Commissioner's update for correctional employees: May 5, 2023

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

May is Asian Heritage Month and this year’s theme is ‘Stories of determination.’ Asian communities are incredibly diverse with rich histories and stories of resilience and strength. The month of May is about celebrating those stories and the unique contributions they have made and continue to make that help shape our country.

I am proud of our employees of Asian decent and I want to ensure everyone feels safe and valued at work. We saw a rise in anti-Asian racism during the pandemic, and commemorating this month serves as a reminder that we need to stand together. We must all commit to confronting anti-Asian racism.

We need to speak out against all forms of:

You can find more information about:

on the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee Hub page.

Red Dress Day 

May 5 is Red Dress Day, also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People. The red dress represents their stories. Awareness is part of the path toward reconciliation. The red dresses serve as a reminder to remember and reflect on the pain and loss. I encourage everyone to consider participating in awareness events such as the commemorative walk and ceremony being organized by the Indigenous Initiatives Directorate at NHQ on May 10.

Administrative Professionals Day 

April 26 was Administrative Professionals Day.

The incredible:

of administrative staff and the invaluable support you provide to CSC is much appreciated.

The work that you do is critical to our operations in:

across the country.

Thank you for everything that you do. 

Mental Health Week

This week marked Mental Health Week at CSC. The week is a time for CSC employees to come together to speak openly and frankly about mental health to reduce the stigma. Mental health challenges can happen in our work and personal lives. No one should suffer in silence and by being open with others we can start to break down barriers around mental health and access to care. I’d like to thank staff in the Workplace Wellness and Employee Wellbeing Directorate for the work they did organizing the week’s virtual events. I hope you found them inspirational and helpful.

Please consult the Hub to find useful tools that provide employees with rapid access to countless resources. These tools include:

and other important information to help guide discussions on mental health.

World Hand Hygiene Day

Today, May 5, is World Hand Hygiene Day. This year’s theme is ‘Accelerate action together. Save Lives – Clean Your Hands.’ This annual World Health Organization initiative highlights the importance of improving hand hygiene in health care. 

Hand hygiene helps prevent the spread of germs and disease. Even though the pandemic is no longer as top of mind as it once was, hand hygiene is still very important for healthy:

Let us keep lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in mind to help close gaps in infection prevention and control, including hand hygiene.

Visit the 2023 campaign page at:

National Nursing Week 

The theme for this year’s National Nursing Week is “Our Nurses. Our Future.” From May 8-14, let’s celebrate the many roles our nurses play in supporting health care in CSC. They are there day in and day out sharing their expertise and professionalism to keep people healthy. To all CSC nurses, thank you for your dedication and helping offenders make healthy choices that contribute to their rehabilitation. 

James A. Murphy Award recipient

April 19 was Citizen Advisory Committee Appreciation Day. CSC recognizes and appreciates the important role and dedication of the hundreds of Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) members who:

in our institutions and parole offices in support of CSC’s mandate. 

The CAC National Executive Committee announced the recipient of the James A. Murphy Award, which is awarded annually to individuals or teams who exemplify:

in advancing CACs.

This year, I want to congratulate the 2022 recipient, Eddy M. Elmer, who is a member of the Metro Vancouver West Community CAC in the Pacific Region. Eddy’s creativity and drive to promote the CACs through webinars as a tool for:

has had a positive impact at the:


I would also like to congratulate the other nominees, including the local CAC members at Dorchester Penitentiary, in the Atlantic Region, and Christian Drouin from the Longueuil CAC, in the Quebec Region. 

Learn more about the James A. Murphy CAC Award and the important work of the CACs.

Intersections Magazine

In 2022, Black, Indigenous and other racialized individuals at William Head Institution developed the Intersections Magazine, full of curated art and poetry from inmates. The result was a vibrant magazine with thought-provoking and vivid selections. In 2023, the magazine has expanded across the country and will be available in both French and English, in hard copy and online. Hard copies of the magazines will be mailed to each institution’s library, and inmates will be able to request and borrow the copy. Inmates who contributed to the magazine will also receive a hard copy.

I am proud of the work that these individuals have done. I appreciate the work that staff have done to support this project as well as the invaluable contribution of our community partner, the Nanaimo African Heritage Society. Research shows that engagement in the arts empowers inmates with a sense of purpose and belief that they can realize positive change in their lives. This is an important part of rehabilitation. 

Again, I want to thank the staff who helped maintain essential services across the country during the strike. I also want to remind you that it may take some time for some teams to work through backlogs of requests and get back to a more normal pace.


are much appreciated. 

Thank you for the collective work we do in changing lives and protecting Canadians.

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

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