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“My Highlight of our 5 day trip!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Correctional Service of Canada Museum

Correctional Service of Canada Museum
555 King Street West, Kingston, Ontario K7L 4V7 , Canada
613-530-3122
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Ranked #2 of 77 things to do in Kingston
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“My Highlight of our 5 day trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

I work in law enforcement, and thus found this museum to be absolutely enthralling! Great perspective from the volunteers who worked in the KP. One hour would be enough for children/teens, but I could have spent the whole day speaking with the staff.
A highlight was viewing a cell currently in use, knowing that the worst of the worse criminal element really are locked up tight for 23 out of 24 hours a day.

Visited August 2012
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173 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Interesting but...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

The good:
Location - The museum is housed in the former KP Warden residence, which was a magnificent home and makes a grand showplace, as well as being directly across from KP.
Artifacts - Exhibits provide actual items that reflect some interesting insights about past inmate work (shoemaking etc.), living conditions, punishments/torture, weaponry and drug paraphanalia, escape efforts etc.
Perspective - A humanistic look at prisoners is provided by display of artwork done inside penitentiaries etc.

What was weaker:
Context for artifacts - The weapons and escape items sort of stand alone, without giving a sense of prison culture (violence, hierarchy etc.)
Context of inmates - what would have been the composition of prison population in past and how it's changed over time.
Current and future state of prisons - I didn't get a sense of how society's approach to crime and punishment change the lie and culture inside prisons.
Women - Very small section on women, and basically nothing about violence, escapes, and children

Recommended overall!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

The museum is pretty tiny in size, and run (I think) on donations. However the amount of facts and information they offer is absolutely fantastic. There is a gentleman at the front desk who has a great knowledge and he talked to us about the prison across the street.
The museum shows uniforms, prison cells, keys and locks, etc. I particularly enjoyed the section where they showed the tools and weapons prisoners created. Some are pretty smart I have to say.
Seeing the maximum security prison across from the museum is amazing and a bit thrilling knowing that some of the criminals that made the headlines are currently serving their sentence there.
The tour is self-guided and takes around 30 min and more.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Awesome retro little museum.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

Lots of stuff to see in an old fashioned space. The museum is housed in the old warden's house overlooking Kingston Penitentiary.

Visited August 2012
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Kingston, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Different Kind of Museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

I have lived in Kingston for over 25 years and have never visited until the summer. The tour is self guided, or you can purchase an audio version. The museum itself has no entrance fee, just a suggested donation. Very worthwhile!

Visited August 2012
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