COVID-19 update for correctional employees: July 27, 2020
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
Summer is in full bloom but the COVID-19 pandemic remains a reality and caution is still required. It is important that we continue providing updates on what is going on in the organization and keep you informed on our transition to the new normal.
Integrated Risk Management Framework
The Integrated Risk Management Framework (IRMF) is the guide to shaping our new normal. It’s an important resource that I encourage everyone to review. It provides the definition of the risk levels that guide our decisions about the reinstatement of programs and services in institutions and in the community, as well as provides information about the universal Infection Prevention and Control measures for all of our sites.
Temporary absences and work releases
In accordance with the IRMF, temporary absences (TA) and work releases (WR) approved prior to March 13, 2020, may now continue to communities where the site(s) continue to operate in the low-moderate risk (grey) category, meaning there is limited and well-contained local community transmission and there are few active cases. Moreover, only TAs and WRs with no overnight stays are permitted at this time.
Inter-regional transfer of inmates
We are planning to resume regular inter-regional transfer operations in the coming weeks while taking into consideration the health and safety of everyone in our institutions. In the meantime, we continue to consider situations requiring transfer outside of regular operations on a case-by-case basis.
Diversity and racism
Commissioner Anne Kelly and Chairperson for the Parole Board of Canada, Jennifer Oades, have established a joint working group to look at diversity and racism within the federal corrections and conditional release system. The first steps will be to identify the policies and programs that are currently in place to specifically address the unique needs of racialized offenders. This group will also review our policies and practices aimed at increasing the diversity of our employees, identify gaps and make recommendations on next steps. We are committed to making positive changes and will keep you informed of the progress of this new working group.
Indigenous Learning Community
The Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) is launching a new GCPedia platform entitled Indigenous Learning Community: Building Bridges Through Learning. This is an inventory of Indigenous related learning, training and activities across the whole of government. The platform also includes learning activities from non-governmental organizations such as education institutions and Indigenous organizations. I strongly encourage you to browse the new platform in order to continue your discovery of Indigenous history and culture.
Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC)
The next GCWCC is coming soon. Given the exceptional circumstances, it will be a virtual campaign that will be launched in September. More than ever, this campaign is essential given the hardship many are facing during this pandemic. This is the largest and most generous workplace campaign in Canada. As you are well aware, our donations help thousands of charities in communities across the country deliver critical care and services that are making a huge difference in the lives of the most vulnerable Canadians. The Hub will be updated over the coming weeks with more details as they become available.
World Hepatitis Day
July 28 is World Hepatitis Day and CSC, in conjunction with the public health community, is continuing efforts to detect, manage, prevent and treat patients with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). I am proud that CSC’s “treatment as prevention” model has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the prevalence of HCV. In 2014, the estimated prevalence of HCV was 18.2 per cent. As of December 2019, the estimated prevalence is 5.6 per cent. This clearly demonstrates how our efforts are translating in to impressive results and better health outcomes for offenders.
As I mentioned above, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a reality and caution is still required. Scientific information on COVID-19 is evolving and we continue to evaluate new evidence as it becomes available. You are encouraged to maintain vigilance and continue practicing personal prevention measures to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19. These can include physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing a non-medical mask in the workplace.
Thank you very much for your hard work and ongoing cooperation. Continue to enjoy the beautiful weather as much as you can and stay safe!
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