The three main grounds for substantiated complaints:

  1. 1.Lengthy wait times: 43.9%

  2. 2.Living environment: 16.6%

  3. 3.Failure to respect rights: 16.4%

Detainees’ residual rights (rights that continue to exist despite incarceration) must be respected. Furthermore, acting with humanity and empathy must be a part of the job description of facility staff, whose role extends far beyond mere supervision. In fact, they directly contribute to the potential social reintegration of detainees.


Correctional services

jail bars

Transfer of healthcare

  • Since 2016, the Ministère de la Sécurité publique has been transferring responsibility for healthcare in correctional facilities to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. However, transfer is lagging in the Québec City and Montréal facilities, which account for 40% of the detention population.

Strip searches

  • Complaints showed that detainees had been subjected to needlessly invasive and repeated strip searches. Due to the Québec Ombudsman’s intervention, facility authorities now ensure that best practice rules are followed.

Alternatives to incarceration

  • In a 2018 special report the Québec Ombudsman spoke out against the consequences of the increase in intermittent sentences in correctional facilities, which include more overcrowding. As the Québec Ombudsman sees it, possible alternatives to incarceration must be considered. However, when no alternatives can be considered, current practices must change.