Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
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Slo
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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Slo » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:53 pm

Got the call today that I was successful in my interview. So I am also curious if the background check (and anything else) has already been completed?? Wanting to know that if I pass the Medical am I 'good to go'? Training I know is up to me...what I fret a bit about is the things I don't really have a say in (background checks, medicals, etc.).

This whole thing is becoming a lot more real now...so I want to know just how confident I should be that this will happen now that my written and interview have been passed??

Will be making an appointment for the Medical shortly. What does this involve anyway? Just curious....


Today was a good day... :thumbsup:

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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Gaoler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:49 am

i heard the inmates/offenders run the prison in the federdal pen system. is this true? and there are 3 to 4 staff per unit for every 20 inmates. apparently the unit staff members are in an enclosed bubble/office.

if the staff decided to charge an i/m for breach of the csc rules, does the staff get backed up by the supervisors and mgmt?
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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Slo » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:52 am

Gaoler wrote:i heard the inmates/offenders run the prison in the federdal pen system. is this true? and there are 3 to 4 staff per unit for every 20 inmates. apparently the unit staff members are in an enclosed bubble/office.

if the staff decided to charge an i/m for breach of the csc rules, does the staff get backed up by the supervisors and mgmt?


I'm only in the hiring process and I find this kind of laughable. "run the prison"??

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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Gaoler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:04 am

Slo wrote:
Gaoler wrote:i heard the inmates/offenders run the prison in the federdal pen system. is this true? and there are 3 to 4 staff per unit for every 20 inmates. apparently the unit staff members are in an enclosed bubble/office.

if the staff decided to charge an i/m for breach of the csc rules, does the staff get backed up by the supervisors and mgmt?


I'm only in the hiring process and I find this kind of laughable. "run the prison"??


hi slo, i suggest u ask around. i work in the provincial system (not the best, but not the worst either)........everything i have ever heard about csc has been that the inmates "run the prison", not the CO's. is it laughable? if it was the case, then i agree. the cdn judicial system (or the lack of) doesn't have any backbone to treat the prisoners the way the are supposed to be treated. the prison system (youth, prov, and fed) here are becoming "club fed".
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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Slo » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:44 am

Gaoler wrote:
Slo wrote:
Gaoler wrote:i heard the inmates/offenders run the prison in the federdal pen system. is this true? and there are 3 to 4 staff per unit for every 20 inmates. apparently the unit staff members are in an enclosed bubble/office.

if the staff decided to charge an i/m for breach of the csc rules, does the staff get backed up by the supervisors and mgmt?


I'm only in the hiring process and I find this kind of laughable. "run the prison"??


hi slo, i suggest u ask around. i work in the provincial system (not the best, but not the worst either)........everything i have ever heard about csc has been that the inmates "run the prison", not the CO's. is it laughable? if it was the case, then i agree. the cdn judicial system (or the lack of) doesn't have any backbone to treat the prisoners the way the are supposed to be treated. the prison system (youth, prov, and fed) here are becoming "club fed".


In any Institution the inmates outnumber the CO's....so if they really wanted to do something, of course they can (and have). But in the grand scheme of things I don't believe (from all I have read and been told) that the inmates "run the prison".

I have talked with several CSC employees and they all tell me that isn't the case. One recently told me that after over 20 years on the job he has had to be physical with an inmate once. Once in over 20 years.

Like I said...I'm only in the hiring process....I have researched as much as I can, and I think the statement that the inmates "run the prison" is absurd. Could they? If organized maybe....I don't know. I'll anxiously await to hear some seasoned CO's opinions on this.

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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby SupahDuck » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:47 am

Gaoler wrote:i heard the inmates/offenders run the prison in the federdal pen system. is this true? and there are 3 to 4 staff per unit for every 20 inmates. apparently the unit staff members are in an enclosed bubble/office.

if the staff decided to charge an i/m for breach of the csc rules, does the staff get backed up by the supervisors and mgmt?


Don't believe everything you hear...... ESPECIALLY when it comes to the federal corrections system. If anyone starts throwing around inmate/staff ratios, and comments about "enclosed" this and "secure" that, they're talking out their ass.

First things first: we have 57 facilities, and each one is unique in terms of architecture, cell layout, security practices and age.

What works at one institution will most certainly not work at another..... that's pretty much a rule in CSC.

One can only make the broadest of general statements about inmate to staff ratios: because a maximum security facility involves a higher level of control and security, by extension it will need a larger number of staff for the same number of inmates, as opposed to a medium or minimum security facility.

For example, at Kingston Pen, there are roughly 400 inmates at any one time, and we have ~290 CX officers on the roster (of course, not all will be at work at the same time). On each range at KP, we have anywhere from 30 to 35 cells. When walking a range, it's one officer with a radio and PPA in the secure office, UNARMED, and two officers walk the range, sometimes with all 35 inmates out. When the range is not being walked, it's one officer in the secure office, running the show. All doors are the ancient open bar design, and while they can be released electronically, they have to be shut by hand, by an officer.

Contrast that with Millhaven, where the secure office is fully armed, and run by two officers, and where walks are mostly done once the inmates are locked in their cells. Electrically powered solid steel slide doors, run from the secure office.

Two max's, same province, COMPLETELY different worlds.

As for cons running the jail, let me just answer that by saying that corrections is a pragmatic business, and it's a business of risk management. How much money do we spend, to get X amount of security in return?

Sure, we can move only one inmate at a time to healthcare, and keep them cuffed, but how long will it take to move all 70+ cons who need meds three times a day, doing it that way? Sure you can take away all the sugar-containing items from their canteen (so they can't make brew), but we still give them enough in their daily meals.

It's a delicate balancing act, knowing when to pick your battles. And in the better-run prisons that I've seen, there's an ongoing dialogue with the Inmate Committee, where at least they have a chance to voice their concerns collectively, and the institutional management can then respond in kind. It's also an effective way of the institution negotiating when things are getting worse.... the Committee can intervene and assist.

If nothing else, Corrections is a murky sea of grey ambiguity. Not the black & white of cops & robbers. If it were that simple, we would hire security monkeys to turn the keys and press the buttons. Corrections these days (whether provincial or federal) is far more challenging, complex and interesting, given the many challenges we are facing. Which is why I enjoy it as a career.

As for management backing you up on charges? Ask a hundred officers about that, and you'll get a hundred different viewpoints. Most of my charges that I've submitted were fully supported and encouraged by the Keepers and Unit Managers..... unfortunately sometimes they were tossed on technicalities, but that's more a procedural thing. All the important ones stuck. :thumbsup:
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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby SupahDuck » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:58 am

Slo wrote:In any Institution the inmates outnumber the CO's....so if they really wanted to do something, of course they can (and have). But in the grand scheme of things I don't believe (from all I have read and been told) that the inmates "run the prison".


To reiterate from my previous post, using the KP example: when those two officers are walking down range with 35 inmates all out of their cells eating lunch, and only one officer with a radio and PPA in the office, the only reason that you and your partner walk off that range alive is because the inmates let you. At any one time, there are easily 5 to 6 stabbing weapons within easy reach of the inmates, and if you're at the back of the range, you've got about 80 feet to run to get off the range.

Yes, we have stab-resistant vests, and now we have OC spray on our belts, but it's still a numbers game. How long can you fend for yourself in the middle of a scrum until the "wall of blue" comes charging to assist you? If an inmate sucker-punches you from behind, how will you (or your partner) react, if you're not knocked out?

How about if an inmate slices your carotid or femoral artery? There's not a whole hell of a lot ANYONE can do for you then except hold your hand as you bleed out. (Not that it's happened, but the very real risk is there).

At the end of the day, like I said, it's risk management.

We control the walls, the perimeter, the doors, the guns, the electricity and water, and the air (via OC and CS gas). The odds are greatly stacked in our favour, thankfully. But don't kid yourself...... things can go south in a heartbeat, with you caught in the middle, and you need to be personally and professionally prepared to do what it takes to survive, and ensure your partner gets out with you. That's where your training and situational awareness comes in..... and just plain using your head.

Nothing replaces street smarts when it comes to working in a jail. :alright:
It's easier to be a result of the past, but more fun to be a cause of the future.

"The key problem is those people who take it personal. Never take shit personal in the enforcement business." - Toonces, Blueline Super-Ultra-Mega Poobah

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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby squarestar » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:12 pm

Excellent post by SupahDuck. Thank you very much.
As Striker suggested on the very first post of this thread, read ->
'Con Game: The Truth about Canada's Prisons' by Michael Harris.
I'm not a law enforcement officer but this book provided a lot of explanation for me as to
why the criminal justice system in Canada runs the way it does.
I'd encourage it as a must read for any aspired applicants.

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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Gaoler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:45 pm

SupahDuck wrote:
Slo wrote:In any Institution the inmates outnumber the CO's....so if they really wanted to do something, of course they can (and have). But in the grand scheme of things I don't believe (from all I have read and been told) that the inmates "run the prison".


To reiterate from my previous post, using the KP example: when those two officers are walking down range with 35 inmates all out of their cells eating lunch, and only one officer with a radio and PPA in the office, the only reason that you and your partner walk off that range alive is because the inmates let you. At any one time, there are easily 5 to 6 stabbing weapons within easy reach of the inmates, and if you're at the back of the range, you've got about 80 feet to run to get off the range.

Yes, we have stab-resistant vests, and now we have OC spray on our belts, but it's still a numbers game. How long can you fend for yourself in the middle of a scrum until the "wall of blue" comes charging to assist you? If an inmate sucker-punches you from behind, how will you (or your partner) react, if you're not knocked out?

How about if an inmate slices your carotid or femoral artery? There's not a whole hell of a lot ANYONE can do for you then except hold your hand as you bleed out. (Not that it's happened, but the very real risk is there).

At the end of the day, like I said, it's risk management.

We control the walls, the perimeter, the doors, the guns, the electricity and water, and the air (via OC and CS gas). The odds are greatly stacked in our favour, thankfully. But don't kid yourself...... things can go south in a heartbeat, with you caught in the middle, and you need to be personally and professionally prepared to do what it takes to survive, and ensure your partner gets out with you. That's where your training and situational awareness comes in..... and just plain using your head.

Nothing replaces street smarts when it comes to working in a jail. :alright:


hi supaduck, slo and all,

pls understand that i was not be-littling the fed system. i recognize that prov. jails have similar issues. agreed on issues such as officer safety and the non-black/white, but grey area in prisons. i really dont want to see that it's about picking ur battles because i believe that rules are there to be enforced. it's hard to pick and chose what to enforce and what not to. i think one can enforce all the rules and still not be black and white. getting compliance results is more important.

also agreed on every centre operates differently. as for the staff:i/m ratio, i dont think it's "talking out of ass" because it's a numbers game for all CO's. when there are more of them vs us, we are at a disadvantage, no matter what equipment we got. in the prov. system, units are on avg 40 to 1. some centres run 60 to 1 and there's talk on 72 to 1 in the future. the recommended ratio is 18:1, obviously that's far from the norm now.

yes, we are at their mercy to a certain extend, but we need to have a strong control behind these walls. there's only so much these walls can do. rest is up to us.
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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Gaoler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:45 pm

SupahDuck wrote:
Slo wrote:In any Institution the inmates outnumber the CO's....so if they really wanted to do something, of course they can (and have). But in the grand scheme of things I don't believe (from all I have read and been told) that the inmates "run the prison".


To reiterate from my previous post, using the KP example: when those two officers are walking down range with 35 inmates all out of their cells eating lunch, and only one officer with a radio and PPA in the office, the only reason that you and your partner walk off that range alive is because the inmates let you. At any one time, there are easily 5 to 6 stabbing weapons within easy reach of the inmates, and if you're at the back of the range, you've got about 80 feet to run to get off the range.

Yes, we have stab-resistant vests, and now we have OC spray on our belts, but it's still a numbers game. How long can you fend for yourself in the middle of a scrum until the "wall of blue" comes charging to assist you? If an inmate sucker-punches you from behind, how will you (or your partner) react, if you're not knocked out?

How about if an inmate slices your carotid or femoral artery? There's not a whole hell of a lot ANYONE can do for you then except hold your hand as you bleed out. (Not that it's happened, but the very real risk is there).

At the end of the day, like I said, it's risk management.

We control the walls, the perimeter, the doors, the guns, the electricity and water, and the air (via OC and CS gas). The odds are greatly stacked in our favour, thankfully. But don't kid yourself...... things can go south in a heartbeat, with you caught in the middle, and you need to be personally and professionally prepared to do what it takes to survive, and ensure your partner gets out with you. That's where your training and situational awareness comes in..... and just plain using your head.

Nothing replaces street smarts when it comes to working in a jail. :alright:


hi supaduck, slo and all,

pls understand that i was not be-littling the fed system. i recognize that prov. jails have similar issues. agreed on issues such as officer safety and the non-black/white, but grey area in prisons. i really dont want to see that it's about picking ur battles because i believe that rules are there to be enforced. it's hard to pick and chose what to enforce and what not to. i think one can enforce all the rules and still not be black and white. getting compliance results is more important.

also agreed on every centre operates differently. as for the staff:i/m ratio, i dont think it's "talking out of ass" because it's a numbers game for all CO's. when there are more of them vs us, we are at a disadvantage, no matter what equipment we got. in the prov. system, units are on avg 40 to 1. some centres run 60 to 1 and there's talk on 72 to 1 in the future. the recommended ratio is 18:1, obviously that's far from the norm now.

yes, we are at their mercy to a certain extend, but we need to have a strong control behind these walls. there's only so much these walls can do. rest is up to us.
Gaoler

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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby MedTech » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:01 pm

Gaoler wrote:hi slo, i suggest u ask around. i work in the provincial system (not the best, but not the worst either)........everything i have ever heard about csc has been that the inmates "run the prison", not the CO's."


Huh... remember what we talked about over PM? That Prov and Fed systems are two different animals?

Who did you hear the I/M "run the prison" from?

Gaoler wrote:is it laughable? if it was the case, then i agree. the cdn judicial system (or the lack of) doesn't have any backbone to treat the prisoners the way the are supposed to be treated.


Enlighten me on how they "should" be treated?

Gaoler wrote:the prison system (youth, prov, and fed) here are becoming "club fed".


What's "club fed"?

Your practices in Prov may work for YOU. But I can almost say for certainties that what works for NFPC doesn't work for SPC, and it doesn't work for FRCC.

Opinions are opinions. Until you've walked our tiers, done our jobs like we do them, all you can do is speculate. That's it.
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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Gaoler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:21 pm

MedTech wrote:
Gaoler wrote:hi slo, i suggest u ask around. i work in the provincial system (not the best, but not the worst either)........everything i have ever heard about csc has been that the inmates "run the prison", not the CO's."


Huh... remember what we talked about over PM? That Prov and Fed systems are two different animals?

Who did you hear the I/M "run the prison" from?

Gaoler wrote:is it laughable? if it was the case, then i agree. the cdn judicial system (or the lack of) doesn't have any backbone to treat the prisoners the way the are supposed to be treated.


Enlighten me on how they "should" be treated?

Gaoler wrote:the prison system (youth, prov, and fed) here are becoming "club fed".


What's "club fed"?

Your practices in Prov may work for YOU. But I can almost say for certainties that what works for NFPC doesn't work for SPC, and it doesn't work for FRCC.

Opinions are opinions. Until you've walked our tiers, done our jobs like we do them, all you can do is speculate. That's it.


hello again medtech,
1) agreed that the 2 are different animals. i wasn't trying to stir the pot. i am simply interested in the fed system and wanted to get some facts from the ones who work in it. i was trying to get all sides of stories.

2) i heard from some previous and current cx's in the fed system that the i/ms run the prisons. apparently, i/ms get away with a lot of stuff, as long they dont hurt each other or the staff.

3) treated: offenders/inmates should be treated with basic respect. they are given what they are entitled to, but no extras or shortchange them. clear boundaries are set and enforce them accordingly. we can't treat them like dirt, but i dont agree on all the programmings. i think in our line of work, we must seperate the men from their crimes, but keep their offences in mind for our own safety. after all, we are not there to judge them. (i know that "not judging" is easier said than done.......we are all humans and to be human, we judge each other both consciously and subconsciously).

4)"club fed" - merely a pun, as opposed to "club med". prisons are no cakewalk, but i think that the offenders have it too easy nowadays. agreed on what works for nfpc or spsc may not work for frcc or the vice versa. it's pretty much true of any public or private sectors on all levels.

5) yes, opinions are just that - opionions. i was asking questions for response and i was asked questions by others so i stated my opinions. and yes, i have been speculating, that's why i was asking questions for clarifications. same thing can be said for the prov system for a fed cx coming in, eh?!
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Re: Applying to Correctional Service Canada

Postby Stix » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:31 pm

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Last edited by Stix on Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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