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October 5, 2023

5 October 2023

Dangerously close

An inmate sought our help because he was housed on the same range with another inmate who was facing charges for stabbing him – and, he told us, was now extorting him for access to the canteen, food and phone calls.

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October 5, 2023

5 October 2023

Issues overlooked

An inmate told us a correctional officer threw him to the ground and started punching and kneeing him – leaving the inmate with swollen arms and a broken hand.

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October 5, 2023

5 October 2023

Added grief

A woman whose common-law spouse had died while they were living in a homeless shelter complained to us that the Chief Coroner’s Office had buried him even though she had requested to claim the body.

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February 22, 2023

22 February 2023

Submission regarding proposed regulations for special constables

The Ministry of the Solicitor General has requested public and stakeholder input on four proposed regulations under the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 regarding special constables.

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October 26, 2022

26 October 2022

Submission to the Ministry of the Solicitor General’s consultation regarding equipment and use of force by police services

The Ministry of the Solicitor General has requested public and stakeholder input on proposed amendments to O. Reg. 926/90 concerning equipment and the use of force by police services.

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August 10, 2022

10 August 2022

The right to know

After an inmate complained to us that he was pushed to the ground and attacked by several correctional officers, we intervened to verify that a local investigation had been conducted.

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August 10, 2022

10 August 2022

Supplemental care

An inmate with HIV complained that he hadn’t been receiving testosterone and other supplements he required to prevent muscle deterioration.

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August 10, 2022

10 August 2022

Email retrieved

A man contacted us in frustration after his application to have his issue heard by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) was dismissed.

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August 10, 2022

10 August 2022

Voting rights – and wrongs

A man who was in jail awaiting sentencing complained to us that correctional officials had told him he could not vote in the September 2021 federal election, even though he was eligible.

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June 28, 2021

28 June 2021

Under the gun

We received numerous complaints in 2020-2021 about delays in approvals by Ontario’s Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) for transfers of restricted firearms.

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June 28, 2021

28 June 2021

Report duty

An inmate sought our help after he was involved in an altercation with another inmate and then pepper sprayed and assaulted by correctional officers.

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June 28, 2021

28 June 2021

Search terms

Several inmates in the same facility complained to us that they were strip searched in a main hallway, in view of security cameras.

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May 14, 2021

14 May 2021

Submission in response to the Ministry’s consultation on proposed changes to Regulation 778

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Ministry of the Solicitor General’s proposed amendments to Regulation 778 related to segregation, inmate discipline and misconduct, and mandatory training for correctional officers.

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September 28, 2020

28 September 2020

Vote for fairness

A young person in custody contacted us last year to complain that he wasn’t able to vote in the federal election, although he had expressed his interest in voting to the youth facility’s staff members.

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July 6, 2020

6 July 2020

Unreasonable search

A group of Indigenous inmates complained to us that they were strip-searched before attending a smudging ceremony, leaving them feeling violated, discriminated against and targeted because of their Indigenous spirituality.

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July 6, 2020

6 July 2020

Needed support

An inmate who uses a customized wheelchair to support his spine sought our help because he was being repeatedly transferred to a second institution without his chair.

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July 6, 2020

6 July 2020

Misconduct-ed

An inmate complained to us after a sergeant at his facility penalized him by taking away 30 days of earned remission (time off his sentence) for refusing a transfer to another facility.

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September 23, 2019

23 September 2019

Submission in response to the Ministry’s consultation on proposed changes to Regulation 778, regarding segregation reviews

My team and I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Ministry of the Solicitor General’s three proposed changes to O. Regulation 778.

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June 25, 2019

25 June 2019

Without further delay

A woman who had been pursuing her case at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario for several years sought our help after she learned that the adjudicator assigned to her case was no longer able to continue.

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June 25, 2019

25 June 2019

Re: Vision

An inmate complained to us that staff at his correctional facility had taken his eyeglasses and refused to return them.

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June 25, 2019

25 June 2019

A time to mourn

An inmate sought our help in reaching the appropriate correctional officials after her father passed away and she could not get a response to her request to attend his funeral.

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December 3, 2018

3 December 2018

Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Bill 57

In addressing the changes proposed by Bill 57, I will devote most of my comments to those amendments that affect the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, and the Ombudsman Act. Most notable among these are amendments that will expand the mandate of this office into areas that are presently within the mandate of my fellow Officers of the Legislature, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (Child Advocate) and the French Language Services Commissioner.

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June 26, 2018

26 June 2018

Lost and found

We referred a man to the right internal complaint mechanism at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer so he could voice concerns about delays in receiving documents and in setting his court date, all of which resulted in added legal costs for him.

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June 26, 2018

26 June 2018

Weekend schedule

A man serving weekend time in jail who required anxiety medication three times a day sought our help because the correctional facility would not give him his medication on Saturday mornings when he arrived, or on Sunday evenings before he left.

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June 26, 2018

26 June 2018

About time

We helped a woman from Manitoba who had struggled for six months to get Legal Aid Ontario to recognize her approval for legal aid in a custody case in Ontario.

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June 26, 2018

26 June 2018

Welcome assist

A woman who broke her collarbone before she was sent to jail complained to us that she had been waiting for eight days for a sling for her arm.

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April 19, 2018

19 April 2018

Submission on Bill 6: Transforming Correctional Services Act

The Ontario Ombudsman has a long history of independently and impartially resolving and investigating concerns about Ontario’s provincial correctional facilities. Of the more than 21,000 complaints we receive each year, close to 4,000 are about correctional facilities. In addition to resolving countless individual matters, my Office has actively monitored and, when necessary, investigated serious systemic issues within the correctional system.

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February 22, 2018

22 February 2018

Oversight Enhanced - Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy regarding Bill 175, Safer Ontario Act, 2017

Since 1974, there have been dozens of cases in which the use of force by police in Ontario – especially the use of lethal force on people in crisis – has raised profound questions about policing standards, training and accountability. As a result, there have been more than a dozen reviews and numerous recommendations for reform. Despite incremental improvements through the years, Ontario’s police oversight system has continued to attract criticism and undermine public confidence in policing. 

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June 27, 2017

27 June 2017

Motherhood issue

An inmate who was 29 weeks into a high-risk pregnancy contacted us in fear that she would lose her baby due to lack of care. She complained of delays in being referred to prenatal appointments, in being taken to hospital, and in accessing her health record.

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June 27, 2017

27 June 2017

Security risk

An inmate who had been in segregation for nine months – because the facility had concerns about his and others’ safety and security – complained to our office that it was harming his mental health and he needed to see a psychiatrist.

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June 27, 2017

27 June 2017

Sweet relief

An inmate with diabetes who needed to take insulin before his meals complained to our office that correctional staff could only give it to him after meals.

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April 20, 2017

20 April 2017

Out of Oversight, Out of Mind

Investigation into how the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services tracks the admission and placement of segregated inmates, and the adequacy and effectiveness of the review process for such placements.

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November 8, 2016

8 November 2016

Justice delayed

An inmate complained that he had sat in jail for days after becoming eligible for parole because a parole hearing had not been scheduled for him.

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November 8, 2016

8 November 2016

Best defence

A senior who was charged with threatening police complained that Legal Aid Ontario told him he was no longer eligible for their services after the Crown decided it would not seek to put him in jail if convicted.

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October 27, 2016

27 October 2016

Submission to the Independent Police Oversight Review

Since 1974, police oversight in Ontario has been the subject of more than a dozen reviews, generating hundreds of recommendations for reform. In response, successive governments have introduced legislative amendments aimed at enhancing independent oversight of police. However, finding the right balance between effective policing and public accountability has proven elusive. Today, Ontario’s oversight system continues to attract criticism that threatens to undermine public confidence in policing.

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June 16, 2016

16 June 2016

A Matter of Life and Death

Investigation into the direction provided by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to Ontario’s police services for de-escalation of conflict situations.

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May 9, 2016

9 May 2016

Segregation: Not an Isolated Problem

No matter what you call it – segregation, solitary confinement, isolation, or separation – the practice of confining inmates to a cell, alone, for 22 hours or more a day for prolonged periods has increasingly come under fire.

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August 31, 2015

31 August 2015

Written Submission to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services - Carding

Whatever label you choose – street checks, community contacts, or carding  – the practice of police officers arbitrarily stopping individuals on the street, requesting personal identification and information, and maintaining a record of the encounter for possible future use, has increasingly come under scrutiny.

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July 28, 2015

28 July 2015

Pearly rights

A woman whose teeth had been damaged as a result of physical abuse by her partner years earlier contacted the Ombudsman for help in obtaining funds to have them fixed.

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July 28, 2015

28 July 2015

Return to sender, address unknown

A man contacted our Office in frustration when the Ministry repeatedly sent mail to his address for a former tenant. He had returned the envelopes several times with a note stating “this person does not reside at this address,” but the Ministry mail did not stop.

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June 11, 2013

11 June 2013

The Code

Investigation into the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ response to allegations of excessive use of force against inmates.

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October 24, 2012

24 October 2012

In the Line of Duty

Investigation into how the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services have addressed operational stress injuries affecting police officers.

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December 14, 2011

14 December 2011

Oversight Undermined

Investigation into the Ministry of the Attorney General’s implementation of recommendations concerning reform of the Special Investigations Unit.

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December 7, 2010

7 December 2010

Caught in the Act

Investigation into the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ conduct in relation to Ontario Regulation 233/10 under the Public Works Protection Act.

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June 8, 2010

8 June 2010

Coroner’s inquest delays

The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario sped up its process, improved its practices and addressed a backlog of cases after the Ombudsman launched an investigation in 2008 into complaints that mandatory inquests were not being held within a reasonable time frame.  Based on this result, the Ombudsman determined no further investigation was warranted, but continues to monitor the issue.

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September 30, 2008

30 September 2008

Oversight Unseen

Investigation into the Special Investigations Unit's operational effectiveness and credibility.

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June 26, 2008

26 June 2008

A Test of Wills

Investigation into Legal Aid Ontario’s role in the funding of the criminal defence of Richard Wills.

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February 27, 2007

27 February 2007

Adding Insult to Injury

Investigation into the treatment of victims by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

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