LACK OF GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP CONTRIBUTED TO ABUSE IN ONTARIO’S PRISONS: MPP BAILEY
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Queen’s Park— Today, Ontario’s Ombudsman Andre Marin, released his report detailing “systemic problems in the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.”
The report titled, The Code, outlines the findings of a two year investigation of Ontario’s correctional system that was triggered by a high number of complaints from inmates in Ontario’s overcrowded correctional facilities. Chief among the Ombudsman’s concerns is a perceived “code of silence” among a minority of correctional officers and managers hoping to skirt issues of accountability and conceal instances of excessive force.
In detailing eight cases where excessive force was used by correctional officers, the Ombudsman noted inadequate training, overcrowding, understaffing and the “dismissive” nature of the Ministry when confronted with instances of abuse in Ontario’s correctional system.
“The cases outlined in the Ombudsman’s report are nothing but abhorrent and those responsible should be held accountable, there is no doubt about that,” said PC Critic of Corrections, MPP Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton). “However, Minister Meillieur and the Liberal government cannot skirt its responsibility here.”
“The Ombudsman has echoed what the PC Caucus and I have been saying for years now; that understaffing, lack of training and this government’s ten year track record of mismanagement is leading to increasingly dangerous living and working conditions. For an example of this we only need to look to the lockdown and fires we saw in London earlier this month.”
“Keeping dangerous prisoners away from our families and in humane conditions is one of the core responsibilities of government that the McGuinty-Wynne government has shirked its responsibility of.”
“The overwhelming majority of Correctional Officers working in this province are doing so because they take extreme pride in the tremendous service they do for this province. This government needs to finally step up and do its part to support them by addressing the systemic issues outlined in the Ombudsman’s report.”
For more information, contact:
David Donovan | 416-325-1715 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bobbaileympp.com