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Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay adds security team targeting human, drug trafficking

A specialized security team has been added to the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont. The Canadian Press file

The Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay is one of two receiving a new institutional security team, the Ontario government announced on Wednesday.

The Lindsay super jail, along with the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene, will receive the teams which consist of specially trained correctional officers who gather information within correctional facilities to help prevent human trafficking, drug trafficking, and detect contraband items. The information is then shared with police and justice services to assist in the investigation of criminal activities within adult correctional institutions.

Read more: Ontario’s top pathologist says correctional officers to blame for Soleiman Faqiri death at Lindsay jail

“Keeping drugs, weapons, and gang activity out of our facilities is critical to ensuring a safe environment for our correctional staff and for inmates,” stated Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

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“Our government has seen success with the Institutional Security Teams launched since 2019, which is why we are investing to equip correctional officers with the expertise they need to stop crime before it happens in more correctional communities.”

The institutional teams — which are part of Ontario’s Anti-human Trafficking Strategy and Ontario’s Contraband Strategy and Action Plan — are currently in place at the Niagara Detention Centre, Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, Maplehurst Correctional Complex, Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, Toronto East Detention Centre, and Toronto South Detention Centre.

“Institutional security teams are an effective way to improve safety both inside and out of correctional facilities,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “These additional measures will help prevent crime and combat human trafficking in our communities.”

Janet Laverty, Ministry of the Solicitor General’s OPSEU MERC vice-chair, said the implementation of the teams will increase the safety of staff and inmates at both institutions.

“Working collaboratively with other justice partners to interrupt human trafficking networks, prevent criminal activity, and thwart contraband from entering institutions keeps all of our communities safe,” Laverty said.

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