Inmate phone policy at Provincial Correctional Centre sees revamp following complaints made to OmbudsPEI

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Inmates at PEI’s Provincial Correctional Centre will have more access to telephone services following an inquiry into multiple complaints received by OmbudsPEI.  PCC’s telephone policy will no longer limit inmates to a small list of approved telephone contacts.

Since beginning operations in February 2022, OmbudsPEI has received complaints from inmates at PCC about the centre’s telephone policy and its limits on who inmates were permitted to contact by phone. PCC required inmates to submit telephone numbers for approval in advance and it could take more than a week for numbers to be added to the inmate’s “call list.” These numbers were typically restricted to close family members.

While OmbudsPEI was able to resolve some telephone-related complaints with PCC on a case by case basis, we remained concerned that PEI was taking an overly restrictive approach. As a result of lengthy consultations with PCC and PEI’s Community and Correctional Services, inmates are now permitted to call any number.

“These policy changes will remove a barrier for inmates who may have found it difficult to arrange pre-trial release plans and to maintain personal and professional relationships which may help them reintegrate into society when they are released,” said Sandy Hermiston, Ombudsperson for Prince Edward Island.

“These changes also bring our provincial correctional centre more in line with others across the country, as we learned PEI was the only province in Canada to limit inmates’ contact in this way.”

The new policy will include some exceptions, including if the inmate has a court-ordered condition to refrain from contacting a victim, co-accused, or other party identified by the court. PCC can also block a telephone number at the request of any person not wanting to have contact with the inmate or when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that contact would jeopardize the safety of any person or threaten the security of the PCC.

OmbudsPEI thanks the PCC for their cooperation on this matter and we applaud the steps they have taken to improve the rights of inmates, their participation within the justice system and their reintegration into society.

PCC has informed our office the new policy is set to take effect on April 26. A summary of these complaints can be found online at

Media Contact

Cody McEachern

Investigator/Communications Officer – OmbudsPEI

(902) 218-1967

About OmbudsPEI

As an independent office of the Legislature, OmbudsPEI investigates complaints of unfair treatment by government agencies and provides general oversight of government’s administrative processes under the Ombudsperson Act. The Ombudsperson has a broad mandate to investigate complaints about unfair treatment, process or decisions by public sector agencies such as government ministries, agencies boards and commissions, municipalities and Health PEI.  

OmbudsPEI promotes fairness, transparency and accountability in the public sector to enhance good governance and public confidence in government.  Our work improves public services for all Islanders.

If any Islander believes they have experienced an unfairness in their interactions with a provincial agency, they can contact OmbudsPEI to explore options for making a complaint. Our services are free and confidential.

Sandy Hermiston also serves as PEI’s Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner pursuant to her appointment under the Public Interest Disclosure and Whistleblower Protection Act.  Public servants can report wrongdoing by making a protected disclosure or complaint about a reprisal to the office. 

For more information about OmbudsPEI, visit OmbudsPEI – Office of The Ombudsperson PEI.

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