Corrections - Facility and Service Delivery Options, Analysis and Recommendations

Correctional Services

Facility and Service Delivery Options, Analysis and Recommendations Report

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services constant focus is on transforming Ontario’s correctional system including strengthening supports for inmates with mental illness, and improving programs and services that meet the specific needs of all inmates.

In September 2013, the government committed to 10 public interest remedies to enhance services for inmates with mental health issues in a settlement reached with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and a former inmate.

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has already taken a number of steps to improve mental health services and fulfill the public remedies. Most recently, the Ministry received a commissioned report on improving mental health services for female inmates. This report has been sent to the OHRC. Read the executive summary (PDF, 650 kb). The full report can be requested through our feedback form.

The Facility and Service Delivery Options, Analysis and Recommendations Report aligns with eight of the 10 remedies, and is a central piece of our agreement with the OHRC. This report will be part of our road map for improved access to mental health services for female inmates.

As the report notes, there are positive examples of good practices across Ontario to meet the mental health needs of female inmates, such as the Intensive Management, Assessment and Treatment (IMAT) unit at the Vanier Centre for Women. The IMAT unit utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach, regular case reviews, case management-based programming and links with the community. Evidence has shown that this model has a direct and positive impact on reducing reoffending rates.

This report will add evidence-based direction to inform these efforts, and support ongoing actions. The ministry is currently reviewing the report’s recommendations and will report back to the OHRC on implementation by September 2016, as outlined in the remedy timelines.

We are also launching a comprehensive review of Ontario’s use of segregation within our correctional facilities, including a review of the mental health supports and services available for inmates in segregation, and alignment of our segregation policies and practices.

Consultations with mental health experts, civil liberty groups, corrections staff and bargaining agents, corrections partners and organizations like the OHRC and Ombudsman’s Office will begin in the summer of 2015.

Our review into the use of segregation and the recent report on facility and delivery options for female inmates will guide the ministry as we work to strengthen our supports and services for all inmates in a safe and secure manner.

Ensuring inmates’ access to quality mental health supports and services is a key part of our transformation of the correctional system, and to build safer communities across Ontario.