Make a difference: Become a primary worker/kimisinaw

What is a primary worker/kimisinaw

Primary workers (PW) are front line personnel in federal women’s correctional institutions.
Their role is to support women offenders to:

They are responsible for both security and case management duties:

Note: The kimisinaw (Cree word for older sister) works specifically at the Okimaw Ohci Aboriginal Healing Lodge for Women Offenders in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.

Profile of women offenders

Women offendersEndnote i:

Many women offenders have:

Qualities required of a primary worker/kimisinaw

A primary worker must:

Benefits and challenges of being a primary worker/kimisinawEndnote ii

Benefits Challenges
Opportunity to make a difference in the lives of women offenders Working and intervening with offenders who have complex needs
Competitive salary ($70,958 to $89,068) and excellent benefits Managing security threat groups (that is, gangs)
Possibility to transfer between sites Potential need to diffuse violent situations
Opportunities for advancement Shiftwork associated with a 24/7 environment, and the need to work some weekends and holidays
Variety, every day is different! Managing a balance between building a rapport with an offender for casework vs enforcing security expectations

What training involves

Correctional Training Program (CTP)

Stage one: Online training

Stage two: Online pre-session assignments and material

Stage three: In-class at CSC National Training Academy (Kingston, PEI or other location) (paid)

Where primary workers/kimisinaw work

Primary workers work in:Endnote iv

The working environment

Grand Valley Institution (GVI)
Grand Valley Institution (GVI)
Kitchener, ON
Offender capacity: 215
Joliette Institution (JI)
Joliette Institution (JI)
Joliette, QC
Offender capacity: 132
Nova Institution
Nova Institution
Truro, NS
Offender capacity: 99
Edmonton Institution for Women (EIFW)
Edmonton Institution for Women (EIFW)
Edmonton, AB
Offender capacity: 167
Fraser Valley Institution (FVI)
Fraser Valley Institution (FVI)
Abbotsford, BC
Offender capacity: 112
Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge (OOHL)
Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge (OOHL)
Maple Creek, SK
Offender capacity: 60

Where you would fit in

Caption: The organizational structure in an institution, showing where primary workers are in the hierarchy

The warden is the most senior management position within an Institution. The deputy warden reports to the warden. A team of correctional managers report to the assistant warden operations. Each team of primary workers reports to a correctional manager.

What happens when the shift begins

What posts primary workers/kimisinaws occupy

Principal entrance

Admissions and discharge

Monitoring offenders on suicide watch

Escorting offenders

Main communication control post (MCCP)

Visits and correspondence (V&C)

Intensive Intervention Strategy (IIS)

Posts requiring specialized training

What is the hiring process

These links provide further information on the hiring process:


Main highlights:

Guiding principles of women’s corrections

The five guiding principles of women’s corrections, as established by Creating Choices: The Report of the Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women (1990) are:

For more information on the history of women’s corrections and Creating Choices visit:

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