Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Inmate classification

Correctional Services

Inmate Classification

Inmates are classified to ensure they are placed in the correctional setting that most appropriately meets their programming and custodial needs.

The goal of classification is to give inmates opportunities for successful personal and social adjustment while ensuring the security and safety of correctional institutions.

Inmate classification is a continuous process that starts on admission and concludes when the inmate's sentence has been legally satisfied.

Most inmates receiving sentences of less than two years are classified. The assessment of inmates sentenced to 30 days or less is optional.

Why are inmates classified?

  • to ensure they are placed in the correctional setting that most appropriately meets their programming and custodial needs
  • to give them the opportunities for successful personal and social adjustment
  • to maintain the security and safety of the correctional institution

How are inmates classified?

Ministry staff, who are involved in the classification process, determine an inmate's classification by:

  1. Reviewing all documentation relating to the inmate, such as:
  • the release summary from the last known institution (if this is not the first time the inmate has been incarcerated)
  • Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) information
  • Crown briefs
  • police synopses
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Finger Print Services records
  • previous correctional records
  • pre-sentence/disposition reports
  • judicial reasons for the sentence
  • clinical reports
  • administrative summaries
  • critical information exchange reports
  • in the case of an Ontario parole revocation, the original classification document
  1. Using a process called Level of Service Inventory (LSI-OR) to assess the inmate according to the following criteria:

Sentence Information

  • circumstances and nature of offence(s)
  • length of service
  • court recommendations
  • victim impact statements

Criminal History

  • criminal record
  • co-accused
  • criminal association(s)
  • types of previous offences
  • outstanding charges
  • probation/parole history

Institutional History

  • behaviour/attitude
  • program/work participation
  • participation in disturbances/work stoppages
  • history of assault
  • unlawfully at large/escape incidents
  • possession/use of contraband
  • protective custody or other special needs

Personal History

  • place of residence
  • community ties
  • employment pattern
  • domestic stability
  • treatment/program participation
  • medical/psychiatric history

Security Classification and Admission Criteria for Ministry Institutions and Treatment Facilities

  • inmate's level of security and programming requirements
  • specific correctional centre and treatment facility admission criteria
  • requirement for French language services

Other Factors

  • sexually inappropriate or aggressive behaviour
  • immigration status
  • judicial recommendations
  • security needs, such as the safety of the community, other inmates and institutional staff
  • motivation and agreement to participate in a treatment program
  • past behaviour, such as a propensity toward aggressive behaviour, escape risk, protective custody needs
  • notoriety