Monthly Archives: March 2009

Things that you should know

Article by Clark Moss

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Correctional Workers employed by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services are peace officers responsible for the care, custody and control of offenders. This is a complex task and goes far beyond locking and unlocking doors.

Probation and Parole Officers also play an important role in helping to ensure public safety by managing at risk Offenders sentenced to serve their sentences. Sentences served in the Communities, Communities that we work, live, and our children go to school in.

We would like to provide some information to you, the public, regarding the current status of Corrections and the facilities in your Community. Regretfully the information is on the deterioration of our Jails and the demoralization of the Workers both inside and outside their walls. All of which has been reported to our current Government, but who denies accountability for such.

Important information such as:

  • Increase Offender populations by 11%. The result of adding 2000-2500 Police Officers, hiring more Crown Attorneys who laid upward of 33,000 more Criminal Charges…where do these offenders go?

  • Correctional Workers reduced from 6200 to 5500

  • On average 70,000 adults are admitted each year into Provincial Jails not including Young Offenders

  • Closed 16 facilities…47 to 31 Provincial Jails

  • All remaining 31 Jails running at 100% capacity…11 of which are operating at up to 135% capacity

  • Due to overcrowding increased violence, sickness and diseases amongst offender populations

  • Ministry of Corrections estimates Province will be short 2000 Offender beds by 2010/11

  • Offenders remanded into custody increased from 40% to 70%

  • 75% increase in High Risk Offenders

  • Remanded High risk Offenders being given 3 days credit for every 1 day served upon sentencing due to Jail conditions…meaning they are serving incredibly less time for the crimes they commit

  • Correctional Facilities and Workers deemed not appropriate to handle Mentally Ill Offenders…15%-20% of Offenders in custody require clinical intervention for mental disorders

  • Up to 63% of workers not given mandatory training in Safety and Security procedures

  • Average life expectancy of a Correctional Officer …..58 years!!!

These are just some of the conditions that we all work within, conditions affecting Public Safety. Conditions that are known to our Government but ignored, instead they choose to blame the front line workers. It is time for our Government to be “ACCOUNTABLE” for the system they have created. Correctional officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making a positive contribution to public safety in Ontario.

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