Greater Transparency in Correctional Facilities
Community Volunteers to Advise Government
Ontario is strengthening links between local communities and correctional facilities by establishing local Community Advisory Boards for its larger institutions in order to help increase transparency and accountability.
Boards will consist of volunteers from the local community who will provide advice to the facility's superintendent and contribute findings to an annual report for the minister. Board members will:
- Have full access to the institution, its facilities, and staff and inmates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- Participate in monthly meetings with the superintendent and other senior managers.
Community Advisory Boards will be phased-in over two years at all new and existing facilities with more than 425 beds, beginning with the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre and Toronto South Detention Centre in fall 2013. Other facilities where Community Advisory Boards will be created include:
- Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre (fall 2013)
- South West Detention Centre (spring 2014)
- Hamilton Wentworth Detention Centre (summer 2014)
- Maplehurst Correctional Complex/Vanier Centre for Women (fall 2014)
- Toronto East Detention Centre (winter 2015)
Creating Community Advisory Boards to help modernize the correctional system is part of the Ontario government's plan to create safe communities and a fair society.
- Community Advisory Boards will work with correctional institutions on a variety of issues, including the benefits of current programs such as chapel services and volunteer programs, and initiatives to improve community engagement and advocacy services.
- Correctional Services already has boards of monitors at the Central North Correctional Centre (Penetanguishene) and Central East Correctional Centre (Lindsay).
- Boards of monitors have been renamed Community Advisory Boards to better reflect roles and responsibilities of the boards and its members.
- Ontario has 29 correctional facilities, including jails, detention centres and institutions.
- Applications for Community Advisory Board vacancies will be posted on the Ontario Public Appointments Secretariat website.
“Our government recognizes the important role Ontarians have in helping to make public institutions more transparent and accountable. Through Community Advisory Boards, members will bring a local perspective to the table to provide advice to the ministry. They will also help to build local awareness on the essential role corrections staff play in keeping our communities safe.”