In recent weeks, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced that work is under way to implement a pilot project for the Dynamic Risk Assessment for Offender Reintegration (DRAOR) institutional and community scales.
CSC has stated that the objective of the pilot is to determine whether these scales are valid for the offender population and whether the proposed tools provide additional value for case management. These scales are part of CSC’s Structured Assessment Intervention Framework (SAIF) initiative.
During CSC’s initial announcement on the DRAOR, CSC identified that “consultation had taken place with USGE” but no details were provided regarding the level of consultation or the feedback provided by USGE.
In fact, the lack of details concerning the “consultation” created confusion and questions for a number of our members. Consequently, USGE wants to ensure that our members understand the union’s position on the DRAOR and the planned pilot project.
First, USGE has clearly communicated to CSC that this pilot project will create workload issues for Parole Officers both in the Community and Institutions. USGE has advised CSC that significant resources will be required prior to the start of any planned pilot project.
Consequently, unless sufficient additional resources are added to the front lines (for those sites required to participate in the pilot), CSC has been informed by USGE that USGE will advise our members to refuse to participate in the pilot.
Second, USGE has identified the need for quality, face-to-face training on the DRAOR for all Parole Officers who will be participating in the pilot. CSC has committed to a one day, face-to-face training for all participants in the pilot.
Third, USGE has identified concerns related to the tools themselves and whether there is any benefit to having these tools as part of the case management process. USGE has also highlighted concerns regarding the limiting of professional discretion and assessment through the use of these tools – which could result in the the creation of another checklist. In response to these concerns, NHQ committed to meeting with members of USGE’s National Executive (RVPs) on a regular basis to address pilot issues.
CSC is currently in the process of selecting sites across the country for this pilot project and is seeking to schedule on-site trainings during the months of April and May. USGE will continue in the dialogue with NHQ on this pilot project and will follow up on the concerns raised by our members within CSC. Further updates regarding USGE’s position on the DRAOR pilot project will be posted on the USGE website.