Overview

Who we are

CORCAN is a key rehabilitation program of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). It contributes to safe communities by providing offenders with employment and employability skills training while incarcerated in federal penitentiaries, and for brief periods of time, after they are released into the community. This is done through on-the-job and third-party certified vocational training that focuses on our four business lines: Manufacturing, Textiles, Construction, and Services. CORCAN's work supports the social policy of the Government of Canada to safely reintegrate offenders into society in a way that promotes their success as Canadian citizens.

CORCAN is a Special Operating Agency (SOA) within CSC, which allows it to operate in a business-like manner while respecting government policies and regulations. Anyone can purchase CORCAN's products and services, though they are sold primarily to federal government departments, with lesser volumes sold to other levels of government, educational and health care facilities, and non-profit organizations.

All generated revenues are used to fund the program, buying the material and equipment that offenders need to work and learn with, and paying for the training they receive.

A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for overseeing CORCAN's operations in all five regions across the country, as well as National Headquarters. CORCAN's Advisory Board supports CORCAN management by advising on key issues and promoting the value of CORCAN in the community.

Find out more about the history of CORCAN and the evolution of prison industries.

What we do

CORCAN's focus is to assist offenders in becoming employment ready upon release, which in turn supports CSC's mission. This is done through on-the-job and third-party certified vocational training that focuses on our four business lines: Manufacturing, Textiles, Construction, and Services.

As reflected in the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations, CORCAN is legislated to provide offenders with a work environment that strives to mimic private sector standards with respect to productivity and quality while recognizing institutional setting and training imperatives. As such, most CORCAN shops are ISO-certified (International Organization for Standardization), resulting in a realistic work experience, which is deemed to be a more effective rehabilitative experience.

The employment skills that offenders gain through CORCAN include both the soft and hard skills they need to enter the labour market. These include communication skills, teamwork skills, personal skills (dependability, time management, organizational), as well as the technical skills that come with certified and on-the-job training.

CORCAN instructors are experts in their trade and many hold journeyperson designations. While working directly with offenders in the workplace, they serve as powerful role models. They can have a transformative impact on offender behaviour by showing the value of hard work and of producing quality products and services for our customers. Instructors also observe offenders to assess how well they have integrated the skills they have developed through their correctional programs, including employment and employability training.