At all of our penitentiaries across the country, teams of dedicated professionals work closely with each offender to identify programs that will help him or her take responsibility for their actions and criminal behaviour, learn the skills they need to return safely to the community, and motivate them to follow a better path in life. As school teachers at Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, Ontario, Erin Rose and Lee McNaughton (recently retired) do just that.
Acheron College is the name of the school that serves all offenders at federal penitentiaries in Ontario. It is a private school that is fully inspected and accredited under the provincial Ministry of Education. They offer the same education curriculum and level of service that you would find at any adult day school in Ontario from English as a Second Language to grade 12.
Erin and Lee are accredited by the Ontario College of Teachers. They join approximately 50 teachers in the Ontario Region, and 13 at Collins Bay, in educating offenders. This will look different for each offender, some of which are starting at a grade one level and just learning to read and write. Others are completing their high school education and moving on to online post-secondary courses. Either way, teachers like Erin and Lee are there to guide them, support them, and encourage them as the offenders move through school.