• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Building Pathways to Careers in Corrections

March 09, 2021

TORONTO — The Ontario government is offering compensation for new correctional officer recruits while they are undergoing training. The province is also partnering with Mohawk College to offer the virtual delivery of the corrections foundational pilot training program. Both initiatives are designed to remove barriers to employment in corrections and create job opportunities for those who want to pursue a rewarding career in public safety. "Our government continues to make progress on our commitment to hire more staff, increase access to training and strengthen Ontario's correctional system," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "Compensating new recruits and leveraging technology for training will help encourage more people to consider a career that contributes to the safety and well-being of our communities." New correctional officer recruits began receiving compensation in January to cover eight weeks of online and in-person training. Compensating new recruits and providing more opportunities for training reduces the financial and geographic barriers to recruitment. It also helps to increase diversity and access to correctional officer employment across the province, including Northern Ontario. The 18-month pilot project with Mohawk College, the first comprehensive training partnership between the province and an Ontario community college, begins this week and covers topics such as human rights, communication, de-escalation, mental health, and anti-racism. The Correctional Services Recruitment and Training Centre in Hamilton will continue to provide the skills-based practical and experiential training components. This new partnership will leverage Mohawk College's expertise in curriculum design and virtual learning, alongside the ministry's strength in experiential, skills-based training to effectively deliver the program and increase access to participation. "Mohawk College has significant experience in the successful delivery of accessible, rapid skills training across a number of sectors and throughout a number of jurisdictions," said Alison Horton, Mohawk College Vice President, Academic. "We are eager to support the Correctional Services Recruitment and Training Centre to provide new recruits across the province with foundational skills training that will assist them in dealing with sensitive and complex situations in their work. This pilot project represents an opportunity to help public safety employees gain important professional development skills that can serve them well as they pursue their challenging careers." These initiatives are part of Ontario's strategy to invest more than $500 million over five years to transform correctional services and improve health and safety through new hiring and infrastructure improvements.

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