Special Investigations Unit
Special Investigations Unit
The FSIN Justice Secretariat’s Special Investigations Unit was established in response the Federation’s call for a public inquiry into the justice system in February 2000. The call for a public inquiry came in response to: the death of Earla Brass in the Federally Sentenced Women’s unit at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary, the finding of two First Nations men who had frozen to death outside of Saskatoon, and the report by Darrell Night that two officers had driven him to the countryside and left him in the freezing cold.
As a result of intense media coverage of these events, calls began to flood into the Federation. Many callers phoned to extend their support to the Federation for the call for a public inquiry.
On March 1, 2000 the Federation established a Toll-Free Help Line to receive calls regarding abuse by police officers and other personnel within institutions of justice in Saskatchewan. On April 9, 2000, the Federation hired two private investigators to follow up on the complaints received via the Help Line.
How to Lodge a Complaint
Individuals who wish to lodge a complaint may contact the Special Investigations Unit at 1-877-353-3746 or (306) 665-2240;
After the complaint is made, the Special Investigations Unit will contact the complainant and schedule an interview. During the interview, the complainant is requested to provide as much information as possible.
Complainants are advised of the Special Investigations Unit main principle that “each complainant owns their experience and has a right to determine how information is forwarded. No steps will be taken without authorization of the complainant”
Complainants are advised of the appropriate complaint agencies involved with a file;
- RCMP Public Complaints Commission;
- Saskatchewan Police Complaints Investigator;
- Saskatchewan Police Complaints Commission;
- Internal Investigations of the involved police force.
- Once the Process is understood, the complainant must decide how he/she wishes to proceed with the complaint:
- If the Special Investigations Unit is to proceed with his/her complaint then a statement is obtained from him/her and from any witnesses;
- Justice Workers may refer complainants to our office.
- The Special Investigations Unit can either:
- Assist the complainant in forwarding their complaint to the appropriate body; or
- The Special Investigations Unit can monitor the complaint to ensure it is investigated thoroughly;
- If the Special Investigations Unit is to monitor the complaint, then an Authorization for the “Release of Information” is signed by the complainant.
For Further Information Please Contact
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Justice Secretariat Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
Direct: (306) 665-2240
Main: (306) 665-1215
Fax: (306) 665-0134
Frequently Asked Questions
What if a Complaint has not been filed?
The Special Investigations Unit will forward a letter to the police service or Complaints Commission with the consent of the complainant; or The Special Investigations Unit will request that an investigation be conducted, thus authorizing all file information to be provided to the Special Investigations Unit. This process allows the Special Investigations Unit to track and ensure that the complaint is being investigated appropriately.
What if a Complaint was filed previously?
The Special Investigator will make a direct inquiry regarding the status of the investigation. Upon review of the file materials, the Special Investigations Unit will ascertain whether the investigation was conducted thoroughly. If the Investigator is not confident that all possible avenues of investigation were explored by the investigating party, a letter or meeting may be requested.
It is not the Job of the Special Investigations Unit to assist the police service or complaints commission to do their job. However, it is the job of the Special Investigators to ensure that they do their job properly and thoroughly for the complainant.
Complaints Process: Things to Remember
The Complaints process is very rarely cut and dry. Each complaint is unique and is viewed as an individual experience of each person. The steps outlined here will occur, however, in what order is ultimately determined by those involved in the process. The complaint process does not operate independently of the complainant. Rather, the complaint process is dependent upon the consent of the complainant.