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The history of penitentiaries has been long but the evolution of correctional management did not begin until the late 1960's. Until then, there were a few individuals in each penitentiary who worked towards the rehabilitation of the prisoner. Essentially, though, there were "guards" and "convicts," with the guards guarding and the convicts doing what they were told. Indeed, it was only a few decades ago that it was accepted that inmates should normally remain silent. Where conversations between staff members and inmates were necessary, they were minimal. Prisoners had no responsibilities but to follow the rules and regulations imposed upon them. If they "played the game" there was less conflict with the authorities; if they didn't, they did "hard time" . . . The penitentiary did not view itself as a correctional institution so if an inmate began to behave in a more socially acceptable manner, it was largely a result of his own initiative and not because of the system.

In the 1960's, ideas about correctional management began to develop. One innovation was the Living Unit approach which was applied in many, but not all, of the federal correctional institutions. With this approach to managing institutions, the inmate population was divided into smaller groups (based on the proximity of their cells) and a group of staff members were assigned to work with them on a continual basis. These staff members, known as "Living Unit Officers," had a dual role, to act as custodial officers and to serve as first-line case management officers. As guards, they observed the behaviour of a specific group of inmates in the living area, recreation or work areas, watching for changing patterns of behaviour . . . Although the intent of the Living Unit approach was good, it divided staff members into two groups: those who worked directly with inmates; and those who did not have any meaningful interaction with inmates, that is, those who only looked after what is called static security -- walls, barbed wire, weapons and barriers.

A number of studies in the early 1980's, focusing on the operations of the penitentiaries and the management of inmates, highlighted a need to change. Specifically, concerns were raised about the number of staff members, particularly those entrusted with the security of institutions, who had almost no interaction with inmates . . . The reports of the 1980's had several common recommendations of particular relevance to the creation of a new management model. These recommendations focused on the need for an organizational structure that would facilitate extensive and meaningful interaction between staff and inmates -- improved dynamic security and delegation of authority to the operational level.

As a result of wide-based consultation and detailed analysis of contemporary correctional practices, "Unit Management" evolved as the model for the Correctional Service of Canada Institutions. This meant dividing institutions into smaller units, with all staff sharing responsibility for interaction with offenders and participation in inmate programming, whether through formal or informal means. ( Our Story at 92-94)

Kent and Matsqui Institutions, like all other federal penitentiaries, are now organized according to the principles of unit management. The overall responsibility for management of each institution rests with the warden, its chief executive officer. Reporting to the warden is the deputy warden, who is charged with the responsibilities for security operations and inmate management. Under the unit management model, each institution is divided into units, typically centred around a distinct cell block area, each under the direction of a unit manager. For example, at Kent Institution there are three unit managers, one for the general population ranges, one for the protective custody ranges, and a third whose responsibility is for the segregation unit. At Matsqui, there are unit managers for each of the three floors of the main cell block and a fourth for the segregation unit, whose responsibilities also extend to the Regional Reception Centre. Each unit manager has responsibility not only for a designated cell block area and the prisoners who live there but for a specific program area, such as Visits and Correspondence. The unit managers are supported by a team of correctional supervisors, correctional officers, and case management officers. (This latter group was redesignated in 1998 as "institutional parole officers.") The general responsibilities of these team members are described in Our Story :

Two levels of line correctional officers are required in Unit Management. Both levels are responsible for basic security functions. The majority of the duties of the Correctional Officer I are comprised of the more traditional static security duties (such as movement control, tool control, searching, frisking, counting, etc.). The Correctional Officer II, the more senior of the two, is also tasked with these duties but has a greater involvement in case management and thus more contact with inmates.

The Correctional Officer II is assigned a small inmate caseload and is expected to play a critical role in the development and monitoring of an inmate's correctional treatment plan . . . Although Correctional Officers I do not have an assigned caseload, they are required to report and record information on inmate behaviour, based upon their interaction with, and surveillance of, inmates.

The case management officers are ultimately responsible for the management of all inmates' cases and provide functional support to the Correctional Officers II in their work with their inmate caseloads.

The correctional supervisor is responsible for the supervision of correctional officers in the day-to-day operations in the unit. Although not carrying a caseload, the correctional supervisor is responsible for the assignment of caseloads and is expected to be knowledgeable about, and actively involved in, the case management process. (at 96-97)

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