COVID-19 update for correctional employees: December 2, 2022
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I am pleased to announce that this week, CSC received the Engagement and Partnerships with Indigenous Peoples award from the Real Property Institute of Canada for the Indigenous building at La Macaza Institution, in Quebec. The award recognizes the outstanding achievement and efforts of the teams who collaborated on this project to address the needs of Indigenous offenders, Elders, and staff in a culturally appropriate manner that also supports a holistic approach to healing. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project a reality!
Marking Three Years of Structured Intervention Units
This past Wednesday, November 30, marked three years since CSC abolished administrative segregation and implemented Structured Intervention Units (SIUs) at 15 of our institutions. While we continue to address challenges, we have seen many successes thanks to the efforts of staff and partners who create unique approaches to assist inmates with:
- developing life skills and coping mechanisms,
- pursuing education, and
- looking after their health.
Thank you for your continued dedication and incredible efforts to ensure safety for all. You play an important role in preparing inmates to successfully reintegrate into the mainstream population. Together, we can continue to make a difference. Let’s build on our successes and keep the momentum going through continued dialogue.
World AIDS Day
Yesterday, December 1, marked World AIDS Day. The goal of the first AIDS Day in 1988 was to bring awareness to a deadly disease. Thirty-four years later, HIV is no longer considered fatal. Antiviral therapy may suppress the virus, lowering the level of HIV in the blood and making it almost undetectable. This leads to a longer and heathier life and means that it cannot be transmitted to partners.
I am pleased to share that CSC is on track to meet accelerated UNAIDS targets of “95-95-95” for global HIV eradication for federal offenders. As a society, we all play an important role in knowing the facts, reducing risk, getting tested, and reducing HIV-related stigma.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 3 is International Day of People with Disabilities. This commemorative date promotes the understanding of disability issues to help uphold the:
- rights, and
of people with visible and invisible disabilities. This year’s theme is “Removing Visible and Invisible Barriers”. By addressing misconceptions and countering stereotypes, we are promoting the integration of people with disabilities into every aspect of:
- economic, and
- cultural life.
This day is a reminder to educate ourselves to ensure we are fulfilling our responsibilities to be an inclusive workplace. In 2019, the Accessible Canada Act was enacted, which requires that each department develop and implement an Accessibility Plan. CSC’s plan will soon be available on the Hub, as well as on our external website.
In March 2022, 1,307 CSC employees identified themselves as having a disability (both visible and invisible). Self-identification is an invaluable means for employees with disabilities to be counted and heard. I encourage everyone to self-identify so that we can adequately develop and implement support programs and initiatives. I encourage you all to take time to learn more about International Day of People with Disabilities by joining the events run by the Employment Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
Over 30 years ago, on December 6, 1989, 28 young women were shot as they sat in their classroom at Polytechnique Montréal. Fourteen were killed, 14 others were injured—all because they were women. The horrific event raised awareness of the unacceptable violence and discrimination that women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals experience.
Parliament designated December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women to honour the women of Polytechnique Montréal and those who have experienced misogyny and gender-based violence. On December 6, wear a white ribbon and observe a minute of silence in commemoration of victims of gender-based violence.
International Volunteer Day
International Volunteer Day is December 5. Please join me in thanking the thousands of volunteers who support our organization, including those who directly support the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals and those who contribute voluntarily to our many advisory committees. CSC relies on the important contributions of many community volunteers and voluntary organizations.
In our institutions and in the community, volunteers provide another layer of human interaction and meaningful human contact, which complements the important work of staff. They expose offenders to a more diverse range of:
- knowledge, and
Volunteers can provide additional support, especially for those without family or support networks, and can link individuals to various community supports.
I am grateful to all staff who support and coordinate volunteers, including engaging our volunteers during the pandemic when in-person activities were limited. If you know of someone who might benefit from working with a volunteer, please contact your local volunteer coordinator. Read about the value volunteers add to our organization on:
Departmental Results Report
CSC’s 2021–2022 Departmental Results Report was tabled in Parliament today. This annual report highlights our performance during the past fiscal year, and reports to Canadians and Parliamentarians on the progress we are making in key areas such as reintegration, education, employment and training to staff on topics such as:
- unconscious bias,
- Indigenous cultures, and
- cultural competency.
I invite you to consult the:
CORCAN Winter Highlight
The CORCAN Winter Highlight is back again this year, both online as well as in person in Ottawa. It offers an opportunity for CSC staff across Canada to find amazing holiday gifts or a treat for themselves. All items showcased, including specific items made by Indigenous offenders, are produced through the offender employment and employability program, so your purchases support offender reintegration. This is available year round, however it is a good time to check it out now for the holiday season!
I continue to be impressed with the excellent work that you are doing to fulfill our mandate of successfully helping offenders reintegrate into the community. Everyone plays an important role in this, no matter if you work directly with offenders or behind the scenes in administrative positions. Thank you for all you do.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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