Commissioner's update for correctional employees: October 10, 2023

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

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the recent tragic events in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Some of you may also have family and friends in the area. You can read the Prime Minister of Canada’s statement on this matter. I know this subject may be triggering for many, there are resources available to you. If you wish to speak to someone, EAP referral agents are available to listen and help you find appropriate, helpful resources to support you. The Employee Assistance Program is available not only to all employees, but also to eligible family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Last week, on October 3, marked my 40-year work anniversary with CSC. Over the past four decades, I have had the great privilege of working alongside dedicated and hard-working correctional service employees. I have seen incredible innovations in correctional programming and improvements in how we care for offenders. I am proud of the steps we have taken collectively to build an organization that is more respectful of those in our care and of each other as individuals.

I recognize that new challenges have emerged over the years, such as drones, but I am confident that with your commitment and dedication, we will continue to tackle the complexity of most operational issues. Forty years on, I remain proud to wear my uniform and represent an organization that is made up of such outstanding people.

CSC Hosts Kenya Delegation

On September 26, we hosted a delegation from the Public Service of Kenya. The delegation visited Joyceville Institution and met with CSC and Parole Board of Canada officials. The guests were interested in learning about medium and minimum-security institutions and how parole is considered and managed in Canada.

I want to thank all the staff and management at Joyceville Institution for hosting the Kenyan delegation and for providing learning opportunities as they work on legislative reforms on correctional services and parole.

Update on Modernizing the Offender Management System

Work on modernizing our Offender Management System (OMS) is underway. You will all have important roles to play as we transition to a new OMS, which will better help you in your day-to-day work, allow for easier access to performance measures for corporate reporting, and also improve offender results.

To oversee this transition, an OMS Modernization Project Team has been established. The Team is now in the development phase and preparing for implementation; relying on frontline staff will be key to help shape what a new OMS should look like and how it should perform.  

You can take a sneak peek of the new system and find more information on how this new system will help many of our frontline roles, through our new video!

In addition to the video, watch for posters (internal resource) on display on screens at your site. You will also hear more information in shift briefings, morning meetings and from your manager.

National Occupational Therapy Month

Every October, we recognize Occupational Therapy Month. As regulated health-care professionals, occupational therapists use assessments and interventions to assist individuals with health concerns. I would like to acknowledge CSC’s occupational therapists and the work they do within our institutions. Your work makes a meaningful difference for those in our care. Thank you for your dedication to changing lives. Because of you, individuals of all abilities can take part in their everyday activities, including self-care, work, study, and volunteer opportunities.

Ombuds Day

Ombuds Day is October 12. Let’s take this opportunity to increase awareness about the important roles and functions of ombuds in organizations. Ombuds are confidential, informal, and neutral/impartial independent resources who help employees resolve workplace issues. Earlier this year, we launched our own Office of the Ombuds for Workplace Well-being.

To highlight Ombuds Day, the Canadian Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace invites you to participate in the panel discussion “Building a Culture of Care: Achieving Results Through People.”

Please register before October 11:

EAPCISM Recognition Week

This week is Employee Assistance Program (EAP) / Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Program Recognition Week. Let us take a moment to express our gratitude to the EAPCISM team and all the peer supporters within our organization. These past years have been challenging for us all, but their ongoing commitment has played an immensely important role in the well-being of employees.

I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of all the peer supporters and the EAP-CISM team. Your positive and tangible actions in support of your peers exemplify CSC’s values admirably. On behalf of everyone, I want to express my heartfelt thanks and congratulations for your extraordinary dedication.

I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving. We all have much to be grateful for. Special thanks to those who worked over the long weekend.

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

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