Beyond the Fence: A virtual tour of a Canadian penitentiary - Maximum-security range

Maximum-security control post.Maximum-security institutions are secure and controlled environments. The buildings are within a secure perimeter, and armed correctional officers are posted in towers or other strategic surveillance locations.

Some clustered sites have both maximum- and medium-security units within one institution. Here we are at Collins Bay Institution, located in Kingston, Ontario. These units have ranges with an upper and lower tier, separated with barriers from the armed control center. Correctional Officers monitor and control all movement on the range.

The schedules that govern an inmate’s day-to-day routine are very strict. Inmates participate in correctional programs, employment activities and education programs tailored to support their rehabilitation.

Control Post

The ranges in a maximum-security institution are under constant supervision. Correctional Officers oversee all inmate activity from an armed gallery with a view of every cell on the range. Movement throughout the maximum-security area is restricted and controlled.


Segregation is used to ensure the safety of inmates, staff and visitors. There are two types of segregation used by CSC: Administrative and Disciplinary.

  • Administrative segregation is used to separate an inmate from the inmate population. It is not a form of punishment. Specific legal requirements must be met to place an inmate in segregation. Every effort is made to return the inmate back to their routine as soon as possible. Under the law, segregated inmates have the right to legal counsel without delay. Formal reviews following placement or admission decisions take place on a regular and continual basis; the first takes place within five working days. Further reviews are held at least once every thirty days while the inmate remains segregated.Segregation area

  • When using disciplinary segregation, an inmate who is found guilty of a serious institutional offence can be segregated for a maximum of thirty days. The disciplinary system works to encourage inmates to act in a manner that promotes the good order of the institution.

CSC takes the care of segregated inmates seriously. Inmates may interact with other individuals including staff and visitors. They may also be allowed to have structured contact with other inmates in the segregation unit. They have access to certain personal effects, showers, daily exercise, and both physical and mental health care.