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The Correctional Service in responding to the 1998-9 Annual Report, acknowledged the importance of enhanced reintegration programming and indicated that a Task Force had been commissioned to review programming at the SHU and to suggest methods of programme improvement. In addition, the CSC indicated that it had established an initiative with the United Kingdom to develop a strategy for the management of dangerous and persistently violent offenders. In his Millennium Report in 1999-2000 the Correctional Investigator provided this summary of the CSC's latest initiative and the extent to which it had brought about any real change.

"The Task Force Report was finalized in November of 1999. The Report noted that participation in programming related to violent and sexual behaviour was extremely low, and recommended that "the Correctional Service should develop a programme designed specifically for the Special Handling Units." With respect to direct releases to community, the Report stated that "the Working Group members were of the unanimous opinion that release from the SHU on warrant expiry or statutory release should be avoided at all costs."

The Office was advised in February this year that no decision will be taken on how to proceed with the Report until the end of March 2000. With respect to the reasons why no decision had yet been taken, the Service offers the following:

"The recommendations in the Report have significant resource and staffing implications that require a series of determinations and consultations. No decision on how to proceed with this Report will be taken until all the consultations have been completed. For example, the Report was discussed at National Review Committee on April 4, 2000, the NRC will submit a letter outlining their position on the recommendations on the Report."

The National Review Committee Report for the period April through December 1999 indicates that programme participation numbers have not improved and the number of direct community releases from the SHU have increased.

The areas of ongoing concern detailed in last year's Annual Report remain areas of concern. The Service, over the course of this reporting year, has provided virtually no comment or information specific to either programme participation or direct community release from the SHU. It's international efforts, while producing commitments to work together in addressing the needs of dangerous and persistently violent offenders, do not appear to have resulted in "the development of an operational strategy." Finally, decisions on how to proceed with a Task Force Report await further internal consultation." (Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 1999-2000 [Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2000] at 7-8; Online )

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