MINISTRY OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
Ontario's government is keeping correctional officers and staff safe by introducing new Institutional Security Teams (ISTs) at the Niagara Detention Centre and Toronto East Detention Centre.
"These new teams will keep our institutions and our frontline staff safe by gathering intelligence about criminal activity inside and outside our facilities," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "Keeping gang activity, drugs and weapons out of our jails is critical to ensuring a safe work environment for the men and women who work on the front lines every day."
ISTs help prevent drug trafficking and detect contraband items. They do so by gathering intelligence from the inmate population and other sources to share with justice partners, including police services. This information is used to assist in the investigation of inmates engaged in criminal activities within Ontario's adult correctional institutions.
"We will continue to work directly with our frontline staff to ensure they have the resources needed to keep them and those in our custody safe," said Jones. "Our government is committed to cracking down on criminal activities in our institutions. That's why we are addressing long-standing safety issues such as drugs and weapons smuggling in our jails."
This announcement is one more step the government is taking to reform the correctional system in Ontario. Recent changes include improving the safety and well-being of frontline correctional officers, upgrading ageing infrastructure, building a new institution in Thunder Bay and adding new technologies to streamline operations.
- ISTs are already in place at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, Maplehurst Correctional Complex, Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, and Toronto South Detention Centre.
- Each IST is made up of at least four experienced correctional officers.