Supporting Frontline Staff in Adult Correctional Services
NORTH BAY — Ontario's government is engaging with frontline correctional officers on ways to keep them safe on the job.
Parliamentary Assistant Belinda C. Karahalios met with frontline correctional officers today at the North Bay Jail 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.
"Nobody understands the challenges facing our correctional system better than the women and men who work inside the walls of our institutions," said Karahalios. "We are meeting directly with staff because their perspectives are essential as we improve conditions and make their jobs safer."
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 frontlines. The government has been conducting engagement sessions at institutions across the province. These will continue throughout September.
"Our frontline correctional employees do a difficult but vital job, under very challenging conditions," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "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."
"It is clear that there are areas for improvement at the North Bay Jail. That's why our government is listening to corrections staff and engaging directly with the frontline at the North Bay Jail," said Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing. "We have already taken action to improve security and conditions and will continue to collect meaningful feedback on how to ensure staff and inmate safety."
Recent government action to support correctional staff includes:
- New Institutional Security Teams at the Niagara Detention Centre and Toronto East Detention Centre
- 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 in the province's Northern adult correctional institutions
- Committing to build a new, modern correctional complex in Thunder Bay