The Independent Advisor on corrections reform, Howard Sapers, released a final report this week with 62 recommendations to government on a diverse range of issues surrounding correctional facilities in Ontario. Sapers conducted an examination of various correctional practices and policies and reported on where changes should be made to existing frameworks. The recommendations are all centered on the following themes within corrections:
- Human rights
- The presumption of innocence
- Evidence-based correctional practice
- Indigenous people
- Health care service and governance
This report follows an interim report which was released in May of 2017. Sapers continues to focus on accountability in correctional operations and improving the overall experience and treatment of people in custody, including those held on immigration detention. The report also supports the reform of health services in corrections and transition to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to meet the complex health needs of the incarcerated population.
CMHA Ontario is actively engaged in efforts to ensure that the incarcerated population receives the same access to services and continuity of care as any Ontarian. Effectively addressing the mental health needs of people in custody will assist in rehabilitative efforts and more successful reintegration upon exiting the justice system.
The full report is available online.