January 29, 2016 4:50 pm

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

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


TORONTO – Ontario is recruiting 180 new correctional officers, in the midst of what critics are calling a crisis in corrections.

Guards, unions and opposition politicians have said Ontario’s correctional facilities are understaffed to the point that it is jeopardizing guard and inmate safety.

The government originally said the new officers would only replace those who were leaving or retiring.

READ MORE: Ontario starts training 144 new correctional officers for province’s jails

But in a statement the government now says these 180 new officers “will help ensure that staffing levels grow beyond normal turnover and retirement.”

The new positions will be located in Fort Frances, Kenora, Thunder Bay, Lindsay, Napanee, Ottawa, Monteith, Sault Ste. Marie and Brantford.

The province says it has hired 571 new correctional officers since 2013.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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