Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Elgin-Middlesex Detention Enhancement Initiative

Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre Enhancement Initiative

A plan has been developed to improve staff and inmate safety and to support inmates with mental health and addictions issues at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC). Improvements are focused on the following key priority areas:


  • Improving information-sharing and coordination about recent inmate hospitalizations, at admission, between EMDC staff and justice partners. Correctional services will develop a standardized intake form police will use upon arrival at the institution to provide relevant information about new admissions. The form will be distributed to all chiefs of police.
  • Participating in community tables and working groups to develop a coordinated response to mental health issues and to the drug and opioid crisis in the community.
  • Recruiting a new manager of social work to provide improved clinical practice supervision. Two social workers were hired in December 2017, bringing the total to 6.

Clinical Services

  • Adding a specific question about recent hospitalization to the admissions assessment template.
  • Opening a dedicated male intake unit with 16 beds to allow for closer monitoring and assessment of new admissions. EMDC will work with community partners (St. Leonard’s Society of Canada, Canadian Mental Health Association, and St. Joseph's South West Health Care Centre) to establish the unit and to develop mental health and suicide assessments for new admits.
  • Hired a permanent health care manager who assumed the role as of March 5, 2018.
  • Revising the mental health nurses schedule to enhance coverage.
  • Working to expedite the screening process for new nurses.
  • Increased hours worked by the EMDC doctor from 10.5 hours a week to 16 hours.
  • Hired a new addictions counselor who has been working since February 20, 2018.
  • Recruiting two new registered nurses with a specialized addictions focus, as well as a second assistant health care manager to support healthcare delivery.
  • Completing a health care review to determine other areas for improvement.


  • Assigning six dedicated sergeants to supervise all admission and discharge units to confirm compliance with Ontario’s directives.
  • Facilitating an operational review of EMDC using parameters that will be outlined by the Assistant Deputy Minister of Institutional Services.
  • Creating and piloting an Institutional Security Team consisting of three correctional officers. This team will complete targeted searches and increase institutional capacity to identify and remove contraband.
  • Piloting a dedicated, on site Field Intelligence Officer who will work closely with the Institutional Security Team.


  • Installed a body scanner at EMDC, and commenced scanning inmates as of March 31, 2018.
  • Increasing the number of program rooms for methadone and other health care functions. This allows the health care unit to operate more efficiently.
  • Constructing a sweat lodge that will be designed with guidance from EMDC’s native inmate liaison officer.
  • Considering recommendations made by EMDC’s Community Advisory Board and the local union – including new alternative units and new programming space.


  • Conducting a comprehensive review of the Initial Suicide Assessment Tool. This review will address any gaps and improve processes, and be done in consultation with community partners and mental health and social work experts.