Corrections adviser recommends overhaul to address violence in Ontario jails

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TORONTO — Ontario’s independent corrections adviser is making numerous recommendations to address what he says is an increase in reports of inmate-on-staff violence in the province’s jails.

Howard Sapers’ recommendations to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services include overhauling data management, improving work culture in jails and enhancing training for correctional employees.

A report from Sapers and his independent review team says such reforms could significantly improve the safety of correctional employees and those in custody.

According to the report, reports of inmate-on-staff violence significantly increased over the last five years, with about 350 reported cases in 2012 and nearly 1,400 in 2017.

The report says some incident types — such as threats and spitting — may simply be getting reported more frequently, but others — such as physical assaults — cannot be explained in the same way.

Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones says she’s reviewing the report and its recommendations, while reiterating the government’s intention to move forward with correctional reform.

 

 

The Canadian Press