The Rev. Dr. Carol Finlay, a retired educator, has always had a passion for helping others and giving back to the community. In 2008, while searching for life’s purpose, she found herself reaching out to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Collins Bay Institution in Ontario, to propose a new program: a book club for inmates. Carol got the idea from scholars she met online in London, England who had started book clubs in their local penitentiaries.
Michelle Moore, an Institutional Parole Officer at the Correctional Service of Canada’s Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford, British-Columbia, observed a face-to-face meeting between an inmate, under her supervision, and the mother of the young man he had shot and killed.
Recently, Stony Mountain Institution has launched a beekeeping initiative with the help of CORCAN and community partners, fuelled by staff ingenuity and inmate participation.
From April 18-24 2021, the Correctional Service of Canada celebrated National Volunteer Week.
One morning during the summer of 2019, Dawne Flaborea received an unusual phone call. A North Atlantic right whale had died, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans wanted to bury it on the property of one of the Correctional Service of Canada’s CSC east coast institutions.
A group of correctional officers from Edmonton Institution (EI) established a workplace fundraising committee in response to the needs of families whose loved ones perished or were injured in the line of duty as correctional officers. Even though this cause was the drive behind their initial efforts, the EI Relief Fund has contributed to a variety of charitable organizations and causes since its inception. The EI Relief Fund fundraises through a variety of ways including receiving donations, activities such as BBQs and 50/50 draws.
In recent weeks, residents at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge (OOHL) made 25 quilted baby blankets to give back to the community. The Star Blankets will be donated to parents who have, unfortunately, lost their newborns during either the birthing process or post-natal. The OOHL residents were compelled to make this offering as they themselves are mothers, Aunties, Kokums (grandmothers) and they understand the importance of children amongst Indigenous culture.
Research from the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) shows that there is a connection between positive family relationships and lower rates of recidivism.This is at the heart of the Canadian Families and Corrections Network (CFCN), which focuses on families who have someone that they care about inside.
In the fall of 2019, CORCAN instructor Mark Charleson delivered a construction course to eight residents at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge. The course taught residents basic construction skills, such as planning, gathering materials, measuring, cutting and building. The residents divided into two groups to put into practice what they had learned. Each group was tasked with building a shed.