COVID-19 update for correctional employees: June 11, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) staff from CSC’s Commissioner.
Hard to believe it is mid-June already. Heading into the summer, I hope everyone takes time to enjoy the nicer, warmer weather. It is also encouraging to see the number of COVID-19 cases decrease in many provinces. We currently have one active inmate case in the Pacific Region but had a stretch of a few weeks where we were at zero. Thank you for everything you continue to do to keep everyone safe.
It is a positive sign that more than 62% of Canadians have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I encourage you to get your vaccine if you have not already. It will help build greater community immunity, especially in our institutions, which are closed living environments. I know many provinces are now accelerating second doses as more supply becomes available.
I am pleased that CSC has vaccinated over 75% of our inmate population with at least one dose. CSC is now moving to administer second doses for offenders and staff in institutions and community correctional centres (CCCs) who received their first dose from CSC.
Vaccines are an additional layer of protection. However, we must continue with our health and safety measures as well. Please continue to:
- wear your mask
- wash your hands, and
- practice physical distancing
National Public Service Week
This year, National Public Service Week (NPSW) will be held from June 13 to 19! It is a time to celebrate your efforts and reflect on how we proudly serve Canadians.
We have a lot to be proud of with everything we have overcome and accomplished this past year. You have done incredible work and I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you do. During NPSW, I encourage you to take a moment to highlight and celebrate your achievements and those of your colleagues.
Several virtual activities have also been planned for next week including:
- move-a-thon from coast-to-coast
- wellness session
- Elder-led talking circles
- wellness hunt
Stay tuned for more information about these events next week.
We have also created a kudos board on the Hub where you can submit stories that highlight yours and your colleagues’ accomplishments. We want to hear about staff who have gone the extra mile, supported colleagues through a difficult time or shown dedication and commitment to keeping Canadians safe. You can send in your submissions to:
Make sure to check back throughout the week to read kudos from across the country!
Audit of victim services
CSC provides services to approximately 8,700 victims about the offenders who harmed them. The National Victim Services Program provides victims with the information they need to have an effective voice in the federal correctional system according to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights.
In 2020, the program was audited by CSC’s internal audit team. Overall, the audit was positive and provided helpful insight for the program to continue improving upon its already high quality of service. I would like to thank the many staff involved in upholding victims’ rights and, in particular, our victim services units that work hard every day to assist victims of crime with their questions and concerns.
The Audit of Victim Services report is available on our website.
It has been a busy parliamentary session and several CSC topics have been discussed by parliamentary committees and witnesses in past weeks, from victims to:
- structured intervention units
- our response to COVID-19, and
- sexual coercion and violence
Thank you to CSC officials who appeared to give testimony! This is democracy in action and it provides valuable input to CSC as we make ongoing improvements to our programs and services.
While there are many positive stories profiled about our work, including our response to COVID during the pandemic, I know that sometimes it can be difficult to hear some of the feedback that we receive in the public domain. Nonetheless, it is important that we remain focused and steadfast in our commitment to doing our work:
- to the best of our ability, and
- with utmost professionalism
Having worked in many different roles at CSC over the past 38 years, I know how hard and complex our work can be, and value what each and every one of you do.
Thank you again for everything you do; your efforts, dedication and hard work are much appreciated. Heading into NPSW, I want to highlight your continued dedication and commitment, particularly in light of your remarkable adaptability to the changes and challenges you have all faced over the past year and a half. Keep up the great work!
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