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

Maximum-security institutions aim to prepare inmates for a medium-security environment. Although inmate movement throughout the institution is tightly controlled, inmates are encouraged to be actively engaged in their correctional plan. This can include correctional programs, employment activities, and education programs. In this institution, cells are equipped with a bed and desk fastened to the wall and floor. There is a personal sink and toilet in each cell.

Food Services

Meals for cart serviceFood services differ depending on the institution and security level. At many maximum-security institutions, inmates typically receive their meals through cart service. This means that all meals are brought to the range and passed along to inmates who eat in their individual cells. Other times, as in most medium-security institutions, inmates eat in a cafeteria. CSC also provides custom meals to inmates with specific dietary needs. This may include specific religious, or medical needs, as well as needs based on strongly held moral beliefs. Tailoring food services to each institution’s needs and population is one way to provide a safe and secure environment for both staff and inmates. Meals comply with Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating and the Dietary Reference Intakes for Canadians.

Institutional Routine

Institutions follow a daily routine. Here is an example of what a typical weekday schedule might look like:

  • 06:45 – Inmate count
  • 07:00 – Breakfast
  • 08:00 – Go to program, work or return to cell
  • 11:45 – Return to cell or range for inmate count and lunch
  • 13:00 – Go to program, work or return to cell
  • 15:15 – Return to cell or range for inmate count and dinner
  • 16:00 – Inmate Count
  • 16:30 – Dinner
  • 18:00 – Go to recreation, cultural events, self-help groups, etc.
  • 22:30 – Inmate count
  • 23:00 – Lock-up and lights out

Inmate counts and security patrols take place several times a day, without interrupting the schedule. During the night, Correctional Officers complete regular patrols to ensure inmates are safe and in their cells.