180 New Correctional Officers Graduate
Additional Staff to Help Ensure Staff and Inmate Safety, Improve Correctional System
Ontario continues to invest in staffing for the province's adult correctional facilities to deliver rehabilitation and reintegration programming, strengthen mental health supports and improve staff and inmate safety.
This month, 180 new correctional officers graduated from the Correctional Officer Training and Assessment (COTA) program. This is one of the largest graduating classes in the history of correctional services in Ontario, and includes 22 officers who graduated from the COTA North initiative, promoting diversity within correctional services by ensuring that correctional officers are reflective of the diverse communities they serve.
Officers will be working in 23 of the province's 26 adult correctional facilities and are part of the 2,000 correctional officers Ontario has committed to hiring over the next three years.
Hiring additional correctional officers and investing in training is one way the government is reforming Ontario's correctional system to build safer communities.
- The new correctional officers will be deployed to: Algoma Treatment and Remand Centre, Brantford Jail, Brockville Jail, Central East Correctional Centre, Central North Correctional Centre, Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, Fort Frances Jail, Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, Kenora Jail, Maplehurst Correctional Complex, Monteith Correctional Complex, Niagara Detention Centre, Ontario Correctional Institute, Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, Quinte Detention Centre, Sarnia Jail, Stratford Jail, Thunder Bay Correctional Centre, Thunder Bay Jail, Toronto East Detention Centre, Toronto South Detention Centre, Vanier Centre for Women.
- The COTA program is an eight-week program that all correctional officers are required to complete before being deployed. It includes mental health training and inmate management techniques.
- An additional 192 new recruits are scheduled to begin training in January 2017.
- Ontario recently appointed an independent advisor on corrections reform to provide advice to the government on the use of segregation and ways to improve the province's adult corrections system.
- The province is opening its first dedicated mental health unit on the site of the Roy McMurtry Centre in Brampton to meet the specific, often complex needs of female inmates with mental health issues.
“I would like to congratulate our province’s newest correctional officers on joining the dedicated staff who help build stronger, safer communities in Ontario by rehabilitating inmates and helping break the cycle of reoffending. These 180 new officers, along with an overhaul of the use of segregation, mental health supports and infrastructure upgrades will improve Ontario’s correctional system for both staff and inmates.”