Contributor(s)Jean-Claude Bernheim / Prison Insider

The penitentiary system

There are 173 provincial and territorial facilities.

The number of penitentiaries varies, depending on the governments’ approach.

In the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) National Form, the Harper government reported a total of 57 facilities in 2011/2012. However, the Report on Planning and Priorities 2011/2012 indicated there were 57 federal penitentiaries, as well as 16 Community Correctional Centres.

In an effort to convey a different approach, the Trudeau government states that there are 43 facilities in the Report on Planning and Priorities for 2016-2017. The Departmental Performance Report 2015/2016 records 43 penitentiaries, as well as 15 Community Correctional Centres. In total, there are six maximum security facilities, nine medium, five minimum and 12 of various levels of security, one of which is super-maximum.

There are nine healing lodges for Aboriginal peoples.

For more information, see the “Organisation of the penitentiary system” section.

There are 17,466 full time staff positions in the federal penitentiaries. The number of employees is, in fact, about 18,000.

There are approximately 7,560 correctional officers. About 1,050 are in charge of conditional releases and programs. CSC staff consists of 47.5 % women (8,550), 9.1 % members of a visible minority group (1,640), 5.2 % persons with disabilities (950) and 9.5% Aboriginal (1,700).

Guards-inmates ratio


Social workers-inmates ratio