Ombudsman to investigate handling of excessive force in Ontario jails

Ombudsman to investigate handling of excessive force in Ontario jails

August 16, 2011

16 August, 2011

TORONTO (August 16, 2011) – Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today announced a systemic investigation into how the province deals with the use of excessive force against inmates by Ontario jail guards, sparked by numerous complaints that such incidents are being covered up or ignored.

TORONTO (August 16, 2011) – Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today announced a systemic investigation into how the province deals with the use of excessive force against inmates by Ontario jail guards, sparked by numerous complaints that such incidents are being covered up or ignored.

The investigation will look at the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ response to inmate complaints, including how it conducts investigations and enforces policies on the use of force.

“We had more than 100 complaints in the last year from inmates who say correctional officers assaulted them, and more than 25 since this April alone,” said Mr. Marin, who earlier raised concerns about this issue in his Annual Report, released in June.  “Even more disturbing are the allegations that violence has been covered up – and that they come from several different institutions.  There is a concern that a ‘code of silence’ has taken hold among some guards.”

The investigation will be conducted by the Special Ombudsman Response Team.  Anyone who has relevant information that could be useful to the investigation is asked to call 1-800-263-1830 during office hours or submit a complaint form at www.ombudsman.on.ca.

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For further information, please contact:

Linda Williamson
Director of Communications
Tel: 416-586-3426
lwilliamson@ombudsman.on.ca

 

Patricia Tomasi
Communications Officer
Tel: 416-586-3402
ptomasi@ombudsman.on.ca

 

Ashley Bursey
Communications Officer
Tel: 416-586-3521
abursey@ombudsman.on.ca