MEDIA ADVISORY - OPSEU president to tour OCDC February 9 to witness "crisis in corrections" firsthand

OTTAWA, Feb. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, will tour the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre February 9 to gain a firsthand look at the crisis in corrections that is impacting provincial jails, including the Ottawa facility.

"I've had the opportunity to visit five detention centres since mid-December and what I've witnessed fits a disturbing pattern," said Thomas, whose union represents more than 6,000 correctional officers and parole and probation employees. "Our correctional system is broken and it needs fixing now."

The OPSEU president said the crisis in corrections is a public safety issue. Facilities are overcrowded and understaffed. Lockdowns are routine and not the exception. Too many inmates with mental health illnesses and substance abuse issues are being warehoused without treatment. Violence is not uncommon.

OPSEU is calling on Treasury Board president Deb Matthews to recommend to cabinet an immediate $100 million to address the many problems inside detention centres.

Thomas will begin his tour of OCDC at 9 a.m. and it will end at approximately 10:30 a.m. A news conference will be held outside the facility immediately following the tour.



Tuesday February 9


9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (estimated). News conference to follow.


Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, 2244 Innes Road, Ottawa.

SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

For further information: Greg Hamara, OPSEU Communications, 647-238-9933


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