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COVID-19 Department of Justice Services update

16 November 2020

COVID-19 GN Update - November 20, 2020

Department of Justice Services

The Corrections Division of the Department of Justice continues to review practices and procedures within the correctional facilities to ensure the safety of our inmates and staff during this time. Adjustments to some programming within the facilities is needed to support this priority.

Ongoing services:

The Inuit cultural skills program (ICSP) will continue to take place.

Money transfers and drop-offs will continue. Money drop-offs will be at scheduled times at Baffin Correctional Centre and the Rankin Inlet Healing Facility. There may be delays in transfers due to limited number of staff working in the finance office.

Adjusted services:

All “In-Person” visits are cancelled, however facilities will be working to provide inmates video visitation, where possible. In-Person visit restrictions will be reviewed on a regular basis.

The following measures are in place to allow for the continuation of programming, where possible:

  • No volunteers, contractors or external bodies will be permitted into facilities
  • Limitations have been placed on program class sizes
  • Restrictions are in place for the number of non-operational staff permitted in the building

With these restrictions in mind, facilities will look to increase fresh-air time.

Work Programs will continue with the following restrictions:

  • No community interactions/exposure
  • Maximum 2 inmates with Town Crew officer for off-site jobs
  • PPE must be worn by staff and inmates at all times
  • Only essential/critical off-site work will be approved
  • On-site work will continue, where COVID-19 precautions can be safely observed

Elders counselling will be working a modified schedule with volunteer/casual Elders on a case-by-case basis. Approvals will take into consideration the risk of exposure to the Elder or facility and will be in the secure visiting area.

Facilities will not be accepting country food delivery directly from the community members. The Corrections Division will purchase additional quantities of country food from vendors. The facility menus will reflect this increase. In addition, corrections is reviewing the feasibility of including country food on canteen orders.

In addition to the protocol updates previously announced, corrections and other justice partners are working to reduce inmate numbers where possible.

All sentenced inmates within our correctional facilities were reviewed to determine eligibility for early release. From this review, there were a total of 4 inmates set for early release from the Baffin Correctional Centre between now and November 25, 2020 and 4 inmates set for early release from the Rankin Inlet Health Facility between now and December 1, 2020.

As of November 18, the Nunavut Court of Justice has announced a reduction in operations, however, they have confirmed that bail reviews for individuals who are remanded within our facilities will continue to occur.
Nunavummiut’s health is our shared responsibility! Remember: wash your hands and surfaces, practice social distancing, listen to the advice of health officials, and stay home if you’re sick.
 


COVID-19 GN Update - November 18, 2020

Department of Justice Services

What do I do if I am concerned the Orders are not being followed?

Your local RCMP detachment can help and should be used as your first point of contact. If you are concerned, please contact your local RCMP detachment.

As we move forward, we will continue to monitor, review and amend these orders as necessary. Our measures will be balanced against the need to fight Covid-19. When we are no longer living under threat of this virus, we will no longer be in need of such measures.

Who can enforce these Orders?

In addition to RCMP officers, and to ensure we have the capacity to enforce the emergency orders, the CPHO has authorized all peace officers who are appointed under territorial law, the ability to enforce the orders. This includes municipal enforcement officers, the sheriffs from the Nunavut Court of Justice, the environmental inspectors, liquor inspectors, and the wildlife officers.

Normally these officers can only enforce their own legislation. However, the emergency order grants them additional powers. To ensure those charged with protecting the health of Nunavummiut are prepared to take on this task, they will be provided with clear guidelines on their responsibility.

The CPHO authorized these peace officers for a number of reasons:

  • The RCMP may experience staff shortages during the pandemic and may need not be able to address this added responsibility;
  • The authorized peace officers are already familiar with and have had training in enforcement procedures under territorial legislation;
  • The orders affect entry into territorial parks and other on-the-land activities, where wildlife officers are often the first point of contact; and
  • Municipal enforcement officers are experienced with issuing tickets under municipal by-laws and are recognized as an enforcement body within Nunavut communities.

The CPHO is working with officials from the RCMP, the Government of Nunavut and municipalities to ensure consistent messaging and enforcement across the territory.

When can an enforcement officer enter into my home or public facility?

In the Orders being issues by the CPHO, there is a clear distinction between a building where you live, a “dwelling”, and a public facility, such as a grocery store.

Under these Orders, the CPHO has provided enforcement Officers with the authority to enter into public facilities without a warrant for enforcement purposes. This includes vacant houses and apartments.

When it comes to your home, however, the government firmly recognizes your rights and the obligation of enforcement officers to take all reasonable measures to respect those rights. Except in emergencies, if an enforcement officer believes there is reason to enter into your home, they will need to get your permission, or get a warrant from the Court.

 


Department of Justice Services Update - November 16, 2020

Community Justice

In-person meetings for Community Justice are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Community Corrections

All Community Corrections offices will be closed to the public until further notice. All Community Corrections clients are to report by phone to the Regional Supervisors Corrections Officer using the following numbers:

Correctional Facilities

Corrections continues to follow safety protocols to prevent COVID-19 from entering our facilities and mitigate the risk of spread in the event it does. Measures already in place include suspending all outside visitation and non-essential traffic. We appreciate the patience and support we have received from inmates and their families in taking this step as we are aware this is not easy.

Given the heightened security risks associated with corrections, we can not provide specific details regarding our individual institutional plans. However, we can provide the following information regarding steps begin taken:

  • All intakes are being isolated for a period of 14 days upon intake.
  • Institutions have added additional hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas.
  • Response/containment kits have been outfitted with gloves, masks, face shields, gowns and instructions for use.
  • Nurses are diligently screening inmates upon intake for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Increased cleaning protocols to ensure communal surfaces are cleaned on an increased schedule throughout the day.

Labour Standards

The Labour Standards Office can be contacted by phone using the following numbers:

  • Phone:1-867-975-6322  
  • Toll Free: 1-877-806-8402    
  • Fax: 1-867-975-6367

The Office is still available to answers questions Nunavummiut may have regarding the Labour Standards Act and Regulations.

Court Services

The Court house will be closed to the public.

Court registry will be available to support the public over the phone and through email. Please use the following contact information for service.

  • If your matter involves criminal or youth proceedings, please contact the criminal Registrar at 867-975-6101 ncj.criminal@gov.nu.ca.
  • If your matter involves civil, family or children law proceedings please contact the Civil Registrar at 867-975-6102 or ncj.civil@gov.nu.ca.
  • If your matter involves civil enforcement please contact the sheriff office at 867-975-6103 or ncj.sheriff@gov.nu.ca

Legal Registries

The Legal Registries office will be closed to the public.

Individuals can still access services by contacting 867-975-6590 or Corporate.Registries@gov.nu.ca.

Victims Services

The Victim Services Office is closed to the public at this time. However, Nunavummiut who need to contact the office can do so by contacting Victim Services Toll Free at 1-866-456-5216 or at victimservices@gov.nu.ca.

Services will be provided on a case by case basis.

Rental Office

The Rental Office will be closed to the public. To contact the Office, please contact 867-975-6314 or Rentaloffice@gov.nu.ca.

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

The Office of the Public Guardian will be closed to the public.

To contact the Office, please use the following contact information.

  • For estate matters please contact 1-866-294-2127 or Public.Trustee@gov.nu.ca
  • For guardianship matters please contact 867 222-1805 or  Publicguardian@gov.nu.ca

Family Support

Family Support services are ongoing. The office will be closed to the public.

For information regarding your files, please contact 867-975-6112 or call toll-free at 1-800-792-4183, or email fsp@gov.nu.ca.

 


Department of Justice Services Update - November 13, 2020

Adjusted services:

Community Justice
In-person meetings for Community Justice are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Community Corrections
The Kivalliq Region Community Corrections offices will be closed to the public until further notice. All Kivalliq Community Corrections clients are to report by phone to the Regional Supervisors Corrections Officer using the following number: 1-888-770-7696.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

Correctional Facilities
To ensure the health and safety of all staff and inmates within our facilities, all in person visitation will be suspended until further notice.


Department of Justice Services Update - November 11, 2020

Community Justice

In-person meetings for Community Justice are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Community Corrections

The Rankin Inlet Community Corrections office will be closed to the public until further notice. All Rankin Inlet Community Corrections clients are to report by phone to the Community Corrections Officer using the following number: 1-844-249-7623.

Rankin Inlet Healing Facility

To ensure the health and safety of all staff and inmates within our facility, all in person visitation will be suspended until further notice.


Department of Justice Services Update - November 6, 2020

Community Justice

In-person meetings for Community Justice are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Community Corrections

The Sanikiluaq Community Corrections office will be closed to the public until further notice. All Sanikiluaq community corrections clients are to report by phone to the Community Corrections Officer using the following number: 1-888-770-7696



Department of Justice Services Update - July 20, 2020

The Legal Registries Office will re-open for public access beginning Monday, July 20. Access is limited to one person at a time.

All customers are asked to respect the restrictions and remain two meters (six feet) apart. Customers are encouraged to call 1-867-975-6590 or email Corporate.Registries@gov.nu.ca with questions or concerns about Legal Registries services. For further information, please visit the Legal Registries website by clicking here.

 


Department of Justice Services Update - June 15, 2020

Family members can resume visiting in our correctional facilities through the normal appointment process.

There will be some restrictions in place to ensure continued safety of our inmates and staff. Due to the ongoing public health emergency this is subject to change without notice.


Department of Justice Services Update - May 6, 2020

The Government of Nunavut has various programs and services that are available to support victims and survivors of violence. We want to remind Nunavummiut that we are still here, and we can help during this very difficult time. We are aware that life is very difficult for many families and individuals and it can put added stress on a home. You should not feel isolated or alone, we are here to help.

Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

The Victim Services Office is closed to the public at this time. However, Nunavummiut who need to contact the office can do so by calling the Toll-Free line at 1-866-456-5216 or emailing victimservices@gov.nu.ca. Services will be provided on a case-by-case basis.


Department of Justice Services Update - May 1, 2020

Community Justice

Our service delivery with clients remains consistent with the previously amended service delivery process. In-person meetings are restricted to emergency situations where the client has no access to a phone or safe location to contact our service providers over the phone. Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038. The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

Community Corrections

All local community corrections offices continue to be closed to the public until further notice. All community corrections clients are to report by phone to their Regional Managers.

The list of contacts can be found at: https://www.gov.nu.ca/justice


Department of Justice Services Update - April 24, 2020

The Department of Justice worked with the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) to prepare a new Order Respecting Social Distancing and Mass Gatherings to ensure the language is clear and understandable while remaining true to the order. This new order will come into effect on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. 

In addition, it is the Department of Justice’s hope the questions and answers below will provide additional clarity and will help Nunavummiut better understand the purpose of this order.

When can an enforcement officer enter into my home or public facility?

In the Orders being issues by the CPHO, there is a clear distinction between a building where you live, a “dwelling”, and a public facility, such as a grocery store.

Under these Orders, the CPHO has provided enforcement Officers with the authority to enter into public facilities without a warrant for enforcement purposes.

When it comes to your home, however, the government firmly recognizes your rights and the obligation of enforcement officers to take all reasonable measures to respect those rights. If an enforcement officer believes there is reason to enter into your home, they will need to get your permission, or get a warrant from the Court.

Who can enforce these Orders?

In addition to RCMP officers, and to ensure we have the capacity to enforce the emergency orders, the CPHO has authorized all peace officers who are appointed under territorial law, the ability to enforce the orders. This includes municipal enforcement officers, the sheriffs from the Nunavut Court of Justice, the environmental inspectors, and the wildlife officers.

Normally these officers can only enforce their own legislation. However, the emergency order grants them additional powers. To ensure those charged with protecting the health of Nunavummiut are prepared to take on this task, they will be provided with clear guidelines on their responsibility.

The CPHO authorized these peace officers for a number of reasons:

The RCMP may experience staff shortages during the pandemic and may need not be able to address this added responsibility;

The authorized peace officers are already familiar with and have had training in enforcement procedures under territorial legislation;

The orders affect entry into territorial parks and other on-the-land activities, where wildlife officers are often the first point of contact; and

Municipal enforcement officers are experienced with issuing tickets under municipal by-laws and are recognized as an enforcement body within Nunavut communities.

The CPHO is working with officials from the RCMP, the Government of Nunavut and municipalities to ensure consistent messaging and enforcement across the territory.

What do I do if I am concerned the Orders are not being followed?

Your local RCMP detachment can help and should be used as your first point of contact. If you are concerned, please contact your local RCMP detachment.

As we move forward, we will continue to monitor, review and amend these orders as necessary. Our measures will be balanced against the need to fight Covid-19. When we are no longer living under threat of this virus, we will no longer be in need of such measures.

 


Department of Justice Services Update - April 1, 2020

Adjusted services:

Victims Services

The Victim Services Office is closed to the public at this time. However, Nunavummiut who need to contact the office can do so by using the following contact information:

  • Victim Services Toll Free 1-866-456-5216; victimservices@gov.nu.ca.
  • Services will be provided on a case by case basis.

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

As of today, April 1, 2020, the Office of the Public Guardian will be joining the Office of the Public Trustee within the Department of Justice. This new office will be the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. All contact information remains the same.
Once the Office reopens after the public health emergency, it will be located on the first floor of the Brown Building in Iqaluit. Legal Registries has moved to the 4th floor of 1106 Inuksugait building in Iqaluit.
Due to the office relocation, clients may experience slight delays in phone and email responses. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Department of Justice Services Update - March 31, 2020

The Corrections division has been working diligently at all levels to ensure we have plans in place to support our staff, our inmates and the community throughout this public health emergency. There is currently a great deal of information in the media from other jurisdictions about what is happening within correctional facilities in other jurisdictions.

To ensure Nunavummiut are up to date and aware of the current steps being taken in Nunavut, we are providing the following update. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure the virus does not enter the correctional facilities.

Measures already in place include suspending all outside visitation and non-essential traffic. We appreciate the patience and support we have received from inmates and their families in taking this step as we are aware this is not easy.

Given the heightened security risks associated with corrections, we cannot provide specific details regarding our individual institutional plans.

However, we can provide the following information regarding steps begin taken:

  • All intakes are being isolated for a period of 14 days upon intake.
  • Institutions have added additional hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas.
  • Response/containment kits are being outfitted with gloves, masks, face shields, gowns and instructions for use.
  • Nurses are diligently screening inmates upon intake for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Facilities are increasing food and supply orders to ensure facilities are well stocked in the event of an outbreak.
  • Increased cleaning protocols to ensure communal surfaces are cleaned on an increased schedule throughout the day.

In addition to these health and safety steps being taken, the department has reviewed all inmates eligible for early release to reduce the inmate population as much as possible.

We will continue to take action that will support the health and safety of our inmates, staff and all Nunavummiut.


Department of Justice Services Update - March 27, 2020

Adjusted services:

The Labour Standards Office will still be available to provide services at this time. As all government offices are closed to the public at this time, the Labour Standards Office can be contacted by phone using the following numbers:

  • Phone:1-867-975-6322, Toll Free: 1-877-806-8402, Fax: 1-867-975-6367

The Office is still available to answers questions Nunavummiut may have regarding the Labour Standards Act and Regulations.

As minimum wage is set to increase on April 1, 2020, the Manager of the Labour Standards Office is available to answer questions businesses may have at this time regarding compliance.


Department of Justice Services Update - March 26, 2020

The department will continue to develop education and training opportunities that support Inuit employment within justice services.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • Given the current situation, the department, in consultation with Algonquin College, has officially cancelled the Program for Inuit Correctional Caseworkers which was set to begin on campus in Ottawa on May 4, 2020. 

Department of Justice Services Update - March 25, 2020

All local community corrections offices are closed to the public until further notice. All community corrections clients are to report by phone to their Regional Managers.

The list of contacts can be found at: https://www.gov.nu.ca/justice


Department of Justice Services Update - March 20, 2020

Should you have any inquires regarding any court matters, we invite you to contact the Registrar either by phone or email.

Adjusted services:

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Court house will be closed to the public.
  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Legal Registries office will be closed to the public.
  • Individuals can still access services by contacting 867 975-6590 or emailing Corporate.Registries@gov.nu.ca.
  • Family Support services are ongoing. The office will be closed to the public. For information regarding your personal information, please contact the office by phone at 867-975-6112 or via email at fsp@gov.nu.ca.
  • Court registry will be available to support the public over the phone and through email. Please use the following contact information for service.
    • If your matter involves criminal or youth proceedings, please contact the criminal Registrar at 867 975-6101; ncj.criminal@gov.nu.ca.
    • If your matter involves civil, family or children law proceedings please contact the Civil Registrar 867 975-6102; ncj.civil@gov.nu.ca.
    • If your matter involves civil enforcement, please contact the sheriff office at 867 975-6103; ncj.sheriff@gov.nu.ca.
       

Department of Justice Services Update, March 19, 2020

Individuals are asked to contact the on-call Family Abuse Intervention Act (FAIA) line if they have any questions or need support using the following number 1-844-534-1038.  The call will be assessed to determine the support needed and directed to a Community Justice Specialist who can help with applications and resource referrals.

The department of Justice will continue to provide support to Nunavummiut under the Family Abuse Intervention Act during this time. Safety is still our number one concern and we will continue to ensure our services are available where needed.

The Department of Justice is focusing on the health and safety of staff, inmates and the communities. We have developed contingency plans to ensure we are able to continue operations.

Ongoing services:

  • Front line services under community justice will continue.
  • Nunavut Court of Justice will continue to hear urgent matters during this time.
  • Unless otherwise stated, remaining departmental services are expected to operate as usual. Updates are provided daily. 

Adjusted services:

  • The Department of Justice is asking all community corrections clients to report by phone to their Community Corrections Officer.

Closed /Cancelled/Suspended services:

  • Community corrections offices will be closed for in-person client visits until further notice.
  • Nunavut Community Justice offices will be closed to the public, starting on Monday, March 23, 2020.
  • All visitations to the facilities are suspended to ensure the health and safety of our inmates and staff.
  • The Nunavut Court of Justice (NCJ) has suspended regular operations.