Today, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Marie-France Lalonde, released the following statement on the final report of the Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform, Howard Sapers:
“I would like to thank Mr. Sapers for his comprehensive and considered report. Our government is committed to addressing all the recommendations and moving forward with the transformation of the province’s correctional system. Our approach will use evidence-based practices to create a strong system that will enhance community safety through a focus on rehabilitation and reintegration.
A key component of this transformation will be the introduction of new corrections legislation that, if passed, will set out clear direction on many areas identified by Mr. Sapers such as the definition of segregation, conditions of confinement, and inmate complaints.
Since Mr. Sapers submitted his interim report in May 2017 we have taken a number of steps to build on the government’s ongoing work to transform Ontario’s correctional system, including:
- Conducting consultations with stakeholders on addressing the Independent Advisor’s recommendations to inform the drafting of new legislation
- Starting the site selection process, establishing a design team, and planning for public consultations for the construction of new correctional centres in Thunder Bay and Ottawa – facilities that will incorporate our reform principles at every stage of their design and development
- Researching and assessing independent oversight models in other jurisdictions to determine an appropriate model for Ontario that will enhance accountably to the public and ensure a high degree of evidence based standards in corrections.
Ontario remains committed to safeguarding human rights and ensuring the safety of individuals placed in the correctional system.
We look forward to continuing our work in partnership with Mr. Sapers, the Ombudsman, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission, in addition to working closely with frontline staff and managers, as well as partners across the justice, social services, and healthcare sectors to ensure that changes meet the needs of those in provincial custody and care.”