Bill C-83 would replace segregation of inmates with structured intervention units (SIUs). SIUs would offer inmates a minimum of two more hours of time out of their cell per day and greater opportunities to participate in correctional interventions.
Correctional Service Canada (CSC) assumes it will need 27 SIUs for men’s prisons and 5 for women’s prisons. CSC assumes it will need 15 additional FTEs per men’s SIU and 12 additional FTEs per women’s SIU. This count is based on planning an SIU in every maximum and medium-security institution. Given these expectations and CSC’s average pay and benefit costs, each men’s SIU is expected to cost $1.8 million per year and each women’s SIU is expected to cost $1.5 million per year. The total operating cost would be $58 million per year. That cost will increase with inflation in CSC employee pay and benefits. CSC intends to implement SIUs in existing institutions with little to moderate renovations, so incremental capital costs are not expected to be significant.
Canada’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement allocated $300 million over six years (an average of $60 million per year) and $71.7 million ongoing, towards staffing and other resources required to run SIUs. We believe this is an appropriate level of funding for CSC’s expected number of SIUs and associated staffing.
With respect to the related measures discussed in the course of parliamentary review of Bill C-83 for which cost estimates were requested:
- Implementing a pilot working group on alternatives to segregation for women is not expected to have a significant financial cost.
- Keeping inmates with disabling mental health issues in psychiatric hospitals costs approximately $900/day per inmate.
- Keeping inmates in First Nations communities under s. 81 agreements costs approximately $300/day per inmate.
- Implementing the BreakAway gang-disaffiliation program on a national basis would cost about $200,000 per year in total.
These cost estimates do not include offsetting cost savings. For example, they do not include cost savings arising from reductions in long-term staffing levels for structured intervention units or from reductions in disciplinary incidents or recidivism.