Supporting Frontline Staff in Adult Correctional Services
NAPANEE — Ontario's government is listening to and engaging with frontline correctional officers on ways to keep them safe on the job.
Parliamentary Assistant Belinda Karahalios was joined today by Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, to meet with frontline correctional officers at Quinte Detention Centre to hear their concerns about staff and inmate safety and wellness supports, as well as 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 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 conducted engagement sessions at correctional facilities across the province throughout August and 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."
"I was pleased to visit Quinte Detention Centre and engage directly with frontline correctional officers who face unique challenges on a daily basis," said Kramp. "Our government will continue working to improve their safety and security and we are committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of correctional officers."
Recent government action to support correctional staff includes:
- 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
- Expanding the female unit at Monteith Correctional Complex
- Having a dedicated canine unit at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre
- Increasing safety at the Kenora Jail by upgrading infrastructure and strengthening partnerships between corrections staff and police services