COVID-19 update: correctional employees: May 29, 2020

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

June is quickly approaching and I hope that everyone is taking some time to enjoy the nice weather. Thank you all for your continued commitment to the important work we do and have been doing in the last few months. To the front-line staff, I want to take this opportunity to commend you for your professionalism and compassion in dealing with the offenders during this challenging time.

Update on COVID-19

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, CSC’s top priority has been the safety of our employees, offenders and the public.

To date, we have had COVID-19 outbreaks at five of our 43 institutions – with two remaining. The outbreaks at Port-Cartier, Grand Valley and Mission Institutions have been declared over. As of May 29, of the 360 inmates who have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, 352 (or 98%) have now recovered.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 137 CSC employees have tested positive for the virus. As of May 28, 105 (or 77%), have made a full recovery. My thoughts are with those still recovering.

We must continue doing our part to prevent spread of the virus – please wear your masks at work and continue to follow public health protocols and diligently apply the appropriate health measures. It does make a big difference!!!

Recently, I accompanied our Minister to a meeting with the Prime Minister (PM) to provide the PM with an update on the status of outbreaks in federal institutions. We discussed the measures we have collectively put in place to manage COVID-19. The Prime Minister was thankful for this update and both the Minister and Prime Minister expressed their gratitude and appreciation for all the work that CSC has done during this pandemic.

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit:

Shaping the New Normal Update

I know many of you continue to wonder when we will resume business activities and what that will look like. While we are making progress in shaping our plans – we are not there yet. If you are currently working from home, you can continue to do so until further direction is provided.

We are working collaboratively across the organization, with unions and our partners, to start looking at what needs to resume, when, which safety measures need to be in place and how that would roll out. Please know that you will be involved and given advanced notice before any changes are made.

The resumption of any activities will be influenced by a number of factors including: public health guidance; the type of work you do; your work location’s readiness to accommodate workers in a safe way; and, whether your work can be done remotely.

We have established a governance structure to shape the new normal for CSC. Our labour partners are part of the Advisory Committee that will receive input from a number of working groups. They will provide advice to an overarching Steering Committee.

We will continue to share information about the work underway as well as opportunities for you to provide input moving forward.

30 years of Creating Choices

CSC has reached an important milestone this year. Thirty years ago, the Service adopted the principles outlined in Creating Choices. These five principles - empowerment, meaningful and responsible choices, respect and dignity, supportive environments, and shared responsibility – have guided CSC’s approach to women’s corrections ever since.

I am proud of the progress CSC has made in women’s corrections over the last three decades. Over the last 30 years, correctional and social programming has evolved to reflect emerging evidence-based research on what works with women offenders. Further information will be forthcoming regarding events to commemorate this important milestone throughout the fiscal year.

Kudos Corner

I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone for their ongoing commitment and dedication.

I would also like to send a shout out to the sentence management staff across the country. This group of creative individuals has worked diligently to develop and implement various “outside the box” methods to enhance communication and effectively respond to court and police requirements. When the COVID-19 health crisis began, sentence management staff had to quickly adapt the work they do, including authorizing admissions and releases of offenders, and reporting on sentences and convictions. Obtaining and disseminating information was difficult under this new reality given that court orders and other legal documents have traditionally been sent via fax or regular mail. Their hard work and innovation has resulted in progressive changes to the way information is routed to and from CSC.

CSC is so lucky to have the remarkable staff that we do from coast to coast to coast. I invite you to visit the weekly Kudos Corner to read more about our hard-working staff. This week, we are highlighting the contributions of staff from Correctional Community Centres and Correctional Learning & Development Centres in the Quebec Region.

In this same vein, June 1 is CSC Appreciation Day. This is especially meaningful this year given what we have faced over the past few months and the work we continue doing during this public health crisis. I will send more information on this next week.

National AccessAbility Week

From May 31 to June 6, it is National AccessAbility Week. This is an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions of Canadians living with disabilities – and to take action to make our work and lives more inclusive. Watch for more information on this and plan time with your teams to engage in discussions about inclusion and how to better increase the accessibility of the work we do.


Commissioner Anne Kelly and Minister Bill Blair brief Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on CSC’s measures to manage COVID-19.
Commissioner Anne Kelly and Minister Bill Blair brief Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on CSC’s measures to manage COVID-19.

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