CSC Transformation Agenda

In 2008, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) launched an ambitious Transformation Agenda to enhance public safety for Canadians.

Through a number of initiatives, CSC is becoming a more efficient and effective correctional system, better equipped to manage a diverse and complex offender population.

CSC’s Transformation Agenda focuses on five key themes:

1. Enhancing offender accountability

Responsibility and accountability for safe reintegration must be shared between CSC and offenders. CSC is taking several steps to ensure offenders actively participate in their correctional plan and demonstrate positive pro-social behaviour. For its part, CSC provides opportunities for rehabilitative engagement and motivational support.

In addition, CSC is strengthening the inmate discipline process and adding more structure to the institutional routine to ensure offenders fully use their time to address factors that lead to their incarceration.

2. Eliminating drugs from institutions

Stopping the flow of drugs means safer institutions for staff, the offenders and the public.

Creating a safer environment helps offenders concentrate on work, programs and other interventions identified in their correctional plans, and assists with successful return to the community.

To help eliminate the flow of drugs entering its institutions, CSC is implementing a consistent national approach to managing the principal entrances and vehicle service entrances. New search and surveillance technology, such as additional drug detector dog teams, have been added to allow for improved screening and detection.

These measures directly support efforts to create a safe and secure environment where offenders can focus on rehabilitation.

3. Enhancing correctional programs and employment skills of offenders

Incarceration alone does not produce the long-term changes that many offenders require to lead productive, law-abiding lives in the community. Correctional programs, in institutions and in the community, are essential to help bring about positive changes in behaviour.

Through the Transformation Agenda, CSC is building on its history as a leader in the development and delivery of programs.

CSC is streamlining case management processes and maximizing program capacity to help ensure offenders access the programs they need.

As CSC is developing and implementing a framework for transforming the Service's approach to educating offenders, it is also expanding employment and employability and vocational training initiatives in institutions and the community. Particular focus is being placed on increasing opportunities for Aboriginal offenders and women offenders.

4. Modernizing physical infrastructure

Maintaining appropriate infrastructure that fits the needs of a first-class, modern correctional system is key to public safety.

On April 19, 2012, the Government announced it will close operations at two sites: Kingston Penitentiary and the Regional Treatment Centre in Kingston, Ontario; and Leclerc Institution in Laval, Quebec.

These are aging facilities with infrastructure that does not lend itself well to the challenges of managing the institutional routines of today's complex offender population.

The decommissioning of this aging infrastructure will enable CSC to achieve cost savings while ensuring public safety.

Meanwhile, CSC has been working diligently to add more than 2,700 beds to men's and women's facilities across Canada. These institutional expansions will allow for improved alternatives for offender population management while providing a more effective, efficient and sustainable physical infrastructure.

5. Strengthening community corrections

Most of Canada's federal offenders serve only part of their sentences in institutions. The remainder of their time is served in the community, where they adhere to certain conditions and are supervised by Parole Officers. The work of gradually releasing offenders, ensuring that they do not present a threat to anyone, and helping them adjust to life beyond institutional walls is called community corrections.

Such work is essential because experience has shown that most offenders are more likely to become law-abiding citizens if they participate in a program of gradual, supervised release.

Through the Transformation Agenda, CSC is improving how it supervises offenders serving sentences in the community. Programs and services such as mental health have also been enhanced. A Community Corrections Strategy, which focuses on responding to the needs of Aboriginal offenders, women offenders and offenders with mental health issues, is now being developed.

Resources for community corrections have been increased, additional measures to protect staff safety are being implemented and CSC is fostering positive relationships with community partners to support safe communities.