24 New Correctional Officers for Northern Ontario
Province Begins Training New Recruits in Sudbury
Training for 24 new correctional officers for institutions across Northern Ontario is now underway in Sudbury through the Correctional Officer Training and Assessment (COTA) North program to further increase staffing levels in the province's northern correctional facilities, enhance program delivery and improve staff and inmate safety.
The 24 new recruits, who come from communities across Northern Ontario, must complete a comprehensive eight-week training program before being deployed to an institution. The program includes mental health training, Indigenous cultural training, inmate management techniques and ongoing training and job coaching following deployment.
The COTA North initiative is part of Ontario's commitment to promote cultural and geographic diversity within correctional services by ensuring correctional officers are reflective of the communities they serve. Recruits in this class are from the North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Penetanguishene, Timmins and Thunder Bay areas.
Adding correctional officers who are reflective of the diverse communities they serve is a key part of the government's transformation of Ontario's correctional system to build safer communities.
- Graduates will be deployed to the Algoma Treatment and Remand Centre (4), Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene (2), Montieth Correctional Complex (6), North Bay Jail (4), Sudbury Jail (3), Thunder Bay Correctional Centre (2) and Thunder Bay Jail (3).
- Since 2013, Ontario has hired 710 new correctional officers. On March 21, 2016, the province announced it will hire an additional 2,000 correctional officers to work in adult correctional facilities over the next three years.
- The Correctional Officer Training and Assessment program is an eight week program that all corrections officers are required to take before being deployed.
“I am pleased to be welcoming these 24 new correctional officers, building on the 710 we have already hired since 2013, and especially proud that they are from the North for correctional facilities in the North. Our COTA North initiative is a symbol of our government’s commitment to ensuring that new correctional officers are reflective of the diverse communities and needs of inmates they serve, including the unique needs of female and Indigenous populations. These new correctional officers are a vital part of the work that is underway to transform our correctional system and I want to thank them for choosing a career dedicated to public service and helping to keep our communities safe.”
“Having this training right here in Sudbury and hiring these 24 new correctional officers from Northern Ontario for Northern Ontario facilities, like the Sudbury Jail, underscores our government's focus on further increasing staffing levels in our jails in a way that reflects the unique make-up and needs of the North. I personally saw the dedication of the staff and the challenges they face when I toured the Sudbury Jail earlier this year. These additional correctional officers a key part of our strategy to transform Ontario’s correctional system to better support staff and inmates.”
“The John Howard Society offers a multitude of programs and services to men and women incarcerated in our Northern communities. The role of correctional officers and properly staffed correctional institutions in the North is essential to this work. Correctional staff are the first intervenors for positive change for a person who is incarcerated and we want to help create a truly effective criminal justice system. One that serves us all.”
John V. Rimore