COVID-19 update for correctional employees: May 13, 2022
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
As COVID-19 is still among us, please remember to:
- stay up-to-date with COVID vaccinations
- keep wearing your mask at work, and
- stay home if you test positive or are not feeling well
Thank you, again, for following our health and safety measures.
Promulgation of new policies
This week, we published two new policies aimed at increasing the safety of our institutions:
- Commissioner's Directive 574 Sexual Coercion and Violence
- Commissioner's Directive 100 Gender Diverse Offenders
These policies follow extensive consultation with staff and a wide range of:
We are taking a number of actions to prevent and address sexual coercion and violence in our correctional institutions. This new policy provides clear direction on how we respond to incidents, including roles and responsibilities. I want to emphasize the importance, as well as your obligation to report all allegations of:
- sexual assault
- violence, or
- coercion in our institutions
We have also published a new policy for gender diverse offenders and their ongoing:
- dignity, and
- human rights
This policy supports staff by defining CSC’s role and responsibilities regarding the:
- care, and
- supervision of gender diverse offenders
We are also reviewing the mandatory annual training for staff who interact with offenders, and planning awareness sessions for offenders and staff in collaboration with a community agency that has expertise in gender diversity.
I would like to thank everyone who worked hard helping develop these new policies. They will strengthen our commitment to reinforcing a culture that promotes safety and takes action against violence or harassment of any kind.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week
From May 15 to 21, 2022, Canada will celebrate the courage and resilience of victims of crime during Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. I am proud that CSC provides services to over 8,600 registered victims and survivors of crime, and engages with partners and stakeholders to expand our outreach and promote our National Victim Services Program. Our organization is one that:
- serves all Canadians
- protects victims and their families, and
- creates a safer and stronger Canada for everyone
CSC's National Victim Services Program provides services to victims of crime so they have the information they need to have an effective voice in the federal correctional system. I wish to thank all staff for their role in upholding victims’ rights and, especially our victim services staff who work hard every day to assist victims of crime and ensure their voices are heard in the corrections and conditional release system. I encourage you to read interviews with four CSC Victim Services Officers, this provides a window into their daily work.
International Day of Families
Families are an integral part of our society. May 15 is the International Day of Families, which is an opportunity to:
- promote awareness of issues relating to families, and
- increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families
Over the past two years, COVID-19 had an impact on many aspects of family life, including:
- care arrangements
- work-family balance, and
- gender equality
Take a moment on Sunday to think about how important family is.
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. It commemorates the date in 1990 when the World Health Organization withdrew homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. The day also draws attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by:
- intersex, and
- people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities
Everyone deserves to be openly proud of, and accepted for, who they are.
I encourage you to speak up if you are a victim or witness of such behaviour. We all play an essential role in creating and maintaining a work environment that is:
- safe, and
Where everyone can feel safe from harassment and discrimination regardless of:
- gender identity
- gender expression, or
- sexual orientation
To show allyship, I encourage you to take part in local 2SLGBTQI+ events. For more information about International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, please visit the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee Hub page.
2022 Run for Women
As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on women’s mental health with more women experiencing:
- fatigue, and
The 2022 Run for Women is national event that raises funds to support women’s mental health resources in our communities. This year, you can choose to do a virtual or in-person 5K run/walk or 10K run event. Runs will be held in 18 cities across Canada between May 14 and June 26, so be sure to check the event date in the city closest to you. It is nice to see some runs happening in person as well; what a great team building activity!
I invite you to join one of our CSC fundraising teams or create your own to run or walk for the women in your life:
- wives, and
Walls to Bridges Symposium
In January, Tam Le, a minimum-security offender at Stony Mountain Institution, presented at a virtual Walls to Bridges educational program symposium. He discussed the study he had co-authored with a University of Winnipeg professor, which is intended to help incarcerated people better understand the benefits of community. As Tam highlighted in his presentation, education is a positive way for offenders to improve themselves and their employment opportunities when they return to the community. Kudos to staff who help facilitate training and educational programs in our institutions.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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