Volunteer Participation in the Correctional Service of Canada
In What Programs and Services do Volunteers Participate?
Programs and services provided by citizens and volunteer organizations are many and varied. Some of these programs and services include, but are not limited to:
- Education - Tutoring, literacy training, computer skills, creative writing and vocational skills.
- Substance Abuse Programs - Adult Children of Alcoholics group, 7th Step Substance Abuse Program, Al-Anon, Alcohol and Drug Awareness, Alcohol and Narcotic Anonymous workshops.
- Chaplaincy - Providing fellowship, worship services, faith-based activities and interventions such as Circles of Support and Accountability. These volunteers bring a continuity of care from community to institution and back to community. Community chaplains and volunteers are involved in these endeavours.
- Multicultural and Ethnic Programs - Programs for ethnic groups including, for example, Black Brotherhood and Black Sisterhood. Programs and activities for other cultural and religious groups, such as Jewish, Muslim, Asian, Punjabi and others, also exist.
- Native Liaison - Activities intended for our Aboriginal offender population include Spiritual activities such as sweatlodges, healing circles, pow-wows and drum groups. Other activities and groups such as Native Brotherhood, Native Sisterhood, cultural nights, native theatre, round dance, Inuit feast and alcohol and substance abuse programs are also available.
- Health Care - HIV/AIDS awareness, palliative care, suicide prevention.
- Social/Recreation - Sports activities including basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, curling and hockey for example. Other social/recreational activities include theatre groups, quilting groups, public speaking forums, family social events and holiday project events.
- Escorts - Citizens can act as escorts for offenders participating in activities in the community. Such activities include treatment programs (e.g., Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotic Anonymous meetings), construction of playgrounds or other projects in the local community. Volunteers wishing to act as escorts must have first completed a minimum of six months active volunteer participation in other programs prior to participating in escort training.
- Parole Offices - Trained volunteers provide offender classification services, post-sentence reports and provide case-management assistance to parole officers. Under the direction of a parole officer, volunteers with special skills (e.g., mental health professionals, teachers, accountants, etc.) may be assigned to an offender who requires assistance in the volunteer's area of expertise.
- Community Projects - Exceptional People Olympics, fund-raising walks and other activities to benefit initiatives such as the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research and other local projects that benefit the community. Volunteers also assist in research studies and develop guidebooks of community resources.
You can find more information on CSCs Correctional Programs in the Programs section of this site.