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More staff needed in Thunder Bay correctional institutions: Local Presidents

The OPSEU/SEFPO local presidents from the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre and Thunder Bay Jail told CBC News that the Ministry of the Solicitor General needs to hire more staff, as a 50 bed expansion was completed at the correctional centre.

Read the whole CBC News article: Expansion of Thunder Bay Correctional Centre complete

From the article:

“The correctional centre is a very open environment,” [Local 708 President Shawn] Bradshaw said. “It relies heavily on programs and positive activities for the inmates.

“When they opened this new 50-bed facility, they didn’t give any of those supports,” he said. “They gave us officers, just barely enough officers, but they didn’t initially have what we call program support staff, so recreational officers, social workers, addictions counselors, they didn’t add any of that aspect, which is kind of what fuels the lower-risk environments.”

[Local 737 President Bill] Hayes also called for more provincial support to help improve conditions at the jail.

“If they want to work on rehabilitation, we need some breathing room,” he said. “I’m calling on them to to step up and make these arrangements for us, because we’re only so big and we’re tucked away in the corner of the province here, and we seem to get forgotten about all the time.

“We need to attract attract employees up here,” Hayes said. “Not only correctional officers, but nursing staff, mental health nurses, all those supports. That’s what this new jail is going to be structured on, is programming and supports and rehabilitation. “