Commissioner's update for offenders and their families: March 11, 2024

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

This year, Agriculture Safety Week is from March 10 to 16. It reminds and encourages us to think about farm safety every day. I want to thank those of you who work on the farms for making safety a priority. By completing agriculture certificates, you are accomplishing employment goals. You are also demonstrating useful farm safety practices and skills. Congratulations to everyone who earned certificates this year!

This week, CSC’s Research Branch launched a questionnaire related to the Black Social History pilot project. Paper-based questionnaires will be distributed in institutions and parole offices across Ontario. I encourage those of you who self-identify as Black to complete it. You have five weeks to fill in and return the questionnaire.

This initiative will help us understand the impact of the Black Social History pilot in Ontario. It will help us learn more about the experiences of Black offenders. CSC can then improve the services it provides to Black incarcerated individuals across the country. Currently, the Black Social History pilot is for Black male offenders only. It will be adapted and rolled out for women in 2024 to 2025.

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The Black Social History pilot was started in 2016 by a group of Black employees to help identify risk factors, reintegration challenges, and inform us of ways to support Black offenders. I believe that understanding the impact of this pilot will help us better address the needs of our population and improve the experiences of Black offenders, both in custody and under community supervision.

This is an important piece of CSC’s Black Offender Strategy and supports its Anti-Racism Framework. I invite you to participate. Your feedback is important to help us, as we hope to expand the project to institutions in other regions.  

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. — Audre Lorde

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