Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice has been a Canadian leader in the Corrections field with innovative and respectful wellness programs for Aboriginal inmates, including traditional counsellors, healing rooms, counselling with Elders and spiritual ceremonies.
As Members from previous Assemblies will remember, I have always been a strong, and at times vocal, proponent of the need for a transparent, effective and accountable Corrections system.
As Minister, I continue to fully support open and accountable processes for the management of the Corrections service and rehabilitation of inmates, the security of our staff and the safety of our communities. This mirrors a trend that is also happening throughout the various correctional services in Canada.
Our professional Corrections service staff are responsive to those committed to their care. Their work is performed on a 24/7 basis in five NWT facilities and by probation staff in our communities. We take the obligations for public safety and for the security of our staff and the inmates in our care seriously and thoughtfully. We will continue the practice of making strong and measured decisions after careful consideration.
As part of this commitment, the Corrections service has created a new Performance Assurance and Accountability Framework. This work began late last year and will be advanced through a phased approach until fully implemented in 2016. This Framework will address how we support staff as they carry out their duties. It will address the ethics and values they bring to their work, emphasize accountability to the processes in our system, and allow us to apply policies and directives efficiently and effectively using best correctional practises.
The Framework will give us an enhanced and structured ability to monitor key performance areas, including areas related to legislation, correctional directives and key operational objectives.
It will also enable us to realize efficiencies by managing staff deployment levels to provide safe and efficient management of our facilities. The Framework will assist in monitoring the timely provision of vital staff training for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace for all Corrections staff as they work to maintain and improve their skills and work performance.
While reviewing workloads and operations in our facilities is not new, the Performance Assurance and Accountability Framework will give the Department a formalized structure to reach the efficiencies expected by this Assembly, to be effective, and to maintain the safety and security of our facilities.
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice will continue to review its work and evolve with best practises to provide an environment that helps inmates work towards their rehabilitation and prepares them to reintegrate as healthy contributing members of our communities.
I will keep this Assembly informed of our progress.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.