and we learn from the mistakes and take corrective action, whether it's to procedures or to staff.

Mr Mills: I remember personally escorting a prisoner to Valcartier and the fellow jumped off the train when it was estimated to be doing about 60 miles an hour. These things happen. I can appreciate that and understand that staff are not always absolutely responsible for what happens, although perhaps the public tends to be critical, not knowing the full story. I appreciate hearing that.

Mr O'Connor: Some of these institutions are extremely old. If the stories could be told of some of the things, it would almost sound like a comedy of errors. Though the staff do try to do their jobs as properly as they can, things happen; for whatever reason, incidents do happen, and we can learn valuable lessons from that.

Knowing that the auditor was somewhat critical and that the ministry is trying to evaluate some of the situations the auditor has pointed out to us, security procedures and what not, I wondered about some of the facilities that are operated by a sister ministry, Comsoc. Would you share then some of the changes or protocols you might be talking about? Is there a way the two ministries then share? In the line of the operation itself, some of that actually would be somewhat mutual. I wondered if you'd share the procedures you've changed and outlined and improved between the two ministries.

Mr McKerrell: There's certainly consultation between Comsoc and ourselves, and Health and ourselves, among the parts of the organization that operate institutions. Their institutions don't require the degree of security that some of ours do, so some of the procedures wouldn't apply. But where there's applicability, there's often discussion among the staff of these sister ministries and sharing of information, but they would not use any of our procedures, just lift it holus-bolus and transform it, given that their operating requirements are somewhat different from ours.

Mr O'Connor: In situations where there may be inmates who are in transition from one facility to another or going through a court proceeding and not knowing where they may end up, they could end up in a facility operated by the Ministry of Health or something. Up to that point, you don't know exactly where they're going. Would it be similar or is it all done through the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services, all the procedures up to that point?

Mr McKerrell: If the person is on remand and in custody, then they are with corrections. If they get ill and have to be hospitalized in a community hospital, then we provide correctional officers for the supervision of the individual in the community hospital, unless the person is totally comatose and not in a position to run away. That happens rarely, so in the majority, 99.9% of community escorts, the individual has one or two correctional officers depending on the degree of security concern that we have.

Mr O'Connor: In closing, we heard about cooks taking care of them. I guess you wouldn't have any cooks going to the hospitals to take care of those.

Mr McKerrell: No, the cooks look after the inmates who are working in the kitchen and the maintenance people look after the inmates who are working in the maintenance shop. Both the cooks and the maintenance mechanics get what we call a custodial responsibility allowance. They get a bit more money in their pay packets for the responsibility of supervising these people when they're in the workplaces.

Mr O'Connor: And adequate training as well?

Mr McKerrell: They get trained in the institutions for the custodial responsibility.

The Vice-Chair: Just before we go into the final round of questions, which will be 15 minutes per caucus, I wanted to remind members of the arrangements for tomorrow. We will be going to the Toronto Jail. The bus or transportation will be leaving at 10 o'clock at the main doors. Could members ensure they're there at about 10 to 10 so we can be loaded and ready to go at 10 o'clock. If for any reason your plans change and you are not coming, could you please notify the clerk's office first thing in the morning so we're not waiting for members who are unable to come. That would be very much appreciated. Now we'll start the final round of questioning with Mr Callahan.

Mr Callahan: I was looking at the public accounts for 1992-93 and I saw a couple of items in there. You have doctors who are on contract, I guess.

Mr McKerrell: That's correct.

Mr Callahan: I came across a Dr William Johnston, $147,369. Any idea who he is? Is he on staff?

Mr McKerrell: Dr Humphries can answer that. We only have one physician on staff and that's Dr Humphries.

Mr Callahan: You've got your hands full. Dr William Johnston, I note in the past public accounts, $147,369. That seems to be a fairly hefty amount for what I would presume is part of his time, not the totality of his time.

Dr Humphries: To begin with, Mr Callahan, he's a specialist. He's a psychiatrist. He's involved in providing substantial coverage within the Metro institutions. As well, when we opened the Northern Treatment Centre in Sault Ste Marie, there was only one full-time psychiatrist in the area, Dr Albert Gyimah, who was responsible for a population of approximately 80,000 people. Dr Gyimah was already giving us coverage under a contract at the Sault Ste Marie Jail. I asked him if he could give us coverage at the Northern Treatment Centre as well. He indicated he'd try to help but that he was planning on leaving Sault Ste Marie. He subsequently did that summer, leaving essentially no full-time psychiatrist there. Dr Johnston very graciously agreed to fly into Sault Ste Marie and assist us through that process.

They still only have one full-time psychiatrist there, Dr Henry Leung, who has just recently arrived in the area. We have signed a contract with him for April 1. We've terminated the contract as of March 31 with Dr Johnston for the Northern Treatment Centre, so it's a combination.


Mr Callahan: Do you have a total figure of what psychiatric services are provided to inmates in the correctional facilities in this province?

Dr Humphries: Yes. Our total contracts for physicians and psychiatrists across the ministry is $3.3 million. Now, that's physicians and psychiatrists and that's significant, because for that service we get a physical examination done on every one of our 86,000 admissions per year, we get 24-hour emergency coverage seven days a week and we have psychiatric coverage available in all of our institutions. I can break it down.

Mr Callahan: No, that's all right. I was interested in the psychiatric, but you've already told us that 15% of the inmates in these facilities are suffering from some type of psychiatric problem.

Dr Humphries: It's $1.9 million for psychiatry.

Mr Callahan: Right. We also have Greyhound Lines of Canada Ltd: $160,080. Who's going where?

Mr McKerrell: Greyhound or Gray Coach?

Mr Callahan: It's got Greyhound Lines of Canada Ltd: $160,080. That's a long trip.

Mr McKerrell: Yes. I imagine that is for the maintenance of our transport coaches. We've got five highway coaches for moving the offenders around and they're garaged and serviced down on the Lakeshore at the Greyhound place. I imagine that's what it would be for.

Mr Callahan: I see Burns International Security Services: $64,049. What would that be? Are these security guards you hire?

Mr McKerrell: The Bluewater Youth Centre has a perimeter security gate which is staffed, and has been since the place opened years ago, by one of these security services. That's the only thing I can think of.

Mr Callahan: I'd like to go back to the question of the workplace environment and safety in the workplace. I actually have what I guess would have been a question that was put on the order paper with a reply. It was an inquiry of the Ministry of Health. "Would the Minister of Health indicate, in light of recommendations from the chief medical officer of health some two years ago and concerns by employees in the Ministry of Correctional Services, what consideration Ministry of Health has given to recategorizing the HIV virus from section 22 to section 35" -- that's from voluntary checking to mandatory checking -- "of the health protection act of 1983?"

The response was: "In January 1990, the chief medical officer of health, Dr R. Schabas, recommended to the then Minister of Health that AIDS be designated a virulent disease under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. There was considerable public controversy and no further action was taken. Employees in the Ministry of Correctional Services have concerns about acquiring AIDS occupationally even though there is no documented evidence worldwide of this ever having happened. The ministry has ongoing education programs to address the employees' concerns. Currently, there is no consideration being given to the recategorizing of AIDS/HIV."

That was signed by the Honourable Ruth Grier.

In light of the difficulties that appear to be present in correctional facilities and the type of risk that guards might be exposed to, in terms of an altercation or some relating of bodily fluid, Deputy Minister, do you have any indication or would you be prepared to support, at least for correctional purposes -- I'm not suggesting that it be done for the general public, but there is a situation that when people are deprived of their liberty there should be certain requirements, particularly if they're living in very close quarters. With some of these old jails they'd be almost back to back, I would think, if the jails were heavily populated. Would you consider recommending now that HIV testing be placed under the virulent definition and that mandatory testing be required?

Ms Noble: As we've heard in terms of discussion from Dr Humphries, I think the question of supporting it under that particular piece of legislation involves dealing with the question of whether AIDS definitionally falls within the scope this act was intended to have. I think one of the issues, and I'm obviously not a medical professional, to be considered, at least as I have listened here today and talked to Dr Humphries, is the question that AIDS is not infectious and communicable in the same sense as the other diseases that are currently listed.

I would have to have much further discussion in terms of the provisions of that act. I'm not familiar with it in the sense that it is a Ministry of Health piece of legislation. I would need to have a greater and more in-depth discussion of those parameters.

If we're looking at it from the point of view of mandatory testing within the institution, we've heard here in these discussions, and Dr Humphries has indicated his sense of responsibility in terms of following up on what may be emerging as new testing capacity, but right at the moment what we're very much dealing with is what we have presently. I think under the present circumstances, we need to be looking at and implementing the policy we currently have in terms of making sure that our staff are acting and trained and able to function in the facility, and as Dr Humphries indicated yesterday, not thinking that by virtue of mandatory testing somehow they're safe because they know sort of who's there and who's not.

In terms of the question you're asking, am I prepared to recommend changes to that legislation? I would say I would need further information and discussion. In terms of mandatory testing, further information is needed with respect to what has been raised in these proceedings as emerging medical technology.

Mr Callahan: Could I ask the good doctor, you don't get leprosy by touching someone, do you?

Dr Humphries: Well, it is very contagious.

Mr Callahan: My understanding was that it perhaps was in a similar category, but you're saying leprosy is contagious.

Dr Humphries: Yes.

Mr Callahan: Like if you had leprosy and I shook your hand, I'd get leprosy.

Dr Humphries: I'm not suggesting shaking my hand, but a mixture of body fluids or anything of that nature.

Mr Callahan: Right, and that's precisely the analogy of AIDS or the concerns of people. You don't get it through shaking hands, hugging or whatever. Contrary to popular belief, these people should probably be hugged a lot. But you do get it by a transfer of some type of body fluid, be it saliva, sweat, any type of bodily fluid.

Is that not a similar situation to leprosy? Why is leprosy under the virulent section of the act and we're not prepared to look at AIDS as that? At least, it hasn't been looked at, at the moment.

Dr Humphries: We're talking about a very different organism here; in fact, an organism to which you can now apply treatment in this day and age, but in earlier times a more resistant organism, a more prevalent organism in the various tissues, the various juices of the body, if one may say that. We still don't feel that you could get AIDS from tears. There's no suggestion you could get it from saliva, questionable about urine, whereas your leprosy situation is more prevalent and more virulent throughout those kinds of fluids.

Mr Callahan: Is leprosy a disease from which you would expire eventually?

Dr Humphries: In former days, yes.

Mr Callahan: Not any more.

Dr Humphries: No, not any more.

Mr Callahan: But AIDS, unfortunately, at this present time in our history is a disease for which there is no cure.

Dr Humphries: Right, but I should point out something, and I haven't done it and it's negligence on my part. No matter what tests we might do or not do, in an altercation or coming in contact with a body fluid or a needle pick, and we've had two of those in the past year and a half, we would still respond the same until we knew unequivocally what was happening.


There's nothing in the literature that states that if you get a needle pick or somebody bites you etc, you can do something that will guarantee you won't get AIDS. However, what's accepted throughout the community is the drug azidothymidine, AZT, which seems to be the only thing that has been used in these regards. It's been used by researchers and others, that if you do come in contact with it, you actually go on AZT immediately and carry it on for six months, nine months, 12 months.

We have had two needle picks, and one was a very real one and one was definitely with an inmate who had AIDS and we knew it. We knew it because I knew him as a young offender, even though that knowledge can't go across. So when I heard about the needle pick on a Friday afternoon, we went into high gear and we started the nurse who did it on the AZT. It's a horrible drug. You get sick and night sweats and it's horrible, horrible, but she went on it. She wouldn't mind my saying it because she's given me permission. She was at the Guelph Correctional Centre, and we've carried her through now to approximately 15 months and she's negative, so we now have no concerns. But we would do that with or without the mandatory testing.

Mr Callahan: The final question I would put to you, Deputy Minister, is that in light of your answer to my question about whether or not it would become government policy that people coming into institutions would be mandatorily tested as a result of being put under the virulent disease section, would you at least consider to be a reasonable approach that for the safety of these people who have AIDS, and the fact they require a particular type of treatment, they would be placed in a facility that would be more amenable to their medical requirements, safer for them, and at the same time perhaps you could give a little relief to the guards who are required to work in this situation?

Whether their concern is real or imagined, that causes them great concerns. I would even say the suggestion for people who are mentally ill, who are suffering from mental disorders. What the devil are they doing in a correctional facility, which is really there for people who offend because they are anti-social? I would hope that would be looked at. There are certainly facilities available that could be made exclusively for that particular type of person and give them more humane treatment and more dignity in terms of the way they were treated.

Ms Noble: In terms of the issues you're raising, essentially they both come back to ongoing working between the Ministry of Correctional Services and the Ministry of Health. As we've had discussions over the last couple of days, we have at various points commented on some of the work that is ongoing in the area of the mental health, mentally disordered offenders.

We very much support and are committed to that work and to that discussion and to working out with the Ministry of Health how we best deal with those individuals, not just as those who are already in the justice system but also the broader discussion as Health undertakes its review of mental health services, what it needs to have in place in terms of serving the general population and meeting the needs of the general population.

Hopefully, in the work they're going to be doing and coming forward with, they will be addressing some of the concerns about people that may have an impact in terms of those who end up in the justice system.

In terms of the question about those who are HIV-positive, I think at the present time we do deal with them depending on their state of health. For those who do need the kind of health treatment that would require them to be in settings other than ours, we make sure that happens for them. There are others who may be HIV-positive and who do not need special facilities. They are basically quite able to function, and able to function in our facilities. On the question of whether everybody who's HIV-positive should be placed somewhere else, I don't think the circumstances currently would suggest that that is necessary. Certainly, as I said, for those who have severe health problems, we work with the Ministry of Health to make sure they are addressed.

Mr Callahan: They are at risk, though, as the doctor has said. Probably the logic behind not identifying them specifically is that they're at risk in a correctional facility. They're probably the first people to be treated badly by other inmates, perhaps to the extent of serious injury.

In any event, I think my time's up.

The Vice-Chair: I think you're absolutely correct, Mr Callahan, and we'll go to the Conservative caucus.

Mr Callahan: That my time is up, or what I've just said?

The Vice-Chair: Well, hopefully not your time is up, but it is time to go on to another questioner.

Mr Villeneuve: Back to some concerns that were expressed to some of our members. It's got to do with the manager residing in Sudbury and yet travelling and managing an incarceration facility in London on an acting assignment. There's a little bit of variation on this. We have someone who is in Sudbury currently who returned from another assignment and is currently classified, or is currently qualified, I guess, to fill in behind a position that was left empty when Mr Page was asked to take on this project.

There is a degree of expense involved in this. I have a memo on my desk at the moment from Mr Page with some recommendations on this very subject, and it's going to be the point of a discussion between he and I on Friday when we're finished here.

Mr Villeneuve: It's been suggested that you have some managers on site at basically the same level who could be doing it, as opposed to having someone commute from Sudbury.

Mr McKerrell: There are people at the same classification, but not people who are regional managers. The person who is actually doing the job is a regional manager by classification and is doing the same work that he was doing before. I would have to put someone into the position from the London area, or from southwestern Ontario, who is not classified as a regional manager.

Mr Villeneuve: These are management decisions strictly. Are there any other implications or pressures, or are they strictly management decisions based on someone's opinion?

Mr McKerrell: I guess, to put it in blunt terms, it was my decision. When I took Mr Page to coordinate this renewal project for me for the division, my first choice really was to try to do it without back-filling him. But when we collapsed the fifth region, when we had five regions and we eliminated one, the western region expanded by 50% and the workload was such that when we looked at it, it just was not good business, frankly, to operate with one senior manager fewer.

There's a regional director and two regional managers, one for community programs and one for institutional programs. In taking Mr Page out of there, the gentleman who is the regional manager for institutional programs is acting as the regional director for the duration of Mr Page's assignment. It was in behind that individual that I took the person from Sudbury, who also has an institutional background.


Mr Villeneuve: Going now to the superintendent and the management of jails, I understand on the temporary absence program that this is a decision by the superintendent and his people within the jail and not by court order or by judicial decree. What latitude would a superintendent and his advisers have in granting a temporary absence program?

Mr McKerrell: The temporary absence certificate, which every inmate leaving the institution during the currency of the warrant must have, is signed by the superintendent. It's the superintendent's authority, the superintendent's decision.

If a judge in sentencing a person is persuaded by counsel or the offenders themselves that participation in temporary absence would be a good idea, the judge can recommend that. They can recommend it in one of two ways: They can simply say, "Recommend the temporary absence program for so-and-so," or they can say, "This person should be on the immediate temporary absence program."

The immediate temporary absence program is an arrangement that we have with the judiciary here in Ontario such that we will get the person out within 24 hours, subject to a couple of conditions. One is that there's no outstanding charge that would be of concern. If the person's on remand on a charge, that's another matter, but as long as there's no outstanding charge that would concern us, then that's another matter -- sorry, when I say remand, I mean on their own recognizance -- as long as there's no outstanding charge.

The second factor is that if it's for employment, education or whatever the specific purpose is, we check to make sure that the purpose is valid. If a person claims to have a job, we check and make sure they have a job. If those conditions are met, then the person's out within 24 hours.

If it's a regular temporary absence, then there is a more detailed evaluation of the application. The person comes into the institution, fills out an application and says, "I want to go on temporary absence to do X, Y or Z. Everybody has the right to apply, by the way.

The individual offender has the responsibility for providing the information to support the request. If they want to go to work, they have to get a letter from the employer saying they have a job to go to and they're welcome and so on and so forth. Similarly, if they want to go to school to pursue education, if they're in high school perhaps, or even university, they have to provide proof that they are enrolled. Those circumstances have to be met. There are checks that would be done with police forces or with the judiciary.

Once all that information is gathered together -- pre-sentence reports would be considered -- all of those things, if it still looks like a good idea for the person to go out, then the information would be placed before a committee. The committee would consider it. In most places it's an informal committee which is pulled together as required. The committee will look at it and say, "Yes, it's a good idea that this person go" or, "No, it's a bad idea."

Then the decision is reviewed by the superintendent. The superintendent will either agree and accept the recommendation of the committee or will reject it, for cause. The person can appeal these decisions. If the superintendent agrees to put the person out, it is the superintendent's responsibility.

When something goes wrong, when someone's on a temporary absence, the circumstances are reviewed and the decision is evaluated as to whether all the factors were properly considered. There are no guarantees. You can't be 100% sure of anything. There's a degree of chance when you put someone out. Will they reoffend during the period of the temporary absence? If something goes wrong, we look at the factors that were taken into account and, "Yes, this was a good decision," or, "No, it wasn't a good decision," and it goes from there.

The discretion, the judgement as to whether a person is placed on temporary absence, rests with the superintendent.

Mr Villeneuve: Do you feel it's working reasonably well and accomplishing the goals? Rehabilitation, I guess, is what this is basically all about. Do you feel it is accomplishing those goals or is it creating problems?

Mr McKerrell: We believe the temporary absence program is very effective and has been since its inception. Our superintendents are very cautious, whether the person is being placed into a community resource centre or whether it's into a program where they go back and forth from the institution on a daily basis.

The success figures for participation in the temporary access program are very high. In 1992-93, the success rate was 96.7%, and by success we mean successful completion of the program, not reoffending in the criminal sense but also not breaching any of the conditions of the temporary absence pass. The previous year it was 96.9%. As we go back, it was over 96%, 95%, 95%, 96.9%, and that's going back to 1987-88, so the success rate is very high.

There's all due regard for caution and safety. We believe the program is helpful in the rehabilitative context because it provides the opportunity for offenders to retain employment and then contribute money to the support of their families or to save money, as the case may be, or both. It gets people into educational programs, perhaps for a first time, but usually to continue educational programs in progress. We believe it's very helpful to rehabilitation.

Mr Villeneuve: In view of that success rate in the mid-90s or upper-90%, the auditor seems to feel that proportionately Ontario has fewer people within this temporary absence program and that possibly we could be testing more of the people who are incarcerated. With that kind of success rate, is that being looked at?

Mr McKerrell: Yes. We quite frequently in fact discuss ways in which we could expand the program, but as the deputy mentioned a little while ago in talking about the probation statistics, we already have such a very large percentage of people on probation that it reduces the pool of candidates, if you like, who are coming in our doors.

When you take a look at the people who are available, and again, we're talking only about the sentenced population here, in a sense everybody's vying for the same good inmate. You want inmates to work in the kitchen and for the laundry, and the person who's responsible for the TA program is looking for those individuals as well. The teachers want good, interested offenders for their school programs. All of these programs are vying for the same good offender.

It ultimately is the offender's choice to apply or not to apply. If individuals are happy to be in a program where they are learning a trade or upgrading their education or perhaps participating in a treatment program of one sort or another, then they may not want to leave. They may prefer instead to wait until they're eligible for parole. There are a whole range of factors that come into that.

We have also considered whether we should be looking at a different category of offender to place into our community resource centres. We're not at that point yet, but it's certainly under consideration.

Mr Villeneuve: It may be only lipservice, but we understand that a lot of the people who work within the system are making suggestions to render the total operation of our jails more economically viable, that this is being monitored and in many instances the suggestions from the people onsite are being put into action. What's happening in that area?

Mr McKerrell: What you're referring to, I think, are the productivity committees that are currently in progress.

Mr Villeneuve: Yes.

Mr McKerrell: We have a lot of suggestions. In fact, I think 2,000 suggestions at this point have come forward from staff in the Correctional Services division.

Ms Noble: No, that's the total for the ministry as a whole.

Mr McKerrell: Oh, I was told it was just the division. Okay, so we haven't been quite as productive in the division.

Ms Noble: I think the bulk of them is Correctional Services.


Mr McKerrell: Right. Anyway, we have a lot of suggestions from staff about ways and means of reducing expenditures, and they're all being evaluated, every one of them. There is a considerable degree of repetition, but these suggestions are all being evaluated as to the feasibility. Some aren't feasible, some things are off the wall, but there are some good ideas. We went through this exercise previously a couple of years ago, not as intensively as this, and a number of quite viable ideas were put forward and we did some things to put ideas in place across the system. Some of them were very small-ticket items, but these suggestions are all taken seriously and given good consideration.

Mr Villeneuve: One final question on the social contract.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Villeneuve, if you could make it very brief, we ran out of time about a minute ago.

Mr Villeneuve: I'll relinquish and I'll go back to the social contract. There are several questions there.

The Vice-Chair: You will be here tomorrow afternoon?

Mr Villeneuve: I will be here --

The Vice-Chair: Okay, we'll give you that opportunity then.

Mr Villeneuve: -- if we don't lose the keys to where we're visiting tomorrow.

Mr McKerrell: I promise I'll bring you back.

The Vice-Chair: Maybe you could make that promise to each and every one of us; not that I'm feeling insecure, but there's something about going into a prison that makes one a little bit nervous. We'll move to the government.

Mr Mills: I've sat here for two days and it's my observation that we've turned every page, doubly perhaps, of the auditor's report. We've covered every avenue I can possibly think of to ask meaningful questions that would help us to understand the auditor's report. We've even had some brief discussion on leprosy, and I don't quite understand how that got into it. Our education will be finally consecrated with the visit to the jail tomorrow, in my opinion.

Not wishing to prolong asking questions for questions' sake -- and speaking personally, I think we're reached that position now, that we're searching and fishing with long fishing poles for something else to come out -- I want to ask one final question. I want to talk about the Young Offenders Act, and hopefully it will be brief because I don't want to prolong this agony.

I get letters from my constituents about the Young Offenders Act. They say that this is disgraceful, that people get away with this, that they get away with that, and it prompts me to write letters back to them and say to them, "Listen, if you've got any complaints about the Young Offenders Act, you should write to your federal member, because they're responsible for this legislation, and give me a break about it."

Nevertheless, I think we have some obligation to let the constituents, the taxpayers of Ontario, know that the young offenders legislation does cost Ontario a lot of money. If you could do it briefly, I'd appreciate that. Vis-à-vis operating the normal correctional facility in Ontario as opposed to the costs associated with the Young Offenders Act, I'd just like to have some brief discussion on that and the dollar effect federal legislation imposes on the Ontario taxpayer.

Mr McKerrell: Why don't I let Don Page speak to that. For the information of the committee, Mr Page was the ministry official responsible for setting up and implementing the YO system which Ontario operates today, and there's really probably no one in a better position to speak to it than Don.

Mr Page: Thank you very much for telling all of Ontario that I'm the guy to blame.

Mr Mills: Are you on the screen? Yes.

Mr Page: Earlier, in response to a question, I talked about the need to recognize the special needs of young offenders and the fact that both the federal legislation and our own enabling legislation in Ontario legislated enhanced services for young offenders, the objective being that that's the best place to spend your money, that if you can somehow capture and socialize and rehabilitate a person before he reaches the age of 18, he may become a decent, economic benefit to the province.

The costs of operating young offender facilities are certainly greater than operating adult. Staffing levels are greater. There's generally a psychologist and a social worker attached to each unit. They have much more of a recreation program. They have a different diet, for the most part, taking into account the fact that they are young offenders, still growing and requiring different kinds of foods in their diet. They become involved in school. It's mandatory, of course, for most of them to go to school. We encourage them to go to school and we've had discussions about the schooling here.

As far as the actual costs are concerned, I don't have, and I don't know if we do have, a per diem rate which shows what the per diems for YO facilities are compared to adult. I believe we did have something.

Ms Noble: I just asked for a quick check on the statistics and just to give you one comparison, Sprucedale, which is a standalone, independent YOA facility, has a per diem of $244 a day, which is for sentenced young offenders, as compared to Maplehurst, which is for sentenced adults, running at a per diem in the order of $120 a day. I think that starts to give some comparison. Institutions would vary from those numbers, but that's a comparative sample.

Mr Page: I should mention that the federal government cost-shares the Young Offenders Act to some extent. When they introduced this act, there were extensive negotiations carried on and a contract entered into between the provinces and the federal government for a cost-sharing arrangement.

The federal government agreed to cost-share certain costs, not all the costs, of young offenders. It worked out at the time, in 1985, that about 35% of the total costs were reimbursed by the federal government. Since then, I think in 1989, they capped their contributions at the 1989 level and have not increased them since. Therefore, we're still receiving whatever the figure was in 1989. That money doesn't, of course, come to the ministry; it goes to the general revenues of the province.

Mr Mills: That partly answers some of my queries. This shortfall of the federal government in not coming through obviously helps to contribute to our deficit problem.

I was very interested in one comment you made about the young offenders, about being growing young people and diet. I like that, what you said there, because this to me explains to the public that these young people don't survive on porridge, that they deserve a nutritional diet, and accounts perhaps for the Salisbury steak which some of our colleagues take great exception to, who feel they shouldn't be having any meaningful food at all.

I thank you for those comments. Madam Chair, I don't know if any of my caucus have any more questions, but I certainly don't. I thank you for your indulgence.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you, Mr Mills. It appears your colleagues do not have any further questions.

You may not have this information with you, but if I could take the liberty as Chair, which I'm not supposed to do, to ask you a question and ask for some information, in the book that you submitted to us called Facts About Ontario's Correctional Services, on page 4 you give some statistics about the most common offences committed by offenders and you give a chart which shows the sentenced adult admissions by offence for 1990-91. I'd like to link that to the chart you gave to us this afternoon. I think the auditor was the one who noted that Ontario had, in 1991-92, a total count of 55,000. Would that be offences?


Mr McKerrell: No. Probably 55,000 admissions.

The Vice-Chair: Quebec, in comparison, is 15,000. Even taking into account the population differential between Ontario and Quebec, that's a significant difference. I'm tying that into the chart on page 4 in your booklet which shows the number of offences such as public order and morals, traffic offences and liquor offences which would comprise, just doing a quick count, 43% of the offences. It is my understanding that in Quebec a number of these things that we call offences in Ontario which would lead to people being imprisoned would in Quebec be dealt with by fines or by other mechanisms. Would you happen to have any information in this regard?

Ms Noble: In terms of how Quebec is treating these offences?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, to see whether there is a direct comparison, whether there are certain offences which we in Ontario are dealing with by putting people in the correctional system while in Quebec, for instance, for impaired driving, they would just take away the licence, period. They wouldn't be imprisoned or have those further punishments. They would simply lose their licence. I wonder if you could provide us with a comparison if you have those data.

Ms Noble: I don't have information on the Quebec practices in its judicial system around those offences. We could certainly make an effort to try and get hold of that information for you in terms of some of these differences. I think we all clearly recognize that all of the provinces have different approaches and that therefore one does need to have an understanding as one looks at the statistics.

The Vice-Chair: I appreciate your answer that you wouldn't have this material readily available, because you're at the tail end of the correctional system and you have no control over, first of all, what the laws are, or secondly, the punishment that's done through the legislative and judicial arms. But I'm just thinking that as a committee it might be interesting for us to take a look at that and see whether we need to revisit some of the ways in which we look at offences and whether they should be punishable by incarceration or if there are other ways to deal with them.

Ms Noble: As I was indicating, we will certainly try and get hold of that information from Quebec and see if we can provide some comparison information to the committee. It would probably take a bit of time in order to pull that together, but we could certainly take a look at it.

Just as a general comment on the issue of whether the judicial system is dealing with people appropriately in terms of the sentencing patterns, we are working with and discussing with our colleagues in the system, particularly with the Attorney General, looking at the practices and identifying some of these issues, so there's certainly ongoing discussion about those issues as we all face increasing pressures and an increasing recognition that we need to make sure the resources of the justice system are being applied where they need to be in relationship to the particular offences committed and what then happens to the offender.

The Vice-Chair: I appreciate your willingness to secure that information for us, and even if we have it by the time the Legislature goes back into session by the end of March, I think that would be fine.

Mr Callahan: I'd like to invite the deputy minister and perhaps some of her other officials back here or at least put them on notice that we will be inviting them back when the -- what's the name of that report?

Ms Noble: Casaveris.

Mr Callahan: -- the Casaveris report is available and tabled with us. We've already got copies or excerpts of the Quebec report which I'm going to want to have legislative research compare in terms of all sorts of things, and then we'll have them back and ask them questions. I'm sure you'll be happy to come back at that time.

Mr Duignan: On that issue, I think tomorrow afternoon is the time to sit down and discuss where we go from here and what reports we look at on that issue and make that decision at that time.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Callahan, I appreciate your giving us notice of your intentions and when we go in camera at the end of our session, that's something we will of course be deciding and perhaps inviting the ministry back.

The agenda for tomorrow is that we will meet at 10 to 9 at the main doors.

Mr Callahan: You may be here at 10 to 9.

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, I will be here at 10 to 9 but not at the main doors. It will be 10 to 10, 9:50, and leaving at 10 o'clock. We will be back at 1 and then we will be reconvening at 2 o'clock in room 151 for the afternoon. We will probably reserve at least part of the afternoon in camera for discussion of our report.

Mr Duignan: On that, I would suggest that maybe we spend the one hour going around, 20 minutes each caucus, and the remaining one hour dealing with where we go from there.

The Vice-Chair: That seems like a viable option so we'll plan on coming back here tomorrow at 2 in case there are some members who won't be joining us for the tour of the jail system tomorrow morning.

The committee adjourned at 1656.