"Our job years ago was just kind of turning the key. Now there is a lot expected of us. We have to be basic addiction counsellors, grief counsellors, social workers, recreation officers," says Tammy Carson, a corrections officer and chair of health and safety for the union.
The code of silence is used to prevent inmates from complaining to their provincial ombudsman or human rights agencies, says Terry Mertick, a London man who has spent time behind bars.
and suggest improvements.
Federal and provincial reports and inquests have long recommended governments improve services for mentally ill and addicted offenders, and training in those areas for correctional officers.
There's been sporadic progress but it's going to be a long haul.
It costs about $115,000 a year to keep an offender inside a federal prison, compared to about $29,500 in the community, Sapers says.
ENGAGE THE PUBLIC
The problems are many, but public attention to life behind bars remains low, says Randall Garrison, NDP corrections critic.
In some provinces, such as Ontario and Manitoba, drug and mental health courts that try to keep offenders out of jail are getting more money and/or growing in number.
"I would say if there's more staff, with visible and direct supervision, you're able to reduce the likelihood of the immediate violence," says Nike Sneaker Wedge Black
In Nike Shoes For Teenager Ontario, it took a human rights complaint settled in September to get an on the record commitment from the Liberal government to make concrete changes. Christine Jahn filed a complaint against the corrections minister after being locked up for 200 days in Ottawa's detention centre.
The federal system has its watchdog, but keeping an eye on provincial systems falls to a patchwork of auditor generals and ombudsman's offices.
Correctional officers and the federal correctional investigator, Howard Sapers, recommend governments try to keep out people who shouldn't be behind bars. That includes large numbers of people with mental illness who could do better in community programs.
It seems obvious.
ex con Mertick.
Now they know their rights and aren't afraid to complain.
FOCUS ON SUPERVISION
Some veterans of incarceration see a change in public interest, thanks in large part to inmates themselves.
The province has agreed to change how it screens inmates for mental illness, review different options on treating female patients with mental illnesses, reduce segregation of patients, and improve treatment.
In British Columbia, the provincial workplace safety agency WorkSafeBC is conducting safety audits of all provincial jails. The completed audits include orders to the province to improve conditions for guards.
CUT THE FLOW
Answers are complex
Here's a snapshot of some of the ways federal and provincial governments could, and in some cases, are trying to handle the growing and changing populations behind bars, as well as the federal government's response to questions about safety in Canada's prison:
Changes are afoot. In Ontario, the province has created public advisory panels for seven of its largest correctional centre to keep an eye on conditions Nike Shoes Buy
"They have a lot more staffing and I think they learned a long time ago with the amount of prisoners they have that they have to do something different."
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