Institutional Security Teams consist of specially trained correctional officers who gather information within correctional facilities to help prevent human trafficking, drug trafficking, and detect contraband items. This information is shared with justice partners, including police services, to assist in the investigation of criminal activities within Ontario’s adult correctional institutions.
“Keeping drugs, weapons, and gang activity out of our facilities is critical to ensuring a safe environment for our correctional staff and for inmates,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Our government has seen success with the Institutional Security Teams launched since 2019, which is why we are investing to equip correctional officers with the expertise they need to stop crime before it happens in more correctional communities.”
The new Institutional Security Teams are part of Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy to strengthen information and intelligence gathering capacity, help detect and monitor human traffickers within the adult correctional system, and identify victims as part of criminal investigations to more effectively bring offenders to justice.
Teams also build on Ontario’s Contraband Strategy and Action Plan, a series of initiatives to detect contraband in adult correctional facilities, enhance security measures, and improve the collection, analysis and sharing of data with justice sector partners.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that correctional centres are not zones of further criminal activity,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “That is why I am so pleased that our government is creating a new Institutional Security Team at the Central North Correction Centre, which will help combat crime in our region by providing resources that will have a positive impact on multiple justice partners.”
“Institutional Security Teams are an effective way to improve safety both inside and out of correctional facilities,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “These additional measures will help prevent crime and combat human trafficking in our communities.”
“The implementation of Institutional Security Teams at Central North Correctional Centre and Central East Correctional Centre are a welcome addition which will increase the safety of staff and inmates at these two institutions,” said Janet Laverty, Ministry of the Solicitor General’s OPSEU MERC Vice-Chair. “Working collaboratively with other justice partners to interrupt human trafficking networks, prevent criminal activity, and thwart contraband from entering institutions keeps all of our communities safe.”