Offenders’ personal information discovered in recycling area

Documents containing the personal information of approximately 100 offenders at the Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon were left in the facility’s recycling area. A correctional officer found three offenders reading documents they had found in a garbage container.

CSC was not able to determine with any certainty how the documents, which contained medical information, became part of the regular garbage. It is likely that papers had overflowed from the shredding boxes and were mistaken for regular garbage. CSC notified those people whose information had been compromised. Eight people complained to the OPC.

The complaints were well-founded. The case was a combination of human error and ill-advised procedures. There was a similar case at the centre less than a year earlier. In both cases, the centre’s handling of personal information left much to be desired and increased the potential for human error. The OPC made a number of recommendations on information-handling procedures which the CSC agreed to implement.

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