Correctional services update on COVID-19
Correctional services update on COVID-19
The latest information on the status of the 2019 novel coronavirus is posted every day, seven days a week, at 10:30 a.m. ET on ontario.ca/coronavirus.
We are committed to protecting the safety of staff, inmates, and members of the public in Ontario’s adult correctional facilities as a precautionary response to COVID-19.
The following operational changes are in effect until further notice:
Information for visitors
- Personal visitors must:
- contact the facility ahead of time to confirm whether it is open to visitors
- schedule their visit in advance with the facility if it is open
- undergo a health screening before entering a facility, which will include a temperature check, a screening for other COVID-19 symptoms, and questions about travel outside of Canada or contact with someone who may be sick
- wear a mask or face covering when visiting. Masks will not be provided by the facility and individuals must bring their own
- Visitors who present with symptoms or fail the screening process will not be allowed to proceed with the scheduled visit
- Professional visits, including legal counsel, will continue with additional screening for COVID-19 symptoms
Information for staff
- Implementing the following measures at all facilities:
- personal protection equipment, including masks, for all staff as required
- self-screening and temperature checks for staff
- requiring staff to self-isolate as directed by local public health
- increased cleaning measures
- Local public health units will provide testing for staff and inmates, as appropriate
Changes for inmates
- Providing masks to inmates, if required
- Housing new inmates in a separate area from the general population for 14 days, and testing inmates for COVID-19 with their consent prior to joining general population.
- Medical isolation of impacted inmates and making testing available to inmates, as appropriate.
- Expanding the use of temporary absences, including reviewing lower-risk, eligible inmates near the end of their sentence for early release.
- Intermittent inmates serving time on weekends are required to report to their facility, and in appropriate cases, will be allowed longer temporary absence from custody to return home for the duration of their permit.
- As before, inmates can continue to keep in contact with family and friends by telephone calls and letters.
If you are a victim of crime and wish to find out the status and release dates of offenders in provincial correctional institutions, please contact the Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2888 or 416-314-2447 in the Toronto area.
Probation and Parole
- Allowing the Ontario Parole Board to use alternatives to in-person meetings.
- All clients and visitors entering probation and parole offices will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and asked about recent travel.
- All probation and parole staff will be asked to self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms and recent travel or exposure before working at a probation and parole office.
- Limiting the number of clients permitted in the probation and parole office waiting room to allow for physical distancing.
- Placing markings in probation and parole offices to encourage physical distancing and direct traffic flow.
- Opening hours for probation and parole offices have been adjusted. All remote reporting centres are temporarily closed.
- Enhanced cleaning of key public areas: secure and other designated interview rooms, entrances, waiting rooms, counter-tops, and washrooms.
- Requiring staff and clients to practice hand-washing hygiene and physical distancing while attending the office, and immediately using hand sanitizer provided upon entry;
- Allowing employees and clients to wear their own face coverings, noting that employees and clients are encouraged to wear their own face coverings in circumstances where physical distancing may be difficult (in the reception area, boardroom, waiting room, and when escorting clients).
As the situation evolves, we will provide further updates to operational changes within our correctional facilities and probation and parole offices.
The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government's number one priority. Since we first learned of COVID-19, Ontario has been taking decisive action to contain the virus and protect all Ontarians.