Sept 28, 2001
Sampson to receive a visit from P&P
On Mon., Oct. 1 probation and
parole officers will converge on Corrections Minister Rob
Sampson’s constituency office in Mississauga to let him know
that there are big problems in community corrections.
The concerned officers will
protest the serious public safety crisis that has eroded the
community side of Corrections over the past decade. Critical
staff shortages, crushing workloads, rapid technology and policy
change as well as insufficient support and funding of
corrections have led to a lack of effective offender supervision
and rehabilitation, thereby jeopardizing the personal safety of
the public at large and the probation staff.
Liberal Justice Critic Dave Levac
and NDP Justice Critic Peter Kormos will join the Probation
Officers at the demonstration. The location of the protest is
1100 Central Parkway W. (at Erindale Station Rd., south of
Burnhamthorpe) at 12 p.m.
Please come out and show your
Recommendations made to
alleviate jail conditions
Recommendations made at the
ministry-level health and safety table should help alleviate
some of the deteriorating conditions in the province’s
The Joint Occupational Health and
Safety Committee is taking steps to address issues on staff
shortages, inmate management and overcrowding. An agreement
reached on Sept. 18 deals with the first two of these issues.
The recommendations, endorsed by both union and management
representatives, will be forwarded to the Minister’s office.
With respect to staffing
shortages, recommendations include the filling of temporary
vacancies, an incentive program to encourage more new
Correctional Officer Start (CO-Start) applicants, protocols to
manage overtime, more efficient unclassified staff scheduling
for weekend coverage, making staff available to assist in other
facilities and an incentive program to reward good attendance.
Inmate management strategies
include increasing inmate temporary absence permits, reinstating
inmate recreation, alternative measures for inmates with special
needs housed in segregation, increased activities for inmates, a
review on how inmates access protective custody and a proposed
earned remission and case management system for all provincial
Daryl Pitfield, chair of the
Health and Safety team, is extremely satisfied with the progress
made so far.
“We have made some great
strides in addressing the problems that our members are facing
daily,” Pitfield said. “It is our indication that the
Minister’s office is open to suggestions for change, and we’re
pleased that these joint recommendations are going forward.”
The team meets again next week to
continue discussions on the issue of overcrowding.
Welcome to the new H&S vice-chair
Committee member Rick Kloostra
has filled the position of vice-chair on the OPSEU Corrections
Occupational Health and Safety Committee, which was vacated by
We wish Rick the best of
luck in his new position.
advertising for correctional officers
It would not be surprising if a
lot of members looked in shock at the front page of the Toronto Star’s
Careers section on Sept. 27. Appearing there is a large
advertisement from the Ministry of Correctional Services looking
for new correctional officers.
The ad states that career
opportunities are available in “most areas of the province,
particularly in the Greater Toronto Area.”
Have we missed something here?
Last time we checked, the Ministry was in the process of
downsizing staff. Or have conditions in our facilities gotten so
bad that experienced staff are utilizing the downsizing period
to leave the Ministry in droves, which will leave a lot of empty
The most likely explanation for
this ad is that no one in his or her right mind is trying to
join Corrections right now. The likelihood of getting a
permanent job at a jail now or in the near future is very slim.
Since students have to pay for their training, the Ministry is
probably hurting for money down at the Bellcairn Training Centre.
It appears that the Ministry will
go to any lengths to make a buck. Unfortunately, those who will
pay for it are the unsuspecting students who think a decent job
is close at hand.
Sampson going “3-D”?
A press release sent out today
Minister of Correctional Services Rob Sampson promises to give
Ontarians a rare look inside the province's new superjails via a
3-D electronic tour on the Ministry’s web site. We’re hoping
that it’s the facilities, and not the Minister, that are going
to be shown in 3-D.
For those without Internet
access, Toronto police are offering a similar 3-D tour of the
Toronto (Don) Jail. The tour has been described as “incredibly
life-like.” If you would like to participate in the tour, just
get arrested in the downtown core.
Gain one, lose one
The resolution count stays at 261
this week with the addition of one municipality and the loss of
Adding its name to the list of
public jail supporters is Town of Hawksbury (east of Ottawa).
Bowing to pressure from
Corrections Minister Rob Sampson, the Town of Kenora has
rescinded its earlier support in the hope that the Ministry will
build a young offender facility there. The Ministry has made it
clear that municipalities will not get any new jails unless they
cave in to the idea of privatization.
Continuing to fight against these
government blackmail attempts is our own Resolution Warrior, Len
Mason of Local 737 (Thunder Bay Jail).
For campaign information, call
Don Ford (ext. 442) at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888.
Ontario Public Service Employees Unionwww.opseu.org
100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman,