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Mr. Brock identified the introduction of the Rule of Law and greater public accountability as the most profound changes in his twenty-five years in corrections:

I don't think there is any doubt that the introduction of the Rule of Law into the institutions has had probably the most profound effect. The work of lawyers like yourself and John Conroy forced CSC and anybody within it to have to consider that we were not above the law, that we didn't create our own law, that we were subject to law, and that whether we liked it or not the courts of the land were not going to give us an unfettered run at the inmates . . . The Mission Document tried to capture where we should be as an organization, and then you had the codification of the Mission Ducoment in terms of the new legislation [the CCRA ] which, I think, most people would observe is probably one of the most advanced pieces of correctional legislation anywhere in the world. It is probably the envy of most correctional jurisdictions. If there is any criticism of that legislation it is that it is probably way in advance of where the mentality of the Canadian public is today . . . Today the Service is trying to contend with the problems of a very angry, hostile reactive public that demands 100 per cent perfection. There is no tolerance with any kind of what is perceived to be bureaucratic bungling or mistakes. Throughout the process it has its effects on staff, particularly on management staff. We are a political organization, I am not going to apologize for that. It is run by the shareholders or the public and we have to be responsive to that, but within that is always the problem of balancing science, correctional wisdom, and sound correctional practice with what the public mood is at the time, and along with other government priorities. Despite all that, it still comes down to this basic premise that legally there is just some stuff you can't do in this country, no matter whether you passionately believe that the inmate ought to be hung, drawn, and quartered.

In reflecting on the change in public mood towards prisoners, Warden Brock related it to shifting attitudes towards authority and "deviance".

In the early seventies we were still very much into the Vietnam War. There was a lot of distrust of government, and society was far more prepared to accept the poor old inmate; after all, "but for the grace of God." The public tolerance of drug activity was far greater than it is today. The policing community was almost ridiculed by large numbers of members of society, and today I think the policing community is now seen, judging by all these programs on TV, as white knights. They certainly weren't seen as white knights in those days, they were seen as the "narcs." They weren't terribly sophisticated. In terms of community interaction, the general openness of society and tolerance of deviance in society in those days was far greater than it is today.

I asked Warden Brock what he saw as the main changes in correctional staff over the period of his career.

The staff that work the line, the staff that have come on in the past ten years particularly, they are far more sophisticated, worldly, and their communication skill levels and a whole variety of things are just head and shoulders above some of the staff that existed a number of years ago. Then this was not a very attractive job. Jobs were generally fairly plentiful. The last ten years as peoples' options have shrunk they've looked to businesses and organizations where there are in fact careers and some stability. By these standards CSC line jobs are not bad jobs at all. You get a CO-II [Correctional Officer II] job and with the overtime you are making at least as good money as a teacher and even some of the lawyers that are struggling when they first get out practising. The other thing is that there is a greater acceptance of people that are in this business, from policing to prisons.

One of the most visible changes in Canadian prisons, apart from the physical architecture, is the presence of women, working as everything from line staff to wardens up to, as of September 2000, the Commissioner of Corrections. In the early 1970s the job of a line correctional officer was strictly a man's world. A few women worked as classification officers, but the only other women in the system were clerical staff in the front office, whose contact with prisoners was carefully limited. As my research came to an end, women occupied the position of warden at Kent, Mission, and Ferndale Institutions. Over the six years of my research, three of the unit managers of the segregation unit at Kent were women, and women officers were regularly part of the segregation line staff, something unimaginable in the days of the penthouse at B.C. Pen or H unit at Kent in the early 1980s. The push to have more women working within federal corrections was part of a larger government initiative towards gender equality in the workforce. And paradoxically it was in corrections -- in some ways the most macho of career paths -- that some of the greatest gains were made in the 1980s. Although the move towards greater participation by women in the prison workplace was not conceived as a correctional strategy, it has definitely had correctional impacts. Many of the people I interviewed felt that the presence of women in federal institutions, as line staff and administrators, had changed the nature of interaction between prisoners and staff. The conventional wisdom, along the lines of "men are from Mars, women are from Venus," is that the value women place on communication has improved the quality of interaction between prisoners and staff, and that the presence of women has had a tendency to reduce both the volume and the harsh edge of the verbal abuse that parades as communication. I asked Warden Roger Brock for his views.

I don't think the fact that there's women in prisons creates less problems or more problems. They are just different problems and different issues. I don't think there is any doubt that having women in the place does tone down things, but there are a couple of corollaries to that; that is, if you can get the women not to jump into a macho mode. Some of the women become jocks and macho with all the bravado and the tough-guy stuff as much as any man. We have almost a kind of stereotyping of women as soft. Well, in this environment -- I'm not sure what it has been like in the police community -- that is somewhat naive and doesn't reflect the full range and dimensions of women. Here we have everything from gay and feminist women through to some that are very soft and some that are, quite frankly, so traditional in terms of their relationships with men that I fear for them because I don't think they stand on their own two feet. They always have to have a man backing them up. But on the other hand, you've also got men in here that always have to have a woman backing them up. The bottom line, I think, is that these places are far more natural and richer, but I wonder whether ultimately the simple fact of having women in the place has reduced violence. If the simple fact of having women working in institutions was to make them softer places, then the Prison for Women ought to be the quietest joint in the country, and it's not.

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Warden Roger Brock