COVID-19 in federal corrections: Framework for managing risk

Integrated Risk Management Framework

CSC established an Integrated Risk Management Framework (IRMF) to guide our sites to carefully resume services, programs, and interventions for offenders, while keeping everyone safe. The IRMF was developed in collaboration with public health authorities, labour partners, and stakeholders to establish the mitigation strategies for each activity. It is reviewed and updated regularly so that CSC is ready to adapt its operations quickly, as required.

The framework identifies correctional activities and mitigation strategies to protect CSC staff and offenders, while respecting the law and delivering on CSC’s legislated mandate. It also allows for different levels of response depending on the assessed level of risk of COVID-19 transmission in a community, based on public health information.

Risk Levels

The IRMF clearly outlines how we conduct business under five possible risk levels for our institutions and Community Correctional Centres.

Under each of the five risk levels, CSC identifies correctional activities and mitigation strategies to protect staff, offenders and the public.

Congregate living settings

The following chart outlines the risk levels for CSC’s congregate living settings: 

CSC National COVID-19 Risk Management Framework: Congregate living setting
CSC National COVID-19 Risk Management Framework: Congregate living setting

COVID-19 in the community:

Low risk (green), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • readiness and monitoring
  • no sustained transmission in Canada or transmission is localized and contained
Low-moderate risk (grey), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • local community virus transmission is limited and well-contained
  • local public health capacity to isolate or hospitalize is sufficient
  • low positivity rates of staff/contractor/volunteers, without transmission on site
Caution threshold (grey and yellow), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • community wastewater signals increasing
  • moderate positivity rates of staff/contractor/volunteers, without transmission on site
  • intensive care unit (ICU) capacity is becoming strained
  • local public health measures may be restricting access to essential and non-essential services in the area
Moderate risk (yellow), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • ability to prevent introduction of COVID-19 from community into institution is challenged as evidenced by the identification of high positivity rates of community acquired COVID-19 infections in CSC staff/contractors/volunteers- without transmission on site
  • increased wastewater signals of COVID-19 in both the community and at CSC sites
  • intensive care unit (ICU) capacity is fully utilized or exceeded
  • local public health measures are restricting access to essential and non essential services in the area
COVID-19 at CSC facility:
Moderate-high risk (orange), goal: rapidly identify cases and limit transmission
  • COVID -19 transmission that has occurred within the CSC facility:
    • between staff
    • between offenders
    • staff to offender, or
    • offender to staff
  • outbreak is contained in an identified zone within the facility
High risk (red), goal: contain the spread of COVID-19 within institutions
  • transmission on site pending epidemiological investigation
  • outbreak source unidentified
  • outbreak is site wide
  • mandatory reassessment every 24 hours

Administrative sites

The following chart outlines the risk levels for CSC’s administrative sites (Regional and National Headquarters, Correctional Learning and Development Centres, Academies, District and Parole Offices): 

CSC National COVID-19 Risk Management Framework: Administrative sites
CSC National COVID-19 Risk Management Framework: Congregate living setting

COVID-19 in the community:

Low risk (green), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • readiness and monitoring
  • no sustained transmission in Canada or transmission is localized and contained
Low-moderate risk (grey), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • local community virus transmission is limited and well-contained
  • local public health capacity to isolate or hospitalize is sufficient
  • low positivity rates of staff/contractor/volunteers, without transmission on site
Caution threshold (grey and yellow), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • community wastewater signals increasing
  • moderate positivity rates of staff/contractor/volunteers, without transmission on site
  • intensive care unit (ICU) capacity is becoming strained
  • local public health measures may be restricting access to essential and non-essential services in the area
Moderate risk (yellow), goal: prevent introduction of COVID-19 on site
  • ability to prevent introduction of COVID-19 from community into the workplace is challenged as evidenced by the identification of high positivity rates of community acquired COVID-19 infections in CSC staff/contractors/volunteers, without transmission on site
  • increased wastewater signals of COVID-19 in both the community and at CSC sites
  • intensive care unit (ICU) capacity is fully utilized or exceeded
  • local public health measures are restricting access to essential and non essential services in the area

Activities in the IRMF

The following activities are included in the IRMF. New activities may be added on a regular basis as the relevant risk mitigation strategies are developed.

Congregate living settings

Institutional operations:

Health services:

Reintegration operations:

Community Operations:

Internal Services:

Administrative sites

Internal Services:

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