Correctional Service Canada
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Correctional Service of Canada Profile1

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is an agency of the Portfolio of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, which includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the National Parole Board, and three review bodies. The Portfolio brings together key federal agencies dedicated to public safety. It is designed to address a range of risks to the safety and security of Canadians – from crime affecting the lives of individuals, to natural disasters, terrorism and other threats to national security. The Portfolio allows for a continuum of service delivery – from prevention to response, including, for example, emergency preparedness, crime prevention, border management, emergency response, law enforcement, corrections, and parole. The creation of the portfolio, in 2003, enhances our ability, among other things, to make Canada’s communities safer. CSC contributes directly to this goal.

Within the PSEPC portfolio, CSC plays a key role in maintaining a just, peaceful and safe society and in assisting in the government’s overall agenda of improving the quality of life of Canadians. CSC’s plans and programs are designed to ensure the safe and effective accommodation of offenders and their reintegration into Canadian communities as law-abiding citizens, while reflecting long-standing Canadian values of justice, fairness and respect for human rights.

Working together, we are making a significant contribution to the Government of Canada’s priority to protect its citizens through building safer communities. Research demonstrates that the approach prescribed in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) contributes to public safety. This approach consists of reducing the risk of re-offending through rehabilitation and the gradual release of offenders into the community, when it is most appropriate and safe to do so, while providing effective control, proper supervision and support.

CSC has developed a range of internationally recognized, research-based tools and programs to identify and address the factors that contribute most to an offender’s risk of re-offending. Managing the range of contributing factors is a complex task that requires a multi-disciplinary approach to intervention. CSC staff accomplish this work with diligence and professionalism, working closely with criminal justice partners. To carry out our mandate, CSC seeks to engage and involve citizens as fully as possible, in the development of correctional policies and practices, as volunteers or as partners in providing community support to reduce re-offending and contribute to public safety.

Lastly, to carry out its mandate in 2006–2007, CSC had approximately $1.7 billion in financial resources, seventy-two percent (71.6 %) of which is dedicated to the provision of care and custody of offenders in institutions and in communities, which includes such fixed costs as facilities maintenance and food. The remaining 28.4% is allocated to rehabilitation and case management services, or approximately 77.9% across institutions, 12.6% in the community, and 9.5% for capital.

Scope of Activities

CSC is responsible for administering court-imposed sentences for offenders imprisoned for two years or more. This includes managing institutions of various security levels and supervising offenders under conditional release in the community. CSC also provides post-sentence supervision of offenders with Long-Term Supervision Orders (LTSOs). On any given day, CSC manages approximately 21,100 offenders: 12,700 offenders in institutions and 8,400 offenders serving the remainder of their sentences under supervision in the community. Furthermore, over the course of a year, CSC manages a flow-through of 25,500 different individual offenders.

CSC’s workforce includes two occupational groups that represent over half of all staff employed in operational units. The CX (correctional officer) group comprises 41% of staff, while another 13% are WPs, that is, the group that includes parole and program officers. The balance of CSC’s workforce reflects the variety of skills required to operate institutions and community offices – health care workers, electricians, food service staff, as well as staff providing corporate and administrative functions at the local, regional and national levels.

CSC employs approximately 16,000 staff2 across the country and manages:

  • 58 institutions
  • 16 community correctional centres
  • 71 parole offices
  • 5 regional headquarters and a national headquarters
  • A fleet of approximately 1,150 road vehicles.

As summarized above, CSC has a presence across the country – from large urban centres with their increasingly diverse populations, to remote communities across the North. CSC manages institutions, two treatment centres, Aboriginal healing lodges, community correctional centres and parole offices. It does this through five regional headquarters that provide administrative support and serve as the delivery arms of CSC’s programs and services. It also manages an addictions research centre, a correctional management learning centre, staff colleges and a national headquarters.

CSC also works with non-government organizations that run approximately 200 community-based residential facilities across the country. Specialized correctional services and programs are also provided through a variety of exchange of service agreements with provincial and territorial correctional and justice authorities. CSC also partners with Aboriginal communities to provide custody and supervision of Aboriginal offenders through the establishment of healing lodges and in the development of release plans under sections 81 and 84 of the CCRA.CSC also manages a variety of exchange of service agreements with provincial and territorial correctional and justice authorities and with Aboriginal communities to provide specialized correctional services.


As one component of the larger criminal justice system, CSC works closely with a number of partners, such as other agencies in the Public Safety Portfolio, particularly the National Parole Board, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency. Other key relationships include those with the Department of Justice, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Health Canada, the Correctional Investigator and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Groups such as Citizen Advisory Committees, the Health Care Advisory Committee, the Interfaith Committee, the National Ethnocultural Advisory Committee and the Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committees provide advice and act as a link between communities and CSC. As well, approximately 8,100 volunteers contribute their time by providing essential support through tutoring, visits, sports, and social and spiritual activities.

1Source: Report on Plans and Priorities 2006–07 of the Correctional Service of Canada. For more information, see:

2 This includes active full-time, part-time, term and casual employees, as well as those who may be absent at any given time. Data from December 31, 2005.