Business Continuity Planning

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: Correctional Service of Canada

Proposed Response:


The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is focusing its efforts on minimizing the risk of introducing COVID-19 into its institutions. CSC has strengthened infection and prevention procedures to protect staff, offenders, and volunteers. CSC is also working with inmates to review existing treatment plans with a particular focus on older offenders and those more vulnerable to pre-existing underlying health issues.

Sites are engaging in activities to deliver and maintain critical services to ensure public safety.  Tabletop exercises for BCPs have occurred throughout the organization, and are continuing. The Pandemic plans will be put in place, if required, but all measures are being taken to prevent the development of COVID-19 within our workplaces and amongst our offender population.

Business Continuity Plans

The Business Continuity Plans cover emergencies, incidents or disturbances, such as hostage takings, escapes, sudden mass illness, etc. and include operational scenarios with staff shortages of up to 50%. They also include staff augmentation recall procedures during a crisis event to fill posts that are deemed essential. There is also an Emergency Preparedness and Response Framework to address possible outbreaks - it outlines medical responses, equipment requirements, and protocols.

BCPs outline the various procedures/protocols which may be put into place dependent upon the nature of the crisis.

Specific to CSC’s Institutions:

Specific to Parole Offices:

Specific to Headquarters:

CSC is also assessing any offenders exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Symptomatic individuals that meet public health criteria will be tested, provided with immediate clinical interventions as required, and CSC will contact local public health. CSC is collaborating with provincial and territorial public health laboratories to ensure that persons under investigation for COVID-19 are confirmed or ruled out through laboratory testing.

CSC is continuing ongoing communications with staff, offenders, and visitors on preventative measures consistent with public health guidance, including hygiene practices and increased signage.

Current Measures in Place

CSC is focusing on critical operations. To protect staff and offenders, CSC has suspended:

Visits were suspended as of March 13, 2020 for a period of 10 days, after which the situation will be reassessed.  Inmates are encouraged to stay in touch with family and friends through the use of video visitation or telephone. Understanding the impacts these measures have on the inmate population, the Commissioner of CSC authorized the waving of accommodation, food and telephone deductions for three months, at which time, the Service will reassess the situation.

CSC has determined its critical services and staffing requirements as the situation evolves. We are working collaboratively with our union partners to ensure that service and staff requirements are met.   A “situation room” briefing occurs daily (or more often as required) with all CSC senior management, including those in the regions.

Preventative Measures

In addition to working to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 in our sites, CSC is simultaneously working to ensure readiness. CSC has well established infection and prevention guidelines and seasonal flu procedures, which are the foundation of our response. In addition, some of CSC’s planning highlights include:

In support of readiness planning, CSC is actively engaging with the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health and their Special Advisory Committee. CSC is also in regular bilateral contact with Public Health Agency of Canada to review elements of our planning and receive expert feedback as required.


Prepared by: Heather Cloutier, Manager, Parliamentary Relations, 613-797-8929

Approved by: Kirstan Gagnon, Assistant Commissioner, Communications & Engagement, 613-995-6867

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