Correctional Service of Canada

Correctional Service of Canada

May 02, 2007 15:42 ET

Correctional Service of Canada: Inmates and Officers Partner in a Continuum of Care

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, NI-MIIKANA--(CCNMatthews - May 2, 2007) - Five years later, inmates view Correctional Officers as partners and recognize them for their day to day work.

On May 8th, between 1-4 pm, staff and inmates at Stony Mountain Institution will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Ni-Miikana. More than just an anniversary celebration, this day will mark an inmate tribute to the work and commitment of staff. Media guests are invited to attend and take part in this celebration and presentation where interviews and photo/film can be arranged.

In 2002, the Correctional Service of Canada implemented a Pilot Project, one aimed at more effectively addressing the unique needs of Aboriginal offenders. Aboriginal Healing Ranges were developed in three institutions across Canada, one of which was Stony Mountain Institution (SMI). With a blank canvas and a goal to enhance the interventions available to Aboriginal offenders, Ni-Miikana ("My Road" in Ojibway) embarked modestly toward this end.

Today, nearing the five year anniversary of the first step in this journey, Ni-Miikana has become a bridge, forming a continuum of care for offenders through the partnership with Healing Lodges, Rockwood Institution and the Community in both urban and rural settings. Ni-Miikana has expanded to over twice its initial size, to its current 78 bed capacity with 62 on the wait list, to accommodate a growing need and interest in this way of life. This expansion includes inmates with mental health needs, and has achieved what many would not have thought possible, an environment where inmates view Correctional Officers as partners in their journeys. To show how Ni-Miikana has evolved, in 2002/03 there were 10 placements/transfers to healing lodges or minimum security; in 2006/07 there were 99 placements/transfers to healing lodges to healing lodges or minimum security from Ni-Miikana.

Please contact Aimee Fortier at 344-5111 ext 5636 in order to make advance arrangements for attendance, photos and/or interviews.

Contact Information

  • Correctional Service of Canada
    Aimee Fortier
    A/Unit Manager, Stony Mountain Institution
    (204) 344-5111 ext 5636