Mandate letter progress: Community Safety and Correctional Services
The Minister’s response letter to Premier Wynne, outlining the results achieved on key mandate priorities in 2014-15.
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January 11, 2016
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
I am pleased to report on the progress my ministry has achieved on our mandate letter commitments. The letter outlined three key priorities for my ministry: policing and public safety, transforming correctional services and moving ahead on a mental health strategy.
Policing and Public Safety
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Billing Model
- We have implemented a new, fairer and more transparent OPP billing model for the communities the OPP serves.
Strategy for a Safer Ontario
- We are developing the Strategy for a Safer Ontario to modernize policing and public safety. This represents the largest policing transformation in Ontario in 25 years. The strategy:
- Will be a blueprint for effective, sustainable, community-based policing, including with respect to First Nations.
- Will build on our work with the Future of Policing Advisory Committee and extensive engagement with municipal and policing partners.
- Will focus on collaboration — in which police will work with partners in education, health care and social services to make communities safer and improve the well-being of people who live in them.
- This winter, we will consult with Ontarians and community partners to help inform this new legislative policing framework.
Police Record Check Reform and Street Checks/Carding
- Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act, was passed on December 1, 2015. It sets clear standards by establishing specific types of checks, strictly limiting the release of non-conviction information and prohibiting disclosure of non-criminal information, preventing unnecessary barriers to employment, education and volunteer opportunities.
- Following extensive consultations, we posted draft regulations on October 28, 2015, to prohibit the arbitrary collection of identifying information by police and establish new rights-based rules for voluntary police-public interactions where identifying information is collected. Once in force, they will be mandatory for every police service in Ontario.
Transforming Ontario’s Correctional System
- We have started work to:
- Hire more correctional officers.
- Address capacity pressures.
- Improve release planning.
- Reform the bail and remand system.
- Review offender rehabilitative programming, including training and education.
- Review our segregation policy.
- Our goal is to develop a collaborative, cross-government approach to the services and supports our inmates and clients need to reintegrate into society. This builds on recent achievements, including an improved transgender inmate policy and a new Regional Intermittent Centre in London.
Mental Health Strategy
- We have made progress in several areas:
- I hosted a Mental Health Roundtable of police, fire, correctional workers and community organizations to discuss the unique mental health challenges faced by first responders.
- The ministry introduced an early mental health screening tool for use in correctional facilities.
- We have been working closely with the Ministry of Labour on their comprehensive strategy on post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health.
- Part of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario will be improving interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians.
- The Ontario Provincial Police released its Mental Health Strategy, a blueprint to better respond to the mental health needs of OPP staff and the people they serve.
While much has been accomplished, more remains to be done. I am dedicated to working with partners, moving forward on the mandate priorities and implementing initiatives that will make our public safety and correctional systems more efficient and accountable.
|Mandate Letter Commitment||Progress to Date|
|Ensure that all of Ontario’s diverse communities are supported and protected by law enforcement — and that public safety and correctional systems are safe, secure, effective, efficient and accountable.||
|Leading the implementation of a new, fairer, more transparent Ontario Provincial Police billing model. You will work with municipalities to support the implementation of the new model and monitor its impact on small, rural and northern municipalities with challenging fiscal circumstances.||
|Continuing to develop a new strategic vision and plan for community safety and policing by working with municipalities, ministers and the Future of Policing Advisory Committee (FPAC). You will continue to consult with stakeholders and work with FPAC to accelerate the development of a package of reforms to policing service delivery.||
|Working with stakeholders, municipalities and other ministers to control the rising cost of policing.||
|Working with the federal government and First Nation communities to address the sustainability of First Nation policing.||
|Maintaining a strategic focus on community safety through a made-in-Ontario Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Strategy that builds on the Crime Prevention in Ontario - Framework for Action and complements other key government initiatives — such as the Youth Action Plan and Mental Health Strategy.||
|Continuing to develop measures to keep guns out of Ontario and handguns off our streets. This issue requires engagement at all levels of government.||
|Engaging with stakeholders and ministry partners to review issues that intersect between policing and civil liberties to bring forward change. You will consider issues that include undertaking a review of police record checks, the current bail and remand system, officer suspension without pay and the use of body-worn police cameras.||
|Working with ministry partners and stakeholders to undertake a comprehensive review of the province’s emergency management systems. This will build on lessons learned from recent experiences, such as the 2013 ice storm. Your goals are ongoing improvement, protecting public safety and adapting to the growing impacts of climate change. You will also work with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to ensure alignment between this review and the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program review.||
|Moving forward with plans for longer-term transformation of the correctional system. This will include: developing and implementing an intermittent offender strategy to help relieve capacity pressures, improving release planning efforts, addressing programmatic and service requirements for female inmates, enhancing inmate training and education programs — and expanding educational offerings in provincial institutions to further enhance rehabilitation and correctional services for clients.||
|Continuing to transform correctional services by working to improve strategies for the assessment, care and community reintegration of offenders. These efforts will include collaborating with other ministers to enhance skills training — and techniques for probation and parole staff to better address client risk factors and reduce recidivism. You will look for opportunities to pilot these transformation efforts prior to full implementation.||
|Engaging in a co-ordinated approach and working with community partners, stakeholders and other ministers, consider mental health and substance abuse issues when delivering frontline services — such as emergency response, police services and correctional services. When considering mental health strategies, you will draw upon the recommendations of the Iacobucci report, Police Encounters with People in Crisis.||
|Considering the mental health of first responders and correctional services staff by continuing to address systemic challenges related to issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.||