NDP open letter to Liberal government about crisis in correctional services

Honourable Yasir Naqvi
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th Floor, George Drew Building
25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Y6

November 24th, 2015 

Dear Minister Naqvi, 

Ontario is experiencing a crisis in corrections. Crumbling infrastructure, dangerous levels of understaffing and blatant disregard for mental health concerns all affirm that Ontario’s correctional services have been mismanaged and overlooked.

From multiple accidental releases in London, to malfunctioning locks and a mounting inmate hunger strike at Toronto South; Ontarians expect and deserve better. Your Ministry has been plagued by bad headlines across the province, and after a year at the bargaining table and no contract in sight for Correctional Officers, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

If these are the problems we are seeing now under experienced staff, what can we expect if correctional facilities are left in the hands of managers with minimal training?

For the past year you have touted your Ministry’s review of the corrections division, but while that review is ongoing there have been numerous inmate deaths and countless workplace safety concerns.

It is time to take action before things get worse. It is time to reach a deal with Correctional Officers so that you can start addressing these issues, and end the crisis in corrections.

I look forward to your response. 

Sincerely,

(Original signed)

Jennifer French, MPP
NDP Community Safety and Correctional Services Critic