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BY Suzanne Leclerc, Senior Media Relations Officer, Communications and Citizen Engagement Sector
Photo: Jean-Marc Carisse
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to help Afghanistan become stable and self-sufficient, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is playing a key role in an important prison reconstruction team project in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
On February 2, 2007, Linda Garwood-Filbert, Unit Manager, Stony Mountain Institution and Ric Fecteau, Correctional Supervisor, Edmonton Institution, headed for Afghanistan on a one-year assignment as members of Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). They will provide training and mentoring to staff and prison administrators at Sarpoza Provincial Prison in Kandahar.
Linda and Ric will assist the Afghan Central Prison Department in developing a national prison administration that is responsive to the rule of law and whose operations and practices respect international standards. The project is wholly funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s (DFAIT) Global Peace and Security Fund. Linda and Ric will work closely with PRT colleagues from that department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the Department of National Defence.
This is not a new commitment for CSC. The Service has been present in Afghanistan since 2002 through deployments to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) and has provided culturally relevant advice on everything from prison reconstruction to the creation of policy and practices, staff training, gender issues, and offender programming. In August 2006, Rick Reiman, Area Director, Winnipeg Parole, was seconded to UNAMA for this purpose.
CSC is making an extremely valuable contribution not only to nation-building efforts in Afghanistan, but also other international correctional missions. “Few Canadians know about the excellent work done by CSC around the world bringing stability to the correctional systems of war-torn countries,” commented CSC Commissioner Keith Coulter. “Contributing to the establishment of a sound correctional system that respects international standards of human rights and the rule of law is vital to the development and stability of any civil society.”
CSC has been involved since 2001 in Afghanistan issues with partners in justice sector departments under the strategic direction of DFAIT. The Service undertook pioneering work in Kosovo and developed and managed CSC’s contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire. The Service also maintains individual relationships with other nations and international corrections organizations.
We can be very proud that these professionals have volunteered to help the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country after years of turmoil and upheaval.
For more information on Afghanistan and CSC’s other international engagements, please go to the International link at www.csc-scc.gc.ca. To read a personal account of one CSC employee’s recent contribution and experience in Afghanistan, go to From Kabul to Kandahar in this issue. ♦