New correctional officers will reflect Canada’s diversity

Toronto, April 1 (CINEWS): Diversity is expected to be a prime consideration as Ontario government is now gearing up to hire thousands of correctional officers over the next three years.
Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Yasir Naqvi announced earlier this week that the province would hire 2,000 correctional officers to improve safety in the province’s correctional facilities, strengthen mentalprison-guard health support for inmates and enhance offender access to rehabilitation and reintegration programs.
This recruiting drive would additional include efforts to diversify the make-up of recruiting classes, the ministry said.
Ontario corrections officers, who include staff at Brampton’s Roy McMurtry Youth Centre and Ontario Correctional Institute, have for a while now being voicing concerns about overcrowded and understaffed facilities in the provincial jail and probation system.
Hiring in this area is especially urgent given that 30 per cent of current corrections staff are expected to begin retiring retire over the next three to five years.
Ontario is also promising steps to enhance training to help staff deal more effectively with inmates and offenders suffering from mental health issues.
It is estimated that up to 50 per cent of offenders may be dealing with mental health issues.
Corrections staff do the best they can with the training provided, but, it is maintenance and crisis control, not treatment, he insisted.
Having a more diverse set of correctional officers may really be a good idea given that prison populations now include a sizable number of ethnic minorities and interpreting certain body language and even language may help correctional officers avoid making an incorrect choice.

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