Supporting Frontline Staff in Adult Correctional ServicesPublished on August 12, 2019
HAMILTON — Ontario's government is engaging with frontline correctional officers on ways to keep them safe on the job.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and Parliamentary Assistant Belinda C. Karahalios met with frontline correctional officers today at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre to hear their concerns about staff and inmate safety and wellness supports, and to provide an update on the government's work to improve Ontario's correctional system. Staff feedback will directly inform the government's plans to better support frontline officers at institutions across the province.
"As we work to address challenges in corrections and make changes, staff safety is my top priority," said Jones. "Today's engagement will give staff the opportunity to share their perspectives, keep them informed and invite them to participate as we work together to fix the system."
This engagement session is part of the government's plan to reform and modernize Ontario's justice sector and create a system that is more efficient, sustainable and empowers officers on the front lines. The government will conduct engagements at institutions across the province throughout August and September.
"Our frontline correctional employees do a difficult but vital job, under very challenging conditions," said Jones. "For their service and contributions to public safety, we not only thank them, but commit to giving them the additional tools and supports they need to keep themselves and all those in our custody safe."
Recent government action to support correctional staff includes:
- Better health and wellness supports for correctional officers
- Hiring 65 new correctional officer graduates and 21 new probation and parole officers to increase public safety and help improve our correctional system
- Improving safety and increasing security by adding capacity to the Institutional Crisis Intervention Teams (ICIT) in the province's Northern adult correctional institutions
- Committing to build a new, modern correctional complex in Thunder Bay
- Expanding the female unit at Monteith Correctional Complex
- Having a dedicated canine unit at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre
- Increasing safety at the Kenora Jail by upgrading infrastructure and strengthening partnerships between corrections staff and police services