Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

February 19, 2009 14:43 ET

OPSEU: Weapons Search at Superjail Causing Court Delays

PENETANGUISHENE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2009) - A search for illegal weapons at Central North Correctional Centre has resulted in a lockdown of the facility and has caused delays for inmates making court appearances.

Corrections staff are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of workers and inmates in the jail. That means extensive searches of living areas and any inmates moving in or out of the facility.

Derek Ainsworth, president of OPSEU Local 369 at the jail, said that staff are doing their best to track down any contraband items before there is an incident.

"Our members are being as thorough as possible to find weapons or any other items that could be used to harm staff or other inmates," Ainsworth said. "Safety is our number one concern here."

The latest search of the jail came as a result of a Ministry of Labour order after the union raised concerns on how earlier searches were being conducted.

Media reports earlier this week erroneously stated that the delays in transporting inmates from the jail to Barrie court were caused by officers calling in sick. That, Ainsworth said, couldn't be further from the truth, as there were extra staff on shift to deal with the searches.

"All of the delays this week have been the result of the extra precautions we must take in the event that there is a suspicion of weapons in the facility," Ainsworth said. "We are ultimately responsible for safety in the facility and for the safety of the public, not to mention the safety of staff working in the courts."

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    Don Ford
    (416) 788-9104
    Website: www.opseu.org