Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre is a prime example of the problems plaguing Ontario prisons. This is why the Ontario Public Safety Employees Union (which includes jail guards) has arranged for MPP Deb Matthews to tour the facility this Friday.
Warren “Smokey” Thompson, President of the union, says that the visit is important for both inmates and guards.
“If they saw that the government was serious about relieving overcrowding and under-staffing so we don’t live in perpetual lock-down, I think they might stay. The officers that are talking leaving, the senior officers, have a tremendous amount of experience and they are really needed to train the new officers.”
The current provincial budget has allocated approximately 13 million dollars for new body scanners and cameras to be added to all Ontario prisons. However, Thompson says the focus needs to be on relieving the overcrowding and providing adequate staffing.