Commissioner's update for offenders and their families: April 2, 2024

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

On Monday, April 8, for the first time in over 50 years, parts of Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada will witness a total solar eclipse. The moon will completely cover the sun. This awe-inspiring moment also comes with a warning: please protect your eyesight. 

Looking directly at the sun without using unique sunglasses made for viewing an eclipse can lead to serious problems, such as partial or complete loss of eyesight. Regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes.

A partial eclipse, when the moon only partly covers the sun, will be visible in other parts of Canada. Some institutions located in the path of the eclipse may modify their routines to minimize the risk of eye injury and loss of eyesight. Thank you for your cooperating with this temporary adjustment.

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As I have shared before, I want you to be able to use your money to better yourselves. That means making sure you are thinking about having some finances on hand that can help with your successful reintegration. As you may recall, in September 2023, CSC made a number of policy changes related to offender money and canteens. In particular, the minimum balance required in your savings account would be gradually increased from $80 to $200 over three years. Please note that the first increase in the required minimum balance, from $80 to $100, took effect on March 31, 2024.

I would like to share that your Digital Reference Library now includes information on Canada’s Black Justice Strategy. We will add a copy of the full Strategy when it becomes available. The Strategy is led by Justice Canada in collaboration with external experts and leaders who work with Black communities across Canada.

It intends to address the anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination that has led to the over-representation of Black people in the criminal justice system. This includes victims of crime. The Strategy will help ensure that Black people have access to equal treatment before and under the law in Canada. Correctional Service Canada will have a role to play in the implementation of this Strategy. 

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. — Booker T. Washington 

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