“We are experiencing chronic understaffing, inmate overcrowding, poor inmate living conditions, and the lack of necessary staff training and modern equipment to keep the community, inmates, and staff safe" - Dan Sidsworth, OPSEU/NUPGE
Toronto (25 June, 2013) - Representatives of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE), representing Ontario’s front-line correctional officers, held a press conference to respond to the Ontario Ombudsman’s report on use of force in the province’s correctional facilities (Click here for the full union response).
Leaders from Corrections met to discuss report findings
Prior to the press conference, corrections leaders from across Ontario met to discuss the report first-hand, and voice their concerns about aspects of André Marin’s findings and recommendations.
Reporters had an opportunity to speak to Dan Sidsworth about the Report, and the union’s response.
Findings ignore widespread problems in province's jails
“Correctional Officers agree that even one case of excessive use of force is one too many,” Sidsworth told the media.
“We also acknowledge that the Ombudsman has identified that a ‘Code of Silence’ was a factor in some cases where excessive force was used. That said, we do not believe that these factors can be addressed in isolation of all the problems facing correctional facilities in Ontario.”
Sidsworth said there are systemic issues affecting the correctional system in Ontario today. “We are experiencing chronic understaffing, inmate overcrowding, poor inmate living conditions, and the lack of necessary staff training and modern equipment to keep the community, inmates, and staff safe.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE