Inmates at Stony Mountain Institution create Festival du Voyageur parking kiosk

Inmates at Stony Mountain Institution stand beside the parking kiosk they built for Festival du Voyageur. (Source: Facebook/Correctional Service of Canada)

Inmates at Stony Mountain Institution are gaining valuable skills behind bars, and have offered up a recent piece of work to Festival du Voyageur.

Correctional Service Canada said it took approximately three weeks for the inmates to build a parking kiosk, which was donated to be used at Voyageur Park. It said the project happened through CORCAN, which is a special operating agency that provides employment and employability skills training, interventions, and services to offenders in federal correctional institutions.

CSC said it provides certified vocational training in a variety of areas linked to labour market needs, giving offenders the experience they need for employment upon release.

This project, in particular, was part of the Indigenous Offender Employment Initiative at Stony Mountain Institution.

Under the supervision of CORCAN instructors, the CSC said offenders were able to develop various construction skills in the areas of framing, insulation, vapour barrier, door and windows installation, painting, roofing, and siding.

“The most challenging aspect of the project was installing the Croute siding, an especially labor-intensive task, but it was an important element in keeping with the theme of the Voyageur Park,” said a spokesperson, in an email to CTV News.

CSC said inmates used skills they previously learned in the Introduction to Residential Construction Program, which helps them prepare for employment in the construction industry.

The spokesperson said several other projects have been completed through the CORCAN Construction program at Stony Mountain, including ready to move homes, sheds, and renovations at the minimum security unit.

CORCAN also works with community colleges, construction trade unions, and other partners to ensure the training offenders receive is certified and recognized by the industry, to improve their ability to find jobs upon release.