Working Together Brochure

Working Together
Citizen Advisory Committees
to the Correctional Service of Canada

Citizen Advisory Committees

Mission of the Citizen Advisory Committees

Citizen Advisory Committees, through voluntary participation in the Canadian federal correctional process, contribute to public safety by actively interacting with staff of the Correctional Service of Canada, the public and offenders, providing impartial advice and recommendations, thereby contributing to the quality of the correctional process.

As part of the criminal justice system, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is the federal agency responsible for the administration of sentences, the management of correctional facilities, and the supervision of offenders serving sentences of two or more years. Because all offenders come from the community, and most will eventually return there, their successful reintegration requires community acceptance and support. This opens the door for citizens to become involved in the correctional system in order to help shape their communities.

Communities and their citizens have an important role to play in the Canadian criminal justice system.

Since their initial inception in 1965, and subsequent recognition through the Parliamentary Sub-Committee Report on Federal Penitentiaries (1977), these committees have helped to inform communities about the correctional process and contribute to the overall development of correctional facilities and programs. There are approximately 500 citizens who are active in the Citizen Advisory Committee program, with close to 100 CACs across Canada. Currently, almost all of the federal institutions and district parole offices have a Citizen Advisory Committee.

Citizen Advisory Committees' values

  • We believe that public safety must be the paramount consideration in the correctional process.
  • We respect the dignity of individuals, the rights of all members of society, and the potential for human growth and development.
  • We believe in the right of all citizens to become informed participants in the correctional process.
  • We believe that offenders have the potential to live as law-abiding citizens.
  • We believe that the community has a responsibility to facilitate the reintegration of the offender into society.
  • We believe that the effective operation of all Citizen Advisory Committees throughout Canada is essential in managing the Correctional Service of Canada with openness and integrity.

Citizen Advisory Committees' goals

  • To promote public knowledge and understanding of corrections through communication among offenders, CSC staff, and the public.
  • To contribute to the overall development of correctional facilities and programs.
  • To foster public participation in the correctional process.
  • To participate in developing community resources designed to support correctional programs.
  • To act as impartial observers.
  • To positively contribute to the development and implementation of new policies and programs through meaningful consultation.

Community Participation

With a keen interest in positively contributing to the correctional process, Citizen Advisory Committees provide a means for the community to represent and express itself in the core work of the Correctional Service of Canada.

Through their voluntary participation in the Canadian correctional process, which is guided by their Mission and Values, Citizen Advisory Committees provide:

Advice - CACs provide advice to CSC management on the development, implementation, and operation of correctional facilities and about their impact on surrounding communities. CAC members fulfill this role by regularly visiting correctional facilities, and meeting with offenders, local union representatives, and with CSC management and employees.

Impartial Observers - CAC members act as impartial observers of the day-to-day operations of CSC. They help CSC evaluate and monitor the provision of adequate care, supervision, and programs for offenders, in accordance with stated values, legislation, and approved regulations and procedures such as CSC's Mission and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. CACs also act as impartial observers during institutional crises. This helps demonstrate CSC's commitment to openness, integrity, and accountability.

Liaison - By acting as a link between communities and CSC, CACs educate the public about CSC, address public concerns, and build support for the correctional process. They also provide CSC management, at institutions and parole offices, a community perspective on institutional, operational, and policy decisions. They educate the local community on correctional objectives and programs; develop and implement means to enhance communication with the local community; and generally contribute and encourage public participation in the correctional process.


  • CACs reflect, as much as possible, the ethnic, gender, socio-economic, and cultural diversity of the community and endeavour to be the "public presence" in corrections.
  • CAC members are local citizens who volunteer their time with the goal of making a difference in the criminal justice system.
  • CAC members are independent from the management of CSC and are not paid for their services.
  • CAC members are appointed for a minimum three-year period, which may be renewed.
  • Following the submission of an application, potential CAC members will be subject to an orientation and recommendation process prior to being appointed.
  • CACs' role as a community partner is administered through the Correctional Service of Canada, which is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Public Safety.


If you would like to become involved or would like more information about Citizen Advisory Committees or about Correctional Service Canada, please contact your nearest CSC office or visit

Mission of the Correctional Service of Canada

The Correctional Service of Canada, as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.

Correctional Service of Canada

National Headquarters

340 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P9
Email: GEN-NHQ Citizen Engagement des Citoyens

Regional Headquarters
RHQ - Atlantic

1045 Main Street
2nd Floor
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1C 1H1
Phone: (506) 851-6313

RHQ - Quebec

4 Place Laval
Suite 400
Laval, Quebec
H7N 5Y3
Phone: (450) 972-7768

RHQ - Ontario

443 Union Street
P.O. Box 1174
Kingston, Ontario 
K7L 4Y8
Phone: (613) 536-4527

RHQ - Prairies

3427 Faithfull Ave
Saskatoon, Saskatoon
S7K 8H6
PO Box 9223
Saskatoon SK
S7K 3X5
Phone: (306) 659-9300

RHQ - Pacific

100-33991 Gladys Avenue
Abbotsford, British Columbia
V2S 2E8
Phone: (604) 870-2500