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You are hereHome > OPS > Ministry >October 26,  2001  LockTalk

Lock Talk:  A Publication of the OPSEU Corrections Campaign

October 26, 2001

Doors start to swing shut
Barrie, Parry Sound begin decommission process

The shoe finally dropped for staff at the Barrie Jail and the Parry Sound Jail this week as they learned that their institutions are on the final stretch towards closure.

Inmates from both jails began boarding busses and vans on Wednesday, and the goal is to have no inmates spending the night at either facility. The date of that final transfer is tentatively set for December 7.

Like most occurrences in the Corrections Ministry lately, the mechanics of this decommission process have left many shaking their heads in disbelief. In the case of the Barrie Jail, inmates are to be housed at Maplehurst Complex in Milton, and the Millbrook Correctional Centre, south of Peterborough. Millbrook is a four-hour round trip…in good weather.

Inmates will be transferred daily to the Barrie Jail and then processed for court. After court, inmates will return to the jail, then be rounded up and driven down the road again. The reason for this ridiculous process is very simple: Management and Training Corporation (MTC) want their staff.

It is estimated that about one quarter of the staff at the Barrie Jail are transferring to Penetanguishene, either through direct assignment under the collective agreement or, for those who took their severance packages, through direct hiring by MTC. These two groups of staff are scheduled to begin training at the superjail on Monday, October 29. Staff who retained their redeployment rights under an agreement negotiated by the OPSEU Corrections Ministry Employee Relations Committee (MERC), will remain working at the jail until the final closure.

Tim Mulhall, vice president of Local 313 at the Barrie Jail, said that the staff are glad to be getting on with their lives.

“People here are very relieved,” Mulhall said. “We’ve had this closure hanging over our heads for years, and, regardless of the outcome, our members are just happy not to be in limbo anymore.”

This weekend, the only inmates who will stay at the Barrie Jail will be those serving weekend sentences. Next weekend, those inmates are to report to Mimico C.C. in Toronto. How the inmates get there will be left up to them.

“We have weekenders that hitchhike from Wasaga Beach every Friday,” Mulhall said. “How are they supposed to get to Toronto?”

We doubt that Corrections Minister Rob Sampson lets little details like that bother him. He certainly doesn’t seen too worried about the cost of transporting inmates all over the province for court appearances on a daily basis. Just so long as he can keep his private sector pals happy, others will continue to pay the price. That’s the Tory way.

For campaign information, call Don Ford (ext. 442) at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888.

e-mail: dford@opseu.org

Ontario Public Service Employees Union
100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8
www.opseu.org

Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, president.

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Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 100 Lesmill Rd. Toronto, ON M3B 3P8  (416) 443-8888  www.opseu.org