March 21, 2016 11:54 am

Ontario to hire 2,000 new correctional officers over 3 years

The general inmate facility is shown during a media tour of the Toronto South Detention Centre in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

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Ontario is bolstering its correctional facilities by hiring 2,000 new officers over the next three years.

The province says the rise in staffing levels is required to “enhance access to rehabilitation and reintegration programming, strengthen mental health supports and improve staff and inmate safety.”

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The announcement was made Monday by Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi on the first day of training for 140 correctional officers with the Ontario Correctional Services College.

“Building on the 710 correctional officers already hired since 2013, will ensure that we continue to attract excellent recruits to further enhance staffing levels and safety at our facilities as well as to improve rehabilitation and reintegration programming,” said Naqvi.

READ MORE: Ontario recruits jail guards amid what critics call a crisis in corrections

The new hires come two months after Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the government reached a labour agreement with correctional workers.

The workers, including 6,000 jail guards and probation officers, had threatened to go on strike if a deal had not been reached.

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