General Information

Background

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) was formed in 1979 through the amalgamation of the Canadian Penitentiary Service and the Parole Board of Canada. Learn more about CSC’s history and background.

CSC is an agency within the Public Safety Portfolio.  The Portfolio brings together key federal agencies dedicated to public safety, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Parole Board of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and three review bodies, including the Office of the Correctional Investigator. Correctional Service Canada reports to Parliament through the Minister of Public Safety.

CSC has the fundamental obligation to contribute to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control. It does this by operating under the rule of law – in particular, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (the CCRA), which provides its legislative framework. The Commissioner of CSC has the authority, extending from the CCRA, to issue directives, procedures and guidelines to carry out the agency’s operations.

CSC also has a variety of directives and procedures to exercise reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.  Learn more about CSC's policy and legislation.

Responsibilities

CSC contributes to public safety by administering court-imposed sentences for offenders sentenced to two years or more. This involves managing institutions (penitentiaries) of various security levels and supervising offenders on different forms of conditional release, while assisting them to become law-abiding citizens. CSC also administers post-sentence supervision of offenders with Long Term Supervision Orders for up to 10 years.

CSC provides services across the country, from large urban centres with their increasingly diverse populations, to remote Inuit communities across the North. CSC manages institutions, mental health treatment centres, Aboriginal healing lodges, community correctional centres and parole offices. In addition, CSC has five regional headquarters that provide management and administrative support and serve as the delivery arm of CSC's programs and services. CSC also manages an addictions research centre, a correctional management learning centre, regional staff colleges and a national headquarters.

Learn more about CSC’s organization.

CORCAN, a Special Operating Agency of CSC, provides work and employability skills training to offenders in institutions in order to enhance job readiness upon their release to communities, and to increase the likelihood of successful reintegration. CORCAN also offers support services at 53 community-based employment locations across Canada to assist offenders on conditional release in securing employment. CORCAN's services are provided through partnership contracts internally (CSC and CORCAN) as well as externally with other government organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and private enterprises.