Ontario Celebrates Correctional Services StaffPublished on May 03, 2021
Recent investments and new engagement tour highlighted during annual recognition week
TORONTO —To mark Correctional Services Staff Recognition Week, the Ontario government is launching a new engagement tour and highlighting the significant contributions of correctional officers, probation and parole officers, nurses, social workers, recreation staff, administrative support staff, and others who work every day to keep communities safe across the province.
“Under especially stressful and challenging conditions due to COVID-19, correctional services professionals continue to serve Ontario’s communities with remarkable dedication and excellence,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Whether it’s providing supervision in our correctional institutions or community settings – their efforts are meaningful and impactful and enhance public safety each and every day.”
Beginning today, Solicitor General Jones will be participating in virtual engagement sessions with correctional services staff across Ontario on ways to enhance seamless transitions for individuals released from custody. These discussions will help facilitate community reintegration efforts and reaffirm the government’s commitment to providing frontline staff with the tools and resources they need to perform their vital work.
Increasing community reintegration supports is a commitment in the 2021 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protecting People's Health and Our Economy, which includes a $23 million investment to hire 50 additional probation and parole officers. The funding will improve resources and training for community services staff and support innovative partnerships with community service providers to help ensure the safe transition of persons in custody, and increase the supervision of offenders, to enhance public safety.
Later this week, the province and correctional services staff will pay tribute to those who have fallen in the line of duty through a virtual Correctional Services Ceremony of Remembrance, honouring the contributions and sacrifices Ontario’s correctional services staff have made over the years.
“I am extremely pleased with the Solicitor General’s staff engagement and the government’s commitment to hire an additional 50 frontline probation and parole officers,” said Scott McIntyre, Probation and Parole Representative for the Ministry Employee Relations Committee. “This is a positive step forward in reducing high workload levels and will definitely enhance public safety. I also want to recognize that May 6th is the Ontario Corrections Memorial, where we honour those corrections employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.”
“Correctional services staff in institutions and probation offices across the province work tirelessly to protect our communities, and this work is often done away from the public eye” said Chad Oldfield, Co-Chair of the Corrections Ministry Employee Relations Committee. “Correctional Services Staff Recognition Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the dedication of correctional workers who are critical to maintaining public safety. We value the Ontario government’s ongoing commitment to supporting the essential work we do and engaging with frontline staff acknowledges the important role we play in building a safer Ontario.
- Correctional Services Staff Recognition Week takes place annually during the first week of May.
- A permanent monument “Hours of the Day” located at Queen’s Park pays tribute to those who have contributed and fallen in the line of duty to correctional services in Ontario.
- Ontario is investing more than $500 million over five years to transform correctional services and improve health and safety through new hiring, programming and infrastructure improvements.
Recent government action to support corrections staff includes:
- Ontario Strengthens Security at Provincial Adult Correctional Facilities
- Ontario Building Pathways to Careers in Corrections
- Ontario Announces Successful Bidder for Expansion of Northern Correctional Facilities
- Ontario Enhances Security at Adult Correctional Facilities
- Ontario Strengthening Correctional System in the North