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A gardening project and learning experience

When the Jamieson Community Correctional Centre (CCC) opened in August 2017, there were plans to grow a vegetable and flower garden on site. By the spring of 2018, the gardening project officially began as a collaboration between the CCC’s manager and CORCAN’s Employment and Employability Program.

Launching Let’s Talk Express

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I am pleased to be a part of the launch of the new web-based Let’s Talk Express (LTE). For as long as I can remember, Let’s Talk has always been an important part of CSC.

Commissioner Don Head Accepts Honorary Diploma from St. Lawrence College

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Among the 2016 graduates at St. Lawrence College (SLC) being honoured for their hard work on June 17, 2016 was CSC Commissioner Don Head who received an honorary diploma.

William Head on Stage: celebrating live theatre for 40 years

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Every fall, since 1981, William Head on Stage (WHoS) has been attracting audiences of up to 2,500 over 15 nights.

“A worthwhile sacrifice”: Maxime-Kalifa Sanou tells his story

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As we celebrate Black History Month, Let’s Talk Express wanted to check in with Maxime-Kalifa Sanou, four years after the story on his athletic achievements and his exemplary discipline was published.

Inmates Make Reusable Masks for the Less Fortunate

To contribute to the overall effort against COVID-19, a project to manufacture cloth face masks was implemented at Archambault Institution (Minimum), in Quebec. As a result, over 2,000 masks were produced in a few weeks. The experience gave offenders the opportunity to gain new skills and give back to the community. Consequently, 300 masks were donated to two community organizations working with homeless people in the area.

Offender health care

Interview with Sylvie-Ann Lavigne

Book clubs that inspire and transform

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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.

Transition from the military to CSC: challenging but worthwhile

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Shortly after Anne Marie Joyce first started at Correctional Service Canada (CSC) in 2000, she sent around an email that she later realized offended almost every person who received it. She didn’t understand what had upset them until it was pointed out that her military-style directness was not how people communicate in the public service.

The Digital Education Project: A Success Story

For the last three years, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has been developing a Digital Education Project (DEP) to support technological advancements in learning environments behind prison walls. CSC has been working hard to include technology in the classroom to provide better access to learning opportunities and competency in technological environments and support reintegration success.

Prairie Region teachers give thanks to our frontline workers

As a team, the Prairie Region chiefs of education and teachers recognize that they are fortunate to have the ability to work from home. Teachers have continued to be busy during this time by building teaching resources, participating in professional development, and updating curriculum tools for the students.

Open House at the Regional Mental Health Centre

On February 21, 2018, the Regional Mental Health Centre (RMHC) opened its doors to community partners. Located in the Quebec Region, the RMHC is a multi-level security facility for male inmates who have various mental health needs.  

Working together to support the families of incarcerated individuals

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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.

Building structures and skills – How employees at CSC are helping offenders become employable upon their release

In September we had the pleasure of sharing a story about the Piapot modular build, an initiative that gave offenders at Saskatchewan Penitentiary the opportunity to give back t

Edmonton Institution group helps connect local seniors

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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.

Inmates at Saskatchewan Penitentiary learn to sew masks

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Marilyn Stone, Saskatchewan Penitentiary Librarian, along with volunteers from the community, wanted to find a way to help the staff and inmate population at Saskatchewan Penitentiary stay safe. They decided making masks was a contribution they could give in the fight against this virus.

Construction Course Helps Two Communities

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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.

Meet CSC’s Champion of Multiculturalism

Michael K. Olotu, Director General, Rights, Redress and Resolution, has worn many hats at the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). Starting off as a Correctional Officer and then a Parole Officer, Michael has gone on to serve in senior level roles at NHQ including, Senior Director of Operations with CORCAN, Director of Evaluation, Director of Investigations and Director of Strategy and Corporate Services in what is now known as the Indigenous Initiatives Directorate.

Interview with John Croucher, Associate Director, Veterans Support Secretariat

In 2015, the Government of Canada introduced the Veterans Hiring Act, amending the Public Service of Canada staffing system to provide employment opportunities for Veterans. This mandated the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and other departments to focus hiring initiatives on Veterans.

Indigenous education opportunities for offenders at EIFW

“Education is the new Buffalo." This statement by guest speaker Dr. Pat Makokis, during an outreach event at the Edmonton Institution for Women (EIFW), struck a chord with Dr. Tracy Bear. The idea that education can provide First Nation and Métis people with food, clothing, and shelter as the buffalo once did was inspiring. So were the inmate testimonials she heard at the 2017 event.

OOHL residents donate handmade Star Blankets to grieving families

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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.

“Buzzing” Around at Stony Mountain Institution!

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Recently, Stony Mountain Institution has launched a beekeeping initiative with the help of CORCAN and community partners, fuelled by staff ingenuity and inmate participation.

Matsqui Institution inmate pens heartfelt poem to CSC volunteers

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From April 18-24 2021, the Correctional Service of Canada celebrated National Volunteer Week.