History of CSC

The history of corrections in Canada is fascinating and complex. Much has changed over the years: not only the institutions involved but also the principles on which they are run.

This site is filled with information about the places, people, and events that mark our history.

Remembering the past,
honouring our fallen

Since 1835 - and before Canada was a country - thousands of correctional employees dedicated their careers to keeping us safe through their work in federal corrections. In more than 180 years, 34 individuals – two women and 32 men – have given their lives to protect our communities.

Cover of Remembering the past, honouring our fallen

Celebrating the People of CSC - 35 Years of Staff Dedication

This book celebrates the many people of CSC who have moved the organization forward over the course of 35 years. The pictures and stories reflect the spirit of the last three and a half decades, and they honour the many thousands of people who have dedicated themselves to public safety in Canada.

Cover of Celebrating the People of CSC -
35 Years of Staff Dedication

Corrections in Canada:
a historical timeline

Experience the evolution of Canada's correctional system - from the days before penitentiaries right up to the present. Discover how changing times have tranformed the face of this essential part of our justice system.


Saskatchewan Penitentiary Guards, 1913

History of Penitentiaries in Canada

Imprisonment as we know it in Canada today dates back to the building of the Kingston Penitentiary in 1835. Read about the Early Years, institutional reform and expansion and a series of disturbances that lead to a new approach in the management of Canadian correction institutions.

Kingston Penitentiary East Wing, 1892

History of Correctional Service of Canada Uniforms

Standardized uniforms have been part of corrections in Canada for well over a century.

An officer of the British Columbia Penitentiary in
dress uniform or "Sunday Suit", c. 1880

The Correctional Service of Canada Museum

The CSC Museum, located in Kingston, Ontario, houses a fascinating collection of artifacts relative to all aspects of correctional history in Canada.

Correctional Service of Canada Museum,
Kingston, Ontario

Ethnocultural Minorities and the Canadian Correctional System

Dr. Emerson Douyon was a founding member and first chair of the National Ethnocultural Advisory Committee (NEAC) and the Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committees (REAC).
As a volunteer for 17 years with CSC, he helped enhance programs and services for CSC’s culturally diverse offender population. The
CSC Multiculturalism Award was renamed
the Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award.

Ethnocultural Minorities and the Canadian Correctional System

Dr. Douyon offered to write a cultural bridge-building
book on the past, present and future of services and
interventions for Ethnocultural offenders. The book,
Ethnocultural Minorities and the Canadian Correctional System,
was his last project for CSC. In 2016, Dr. Douyon passed away.

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