Statement by Minister Yasir Naqvi on the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre Task Force Report
Today Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, released the following statement on the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre Task Force report:
"Today I received the report and recommendations from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre Task Force, which was comprised of ministry staff, local and provincial union leadership, legal experts, and representatives from local community-based organizations. The Task Force was formed on March 25, 2016, to address capacity issues and improve conditions at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.
I want to thank all of the members of the Task Force for their dedication and commitment to improving the conditions at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre and for their advocacy on behalf of both staff and inmates at the institution.
As part of their mandate, the 13-member Task Force held six meetings between April 12 and May 26, 2016 and consulted with local, provincial, and national policing and corrections partners, and received advice and feedback from the public, community organizations and 130 inmates at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in developing their recommendations. I also want to thank participants for their input and suggestions on this important issue.
The Task Force has made 42 recommendations, which include ways to improve conditions and address overcrowding at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in the immediate, medium- and long-term, with a focus on enhancing the health and safety of all staff and inmates at the institution.
Over the past month the province has already moved forward on a number of the recommendations contained in the report that are specific to this institution and to all of Ontario's adult correctional institutions. This includes the announcement of the comprehensive health care review and full physical inspection of the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre as well as appointing a Provincial Inmate Transportation Coordinator.
The province will study the remaining recommendations in more detail as part of its transformation of the corrections system and will publicly and transparently post quarterly reports to show the implementation status of each recommendation. The first quarterly report will be posted on the ministry's website on October 30, 2016.
The Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre has faced long-standing capacity pressures and I have been clear that the status quo at this institution, and throughout our correctional system, cannot continue. That is why we are moving forward on transforming Ontario's correctional system. This transformation is focused on enhanced mental health supports, increased rehabilitation and reintegration programing, alternatives to incarceration, and staff and inmate safety to truly build safer communities for all."