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Correctional Service of Canada’s Research Branch Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

One of the most memorable highlights of my career was to be given the privilege of establishing an operational Research Branch within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) – many years ago! At the time, very few correctional agencies had their own research units. I recall how we began to inter-change with our colleagues in the research division of the US Federal Bureau of Prisons – always amicably though not always in agreement! There were also small research units we were aware of in the UK Home Office and in Scotland. But the benefits of having an internal research capacity were not yet broadly recognized by most correctional agencies. Encouragingly, that situation has changed and many progressive correctional agencies now have their own research units. I like to think that is the case at least in some small measure because of the leadership shown by the Correctional Service of Canada in promoting research to inform evidence-based practice.

After I left government to pursue the consulting phase of my career, stewardship of the CSC research branch fell to my colleague and friend, now also active member of our ICPA R&D Network, Dr. Larry Motiuk. The branch kept attracting some wonderful research talent which Larry was able to mobilize into what remains, in my view, the most prolific, relevant, and innovative research branch of any correctional agency in the world. The branch recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. It is bigger, more productive and more operationally influential than ever – a fact the attached Year in Review brings home indisputably.

I extend my own congratulations to Dr. Motiuk, and to all of the dedicated researchers who have worked over the years within CSC to elevate research to its rightful and respected position for Advancing Corrections!

I trust many of the readers of our Website and e-Bulletin will find the attached Year in Review useful and informative. It is a model for sharing research initiated by correctional agencies and I welcome receiving other similar summaries from other research units around the world so that we can then distribute and share with our ICPA community. To quote the introduction to CSC’s Year in Review – ‘As we continue to expand our correctional knowledge base, the new challenge becomes consistently building on previous work and effectively managing, organizing, consolidating and communicating research amassed over the years’. Our ICPA R&D Network I believe can help deal with this new challenge.



Published on: 19/06/2019

Author: Dr. Frank Porporino, Ph.D., Chair of the ICPA Research and Development Network and Editor of Advancing Corrections