Visitor Resource Centre Resiliency Project

With the help of Correctional Service Canada and great volunteers,

we are assisting those in federal prisons all across Canada!

This project began in December 2020 and in the midst of Covid-19 we are still working! Call us if you'd like to get someone involved in the project.

What is this project?

Canadian Families and Corrections Network has been funded by Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to develop and facilitate Resiliency sessions to assist those in federal prisons, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to develop positive well-being, strengthen family connections, and help the incarcerated person build supportive relationships.

 

The Resiliency project includes a series of six structured sessions with a trained volunteer facilitator. (These sessions are currently held over the phone, due to the pandemic.) Each session covers a specific topic relevant to managing ongoing life while incarcerated, and to becoming more resilient in the face of change. The volunteer creates a safe, confidential space for learning and reflection.

 

The session topics are Self Talk, Supportive Relationships, Loneliness, Self Care, Anxiety, and Resiliency. Each topic is an important aspect of being resilient, and each elicits honest conversation about life events and action. There is flexibility within the sessions for the volunteer facilitator to tailor the material to the needs of the participant.

Why Resiliency?

Resiliency refers to one’s ability to adapt well in the face of adversity; to recover quickly from challenging situations and significant stress; and to adapt to changing circumstances. Prison is a difficult living situation, where it can be challenging to maintain a positive attitude and keep strong family and community connections.

 

CFCN’s Resiliency Project introduces participants to skills and tools that will help them to manage their thoughts, words, and actions in a way that supports them inside and also prepares them for community.

How did it all start?

The Resiliency Project is part of CFCN’s Visitor Resource Centre (VRC) project, which began in Kingston Penitentiary in the early 2000’s. The goal of this project has always been about keeping family members connected and strengthening relationships as an asset to successful reintegration. Correctional research shows a connection between positive family relationships and lower rates of reoffending.

Who can participate?
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I’ve learned about self-awareness, self-care, boundaries, and forgiveness.

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You taught me to be hopeful.

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I appreciate being able to talk about this with you (the volunteer) … not family, not anyone in here, not guys on the range. It’s a different perspective.

This project is available to any incarcerated individual regardless of their level of institutional security, and regardless of whether or not they have ties with their biological family. CFCN considers ‘family’ to be those bonded by affection, kinship, dependency, or trust. Participants are referred to CFCN by Correctional Services staff. Individuals are encouraged to speak to CSC staff if they are interested in participating.