TORONTO, March 1, 2023 /CNW/ – Hundreds of OPSEU/SEFPO probation and parole staff have signed a petition demanding that the Ford government address the staffing crisis in community corrections.
The petition was presented today by NDP MPP John Vanthof, Opposition Critic for the Solicitor General.
OPSEU/SEFPO probation and parole officers have the highest caseloads in the country, making it extremely challenging to provide effective services to clients reintegrating into the community, and to ensure compliance with probation and parole conditions to protect public safety.
OPSEU/SEFPO is calling on the Ford government to take the following actions:
- Immediately hire 200 additional permanent, case-carrying probation and parole officers, and 50 full-time permanent probation support staff in order to reduce unmanageable workloads.
- Implement a plan to actively seek and enforce the thousands of outstanding breach warrants issued each year by Probation and Parole Services, to reduce recidivism and protect public safety.
“The staffing crisis in Ontario’s Probation and Parole offices is at a breaking point, and hiring a handful of temporary staff isn’t going to address our members’ overwhelming caseloads. Understaffing is bad for the health and wellbeing of overworked probation and parole staff, and bad for the clients they support in the community.”
– JP Hornick, President, OPSEU/SEFPO
“It’s no coincidence that Ontario has the highest probation caseloads in the country as well as high rates of recidivism for high-risk offenders. Probation and Parole offices are so understaffed that it affects our ability to meet our clients’ needs and ensure that they comply with their probation and parole conditions. Our members issue thousands of warrants every year for offenders who have breached the conditions of their probation, conditional sentence and parole, and there is no system to actively search for them. If rehabilitation and public safety are the goals of community corrections, we need a lot more permanent, full-time staff to make it happen.”
– Scott McIntyre, OPSEU/SEFPO Probation and Parole Representative, Ministry of the Solicitor General Ministry Employee Relations Committee (Sol-Gen MERC)
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO)