Commissioner's update for offenders and their families:
November 20, 2023

This content is a message to federal offenders and their families from Correctional Service Canada's (CSC's) Commissioner.

Today, November 20, is Respect Day at CSC. It is important that everyone is respectful of each other. There is no room for prejudice, discrimination, and harassment. Everyone deserves to be openly proud of, and respected for, who they are.

Respect and inclusion are a priority for me and essential for improving our organization. Which is why in November 2022, we began in-person consultations with ethnocultural and Indigenous offenders, staff, and with community supports working in institutions and in the communities across the country.

The goal of these consultations is to share information about CSC’s Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework. We wanted to present some of the key actions undertaken by the organization. Getting participants feedback will help us better understand the complex issues related to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are a good opportunity to hear potential solutions. The consultations will finish in December 2023. What we learn from these sessions will be used to improve our anti-racism framework.

CSC is committed to listening and learning about the experiences of Indigenous and racialized offenders and staff so that we can continue to build an anti-racist organization that is more inclusive, diverse, and equitable.

This is National Addiction Awareness Week. I would like to remind you about programs and services available to you. CSC has a range of support, interventions, and treatment options available for substance use. This includes medication (such as Opioid Agonist Treatment), psychosocial support, Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART), and harm reduction initiatives. Certain sites may also have community organizations that provide peer support, such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous.

Unfortunately, stigma is still one of the biggest barriers to seeking and receiving support and treatment for people with issues related to substance use. We must remember that substance use disorder is a complex health condition. We need to have open and honest conversations so that more people feel comfortable seeking help and support. Please remember that help is available. For more information about programs or support at your institution, please speak to a Health Services staff member. 

Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.  —  Dalai Lama

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