Ontario is installing advanced technology full-body scanners in all 26 adult provincial correctional facilities over two years as part of its corrections transformation to further improve staff and inmate safety, reduce contraband and enhance security.
Full-body security scanning systems safely scan bodies for external and internal contraband not detected by existing security measures.
Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to install full-body scanners in all adult correctional facilities. The purchase of the scanning systems was done through a competitive procurement process to ensure value for taxpayer dollars. The total cost of the scanners, including maintenance on the units over 10 years, is $9.5 million.
The decision to move forward with this project follows a successful six-month pilot project at the Toronto South Detention Centre that resulted in a clear reduction in contraband, reduced incidents involving weapons and improved overall institutional safety and security. These units have also been recommended in several Coroner’s Inquests, and are highly supported by correctional officers, provincial health and safety committees, and other correctional staff.
Enhancing security in correctional facilities across the province is a key part of the government’s transformation of Ontario’s correctional system to build safer communities, the government said in a news release.
Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, said: “Moving forward with the installation of full-body scanners in all of Ontario’s adult correctional facilities will further improve staff and inmate safety, reduce contraband, and build safer communities for everyone. I am proud to have worked closely with our correctional officers on this important safety improvement and look forward to continuing to transform Ontario’s correctional system by increasing access to rehabilitation programs, enhancing mental health supports, and improving community-based reintegration partnerships.” — CINEWS