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.
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.
Edmonton Institution group helps connect local seniors
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.
Construction Course Helps Two Communities
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.
St. John’s Indigenous Bike Program: collaboration, rehabilitation and giving back to the community
The Atlantic Region Indigenous Initiatives team, CORCAN, the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) and community partners have come together to develop a bike repair and restoration program that will help support and uplift marginalized individuals in St. John’s, Newfoundland (NL).
OOHL residents donate handmade Star Blankets to grieving families
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.
Victim Services Officers: an essential connection for victims
Compassion and resilience are hallmarks of a good Victim Services Officer (VSO). The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has 36 of them across the country—employees who speak with victims and survivors of crime on a daily basis.
Transforming lives, one victim and offender at a time
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.
Heather Finn: Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award 2020–2021 Recipient
If Heather Finn would have only one tip to give staff working with ethnocultural offenders, it would be to listen.
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
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.
Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village raises Sts’ailes community flag
On September 28, 2020—a picturesque, crisp autumn day— Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village in Harrison Mills, British Columbia, witnessed an historic ceremonial raising of the flags.
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.
Seventh Step Society of Canada
Former offender Bill Sands, with the support of Reverend James Post, founded what is now known as the Seven Step Society at the Kansas State Prison in 1963. Their goal was to help reduce recidivism among the ‘incorrigibles’ within the prison population - otherwise known as the toughest, hardened convicts.
Offender gifts Sedna carving to Inuit women’s organization
Sedna is goddess of the sea and an important powerful woman figure in Inuit culture. That is why an Inuk offender chose to carve Sedna and anonymously donate her to Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.
Beading orange shirts teaches cultural art and inspires healing
On August 27, a dreamcatcher with a tiny orange beaded shirt in its center was placed at the Kamloops Indian Residential School monument. A note below the dreamcatcher said: ‘Made in honour of the residential schoolchildren who never returned home, by the Pathways Indigenous brothers at CSC Joyceville Minimum Institution.’
The power of collaboration: CAC provides learning opportunities to a wide-range of community partners
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) benefits from nearly 4000 volunteers, which includes 300 dedicated members of CSC's Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs). CSC is required by legislation to have a CACs at every institution and parole office across the country, who are the “eyes and ears” of their communities. This partnership provides CSC an opportunity to raise community awareness of our mandate as well as build trust and accountability with the public we serve.
CSC: Protecting People and the Environment
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.
Development of the CSC Badge: A History of Pride
In the 1970s, Canada’s criminal justice system underwent a massive reorganization. Perhaps the most profound change came with the merger of the Canadian Penitentiary Service and the National Parole Service (not the same organization as the current Parole Board of Canada). The goal of this new, combined agency was to enable more continuity in correctional planning. By the fall of 1977, the merger was complete and, for a short time, this new agency was known as the Canadian Corrections Service (CCS).
CORCAN Team Helping Veterans’ House in Ottawa
Veterans’ House is a 40-bed facility that was opened by the Multifaith Housing Initiative in Ottawa in February 2021. As outlined on the organization’s website, this is the first community house built for homeless veterans and the pioneering project specifically targets the needs of the rising number of homeless veterans who are "living rough" in Ottawa.
A modern day warrior
Danny Bruno’s Lakeland College experience inspires him to make a difference every day. As a carpentry instructor for The Indigenous Offender Employment Project at the Pê Sâkâstêw Centre, a minimum-security correctional facility, in Mâskwâcîs, Alta. (90 kilometres south of Edmonton), Bruno is equipping ‘adult learners’ with usable skills to transition from incarceration to the working world.
Indigenous Programs Building project at La Macaza Institution receives award for Engagement and Partnerships with Indigenous Peoples
From the air, it looks like a soaring eagle. From the ground, the Indigenous Programs Building at La Macaza Institution is an ideal melding of Indigenous cultural and rehabilitative services for incarcerated people.
The unconventional approach for the unconventional learner
A healthy lifestyle is essential for everyone. Not surprisingly, a CSC fitness program that promotes a healthy lifestyle is helping incarcerated individuals improve not only their physical health, but their mental and social well-being.
An innovative partnership with BUILD INC
CSC is always exploring new types of partnerships and innovative solutions that can contribute to offenders’ rehabilitation and help them find and maintain employment in the community.
Recognizing Carole Eldridge and her unique approach to restorative justice
For 14 years, Carole Eldridge has worked with the Restorative Opportunities (RO) program at the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), providing her clients with compassionate care as a restorative justice practitioner and mediator in cases of serious crime. She has walked the path with both victims and offenders on their journey towards dialogue and meaningful accountability. We recently sat down with Carole following her retirement to discuss the RO program and her exceptional work.