COVID-19 update for correctional stakeholders: November 8, 2021

It is hard to believe that it is already November. There is a lot going on this month with Diversity Week currently underway, Victims and Survivors of Crime Week from November 14 to 20, 2021, and Restorative Justice Week from November 21 to 28, 2021. 

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is also running its annual respect campaign on November 20 – this campaign raises awareness on the importance of maintaining a respectful and inclusive workplace.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the poppy, the symbol of remembrance in Canada.  Lest we forget during Remembrance Week from November 5 to 11, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the most effective tools to prevent outbreaks and best protect the health and safety of:

I am pleased to report that 80% of inmates across the country are now fully vaccinated, and 85% have received at least one dose. This is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our institutions. We currently have no active cases in our institutions.

There is a lot to share regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements. As you know, the Government of Canada announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement on October 6, 2021.

This requirement applies to:

I encourage you to reach out to your regular point of contact within CSC if you need further information or anything is unclear. 

In addition, CSC is taking additional steps to protect the health and safety of our facilities. Today, we announced a mandatory vaccine requirement for visitors of CSC facilities. Starting on November 15, 2021, visitors will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to entering a CSC facility such as a:

CSC’s new visitor proof of vaccination requirement is closely aligned with the new Government of Canada mandatory vaccination policy:

You can read the full details here:

If planning to visit an institution, please take time to become familiar with these new requirements so you know what to bring. We recommend that you bring a print out of your proof of vaccination to show at the door, in addition to your ID. 

You must contact the institution at least 48 hours in advance to book a visit. They will be able to help you if you have questions about vaccine requirements and documentation required, including for those with an exemption (medical, religious or other) or those who may be partially vaccinated. Masks will also continue to be required.

More information on visits can be found on our website:

CSC Volunteers

As of November 15, 2021, CSC volunteers supporting a CSC-approved activity, as well as Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) members, will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter an institution or to participate in activities in-person in the community. Alternatives will be offered to CSC volunteers who dot not meet the vaccination requirement, including possible remote/virtual volunteering options.

More information is available here:

Contractors

Effective November 15, 2021, contractors are also required to be vaccinated in accordance with:

Suppliers are required to submit a certification form certifying that their personnel who access Government of Canada workplaces will be fully vaccinated. The policy for Contractors applies to all the personnel/staff and their volunteers that may perform the work at institutions/CSC sites under contract with CSC.

Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award Winner

Heather Finn, A/Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions, is the 2020–2021 recipient of the Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award. Thank you to Anissa Kherrati, member of the Quebec Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committee (REAC), who once again participated on the selection committee. The award is named after Dr. Emerson Douyon, who was involved in setting up the first REAC in 1999, and presided over it for more than 10 years. 

CSC Diversity Week

CSC is an organization of over 18,000 employees of varying:

We have a lot to celebrate during our annual Diversity Week, November 1 to 5. Virtual events are taking place across the organization this week to increase awareness, promote understanding and inclusion. 

Structured Intervention Unit (SIU) application

I am pleased to announce that a new version of the SIU application (referred to as the “LTE”) was released on October 30, 2021. It is expected to increase the functionality for all users and improve our ability to record better information, which is an important step to ensure we accurately track and report on the day-to-day activities within the SIUs. This is a significant milestone as we near the two-year anniversary of the launch of SIUs.

International Corrections and Prisons Association Conference

CSC has a long-standing relationship with:

This year’s conference, from October 26 to 28, was virtual with over 80 experts from around the world speaking about topics ranging from correctional leadership to community-based interventions. Several CSC colleagues will be presenting on the unique contributions CSC makes to institutional and community corrections, including a presentation on the value of volunteers in corrections.

National Intercept Centre 

I am pleased to share that we opened the National Intercept Centre (NIC). The NIC was created to help support the administration of the intercept program, including the resources to be able to carry out these activities. The NIC offers assistance and support to staff involved in intercept activities in our institutions. This will increase CSC’s intelligence capacity and contribute to our ongoing efforts of preventing the introduction of contraband into the institutions. Overall, improved processes and the enhanced support to our intelligence staff will result in a more efficient intercept program as well as help keep our institutions safe and secure for everyone. 

Victims of Canadian Federal Offenders: Meeting Needs and Improving Supports 

On November 2, 2021, the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) of Metro Vancouver West Community Corrections held a webinar on victims of federal offenders with four great speakers from across Canada. This was a follow up to the very successful webinar organized in 2020 on the topic of aging offenders.

More than 350 people registered from across CACs to learn about victims of federal offenders, as well as folks from corrections, police, victim service organizations and the public from across Canada and beyond. CSC is very grateful to the Metro Vancouver West Community Corrections CAC for organizing this incredible learning opportunity! Thank you as well to the victim advocates who shared their important perspectives.

Beekeeping initiative at Stony Mountain Institution

With help from Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions, and a local volunteer beekeeper, Stony Mountain Institution launched a beekeeping initiative earlier this year. CSC is grateful to staff at the institution who support the inmates in this incredible initiative, as well as the volunteers and community partners who helped turn this idea into a reality. You can read more about this initiative and community partnership on Let’s Talk Express:

Dog houses

I wanted to highlight a special project that took place over the summer that demonstrates CSC’s positive contribution to communities, and how building productive relationships can provide offenders with valuable experiences. Through a collaboration with Earthdog Terrier Rescue of Manitoba, and thanks to donated lumber, the CORCAN team at Stony Mountain Institution built 14 doghouses to donate through Earthdog's Reason Initiative.

The finished doghouses are headed to northern communities to provide stray dogs with shelter and protection from the elements until they can be adopted. As some of the participants come from northern communities, they know the harsh climate these dogs face. 

Finally, as you may know, the Honourable Marco Mendicino is the new Minister of Public Safety. I had the opportunity to meet him and provide a briefing on CSC, including our key files and priorities. I look forward to additional briefings in the weeks ahead.   

Thank you for your continued support.

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

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