COVID-19 update for correctional employees: September 2, 2022
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Acting Commissioner.
September is here and I know many of you have been preparing your kids as they head back to school or daycare. As well, those of you who work in our administrative spaces have been experimenting with returning to our offices over the course of the summer. I know changes in routine can be unsettling, but with them also comes opportunities to grow. Thank you for all of your efforts and flexiblity.
As we continue to work towards our hybrid work model, please ensure you are aware of the health and safety measures in place in our workplaces. COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities.
Ministerial direction on dry cells
On Monday, Public Safety Canada published a Ministerial Direction on dry cells. The Direction outlines Minister Mendicino’s requirements for CSC regarding the use of dry cells. It provides clarity on its use while regulations to supplement the Corrections and Conditional Release Act continue to be developed. CSC’s existing policy, Interim Policy Bulletin 684 associated with Commissioner’s Directive 566-7: Searching of Offenders, will continue to apply. More information on procedures and reporting for staff will follow in the coming weeks.
International Literacy Day
September 8 is International Literacy Day, which highlights the importance of literacy as a human right. Basic reading and writing skills open doors to better employment opportunities and advantages for success in society. Correctional Service Canada offers Educational Programs that focus on developing literacy and academic skills to support offenders’ successful reintegration into the community.
Inmates also have access to libraries in our institutions that are a resource for:
- enrichment, and
- recreational reading
As well, CSC is proud of its 14-year partnership with Book Clubs for Inmates, a volunteer-led organization that supports book clubs with thousands of inmates at 36 of our institutions across the country. I would like to recognize the valuable work of our:
- social program officers
- ethnocultural site coordinators, and
- volunteers across the country
and for their efforts in encouraging offenders to pursue their education.
Official Languages Day
September 8 is also Official Languages Day, which highlights our obligation as an organization to strengthen linguistic duality and help ensure that official language minority communities thrive. Having two official languages is one of our country’s unique strengths. At CSC, our institutions and parole offices work with official language minority communities to ensure that they are involved in our operations and that we are meeting the linguistic needs of official language minorities in our care and custody.
To learn more about best practices to support official language minority communities and the Government of Canada’s bill to modernize the Official Languages Act to reflect a changing society, I encourage you to join a webinar presented by the Canada School of Public Service.
Register to the virtual event:
Interested in learning more about the official languages spoken in your community? Statistics Canada recently released data on languages spoken in the country with statistics by geography. Consult the:
Community Connections Gives Back
Community Connections is a non-profit program at William Head Institution that provides inmates an opportunity to create items for families in need and the chance to give back to their communities. Inmates work on such as making knitted and beaded:
- mittens, and
- sock monkeys
as well as woodcraft items, such as:
- little free libraries
- picnic tables
- toy wooden cars, and
- rocking horses
They recently built picnic tables for a resort in Sooke, B.C., which was undergoing renovations to house up to 100 Ukrainian refugees. The inmates even painted the picnic tables half blue and half yellow, the Ukrainian flag colours. Thank you to all involved in Community Connections for giving back to the community in such meaningful ways.
Read more about Community Connections in Kudos Corner:
- Inmates giving back to families in the community (internal resource only)
I hope you enjoy the Labour Day long weekend, the last long weekend of the summer. A special thank you to those who are working this weekend. Your commitment to helping offenders is important, and your daily efforts are valued and appreciated.
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