03 December 2004
Each year over 10,000 volunteers work with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) helping
offenders reintegrate by bridging the gap between the institution and the community. Volunteers assist offenders to return to the community as law-abiding citizens when they are released.
"International Volunteer Day is an excellent opportunity for all Canadians to acknowledge the hard work and positive impact volunteers have across the country," says Acting Commissioner Don Head. "I'd like to thank all the volunteers who help us by committing their time and expertise to building safe communities and contributing to public safety."
"As a volunteer myself, I know that those who give freely of their time and talents sometimes question the impact they have on offenders," states Dawn Wiltsie, Co-chair, National Volunteer Association. "This is an opportune moment to acknowledge their valuable contribution to the
men and women they walk with on their journey back to the community. On behalf of the National Volunteer Association, we salute them."
Volunteer participation in CSC makes a significant difference in the lives of staff, offenders, and the community. Community support is essential to the safe reintegration of offenders, since most are serving fixed sentences and will eventually return to their communities. Studies have shown that the period of greatest likelihood for re-offending is immediately after release from a penitentiary. Volunteers help offenders prepare for and re-adjust to life in the community by acting as role models, providing contact with the community, access to medical services, social and employment services, churches and other community faith and support groups.
In appreciation of the invaluable and selfless contributions of volunteers across Canada, CSC is proud to recognize International Volunteer Day in their honour. The United Nations proclaimed
International Volunteer Day in 1985 to celebrate the work of volunteers.