When Connor Hink first visited Stony Mountain Institution, it was with his parents on Family Day. Both of them work there - she as a Programs Officer, and he as a Correctional Officer. Now Connor is too. As a student studying Criminal Justice at the University of Winnipeg, he is spending his summer working as a Correctional Program Assistant and he couldn’t be happier about it.
“The stuff you learn here is nothing like the stuff you learn in the classroom, and every student here can attest to that. Until you actually see what you are learning put into practice, it doesn’t sink in as much as if you were actually in the institution. Now we can go back to school and say that we saw this or that in action. It’s been a great opportunity.”
This, he says, is thanks to a management team at Stony Mountain that has been welcoming, supportive, and informative. At just 18-years-old, Connor has been inspired by their commitment to the work they do and is even considering a career in corrections as a result. Becoming an Assistant Warden of Operations (AWO) one day is something he is currently mulling over.
“We had the opportunity to go to a lunch and learn with our warden and deputy warden, as well as the AWOs and Assistant Wardens of Interventions. It was really nice because we were able to ask them any questions we had (we had a lot!) and they were very open about the job they do, how demanding it is, and how rewarding it is. That was my favorite part of this experience so far because it was so motivational. They have been excellent role models for us because they are so dedicated to what they do.”
In speaking with Connor it’s clear that this is a common theme. In the Correctional Programs area where he works, he says he and his fellow students have been blown away by the caliber of the employees who work there. Their commitment to helping offenders better themselves in the hopes of successfully reintegrating into society stands out.
“Being here has opened my eyes to what actually goes on within the institution. Program officers play a crucial role in the rehabilitation of offenders and their reintegration into society because without the programming offered here, who knows where they would be. They are open-minded individuals that are willing to work with offenders and make sure they are staying on track. They are really dedicated.”
Connor reached out to Let’s Talk Express to thank senior management at Stony Mountain for this opportunity as well as Lee Vandenbroeck, Acting Manager of Programs, for hiring him and the other students.