KENORA – Long overdue upgrades are now on the horizon for the Kenora Jail. The news came Friday as Minister Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora—Rainy River, on behalf of Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, announced a plan to increase security and improve infrastructure at the Kenora Jail.
“We are committed to taking immediate action to address the issues at the Kenora Jail that have had an impact on the safety of correctional officers,” said Rickford. “Today’s announcement of a plan to increase security at the jail reverses that trend and will improve the safety of our frontline correctional officers.”
“There is no greater priority in our corrections system than the safety of our correctional staff. Our government is committed to providing our frontline staff with the tools and resources they need to keep our communities safe, and that includes our correctional system. We need to do better so correctional staff, in turn, can provide the appropriate supervision of those in our custody,” said Jones.
Immediate improvements being made include:
- Upgrading infrastructure by hiring contracted maintenance staff to address pressing needs such as improving lighting, cameras, doors, and locks
- Strengthening partnerships between corrections staff and police services, including counterparts in the northwest, to share information about gangs and potential threats within the jail
- Improving security by recruiting for a field intelligence officer to collect information and develop intelligence on potential threats
- Increasing security for correctional staff by providing specialized equipment for the Institutional Crisis Intervention Team
- Building new training and crisis ready rooms and implementing new procedures such as having more staff present when doors are unlocked or medical assistance is provided.
- The Kenora Jail was built in 1926 and is one of Ontario’s 25 adult correctional institutions.
- The average number of adults in custody across the province in 2017-18 was 7,474 per day.
- Approximately 68 per cent of the province’s adult inmate population is made up of people on remand, who are being held while awaiting trial.