Correctional Service Canada

Correctional Service Canada

January 18, 2017 10:13 ET

Long-time volunteer awarded for years of working with offenders in Toronto community

Mr. Niels Bjelbo presented with the 2016 James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 18, 2017) - The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is pleased to announce the 2016 James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence was presented to Mr. Niels Bjelbo yesterday at a ceremony held at the Keele Community Correctional Centre (CCC) in Toronto.

Mr. Bjelbo first became a volunteer at the Keele CCC driving offenders to and from alcoholics' support meetings. Since becoming the chair of the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) of Keele CCC in 2012, he continues to build relationships between the community and the CCC by talking to neighbouring residents and business owners. In addition, he hosts open houses to give the community the opportunity to tour the CCC and meet its residents, and has planned a beautification project where offenders cleaned and renewed the community.

Several offenders at the Keele CCC have benefited from Mr. Bjelbo's efforts to help them obtain identification documents and find employment. He started a program providing offenders small loans to pay for work boots, uniforms, and transportation. The program sees offenders eventually repay the loans - money that goes to help other offenders find work in the future.

Mr. Bjelbo is a strong advocate and believer in the offender's ability to rehabilitate. His positive nature, care and empathy promote the work of CACs in Toronto and across Canada. Mr. Bjelbo's work preparing offenders for employment, helping with job development and promoting offender involvement in the community is instrumental in encouraging offenders to become law-abiding citizens and creating safer communities.

Quick Facts

  • The James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence is awarded annually to recognize individuals or teams within CACs and/or CSC who inspire with their expressed commitment, drive and leadership in advancing the CAC movement.
  • There are CACs at almost every federal institution and district parole office across Canada. Members are volunteers who come from different cultures and backgrounds, and range from university students to retirees. They support offenders while incarcerated and in the community in moving forward toward a successful reintegration.
  • Established to run every third week of January, this year the CAC Awareness Week takes place from January 15 to 21. The event is intended to increase the impact and visibility of the important role CACs play throughout the correctional process and with CSC.


"I would like to congratulate this year's James A. Murphy CAC Award of Excellence recipient, Mr. Niels Bjelbo. CSC is extremely grateful for the tireless efforts, advice and support given to us by CACs across the country. Their contribution is instrumental in creating safer institutions and ensuring public safety results for Canadians."

Don Head, Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada

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