April 27, 2021
TORONTO —The Ontario government is implementing the use of specialized devices at 25 adult correctional facilities across the province to detect and locate contraband cell phones. Prohibited cell phones are a growing concern within facilities and can be used by inmates for criminal activities, to intimidate witnesses or share security details from within an institution. This measure is part of the government’s strategy to enhance security and improve staff and inmate safety. “The unauthorized use of cell phones is a serious threat to the safety of corrections staff and inmates and is being used to conduct criminal activity inside and outside of our facilities,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “These new cell phone detectors are an important tool in our strategy to combat contraband and ensure correctional staff are equipped with the modern tools and technology needed to do their job safely and securely.” Work is underway to train staff on the use of these devices to ensure all detectors are fully operational by summer 2021. The new cell phone detectors will add another important tool that complements the use of ion scanners introduced at 11 adult correctional facilities across the province earlier this year. Body scanners, hand-held and walk-through metal detectors, searches, and canine units are also available to staff to prevent, detect, confiscate, and reduce contraband within institutions. These initiatives are important steps in a broader strategy to combat contraband, building on the government’s commitment to invest more than $500 million over five years to transform adult correctional services in Ontario.
Contraband is one of the most significant and serious risks to the health and safety of our staff and inmates.