Ontario hires 123 correctional officers, invests $500 million to ‘modernize’ facilities

By Amanda Jerome

Law360 Canada (August 19, 2022, 2:32 PM EDT) -- On Aug. 19, the Ontario government announced the hiring of “123 new correctional officers” as part of the province’s “plan to transform adult correctional services and improve public safety.”

According to a government release, the province is “investing more than $500 million over five years to modernize correctional facilities and reduce the financial and geographic barrier for new recruits by covering the cost of training.”

Solicitor general Michael Kerzner said, “correctional officers contribute to the safety of our communities and provide a vital service within the justice system, and we are proud to have their backs.”

“On behalf of the Ontario government, I applaud every person who has chosen a career in corrections and thank them for their commitment to public service and to ensuring inmates have what they need for successful rehabilitation while in custody,” he added.

The correctional officer graduates, the release noted, will be “assigned to 15 different institutions across Ontario near their home regions:

  • 32 graduates will support the Eastern Region at the Central East Correctional Centre, Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre and Quinte Detention Centre.
  • 27 will support the Western Region at the Central North Correctional Centre and Sarnia Jail.
  • 32 graduates will work in the Northern Region at the Fort Frances Jail, Kenora Jail, Monteith Correctional Complex, Sudbury Jail and Thunder Bay Correctional Centre.
  • 17 will work in the Toronto Region at Toronto East Detention Centre and Toronto South Detention Centre.
  • 15 will support the Central Region at the Hamilton Wentworth Detention Centre, Maplehurst Correctional Complex and Vanier Centre for Women.”

According to the release, the new graduates have “completed the eight-week correctional officer training program, which was delivered virtually by Mohawk College.”

“In-person training was led by the Corrections Centre for Professional Advancement and Training. All recruits received extensive training with enhanced instruction in communication and de-escalation techniques. The curriculum also included a focus on anti-Black racism, Indigenous cultural training, and inmate management techniques,” the release explained.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact Amanda Jerome at Amanda.Jerome@lexisnexis.ca or call 416-524-2152.