Focus On

Visitors restricted at Ontario youth justice centres

Monday, March 16, 2020 @ 12:55 PM | By John Chunn

The government of Ontario on March 16 announced that in line with the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and to ensure a safe and secure environment for all, the province is recommending that, where feasible, the province’s service providers consider only allowing essential visitors until further notice. It is also asking that they undertake a screening process at all locations. The government has prepared a toolkit including a screening checklist and signage to aid in ensuring these measures can be implemented.

According to the government’s press release, the following measures have been put into place in provincially operated youth justice centres:

  • Suspending all personal visitors and cancelling volunteer activities. Professional visits including legal counsel will continue however, though consideration should be given to alternative options such as the use of teleconferences.
  • Approved personal visitors will be able to continue to maintain contact with youth by phone. Enhanced technology, such as video calling, where operationally available and operationally feasible, can be used to allow virtual visits with family.
  • All non-essential reintegration leaves will be restricted until further notice. Reintegration leaves help youth in custody to reintegrate back into the community and support their rehabilitation by allowing them to leave a facility for medical, humanitarian/compassionate, employment and/or educational reasons for a specified time while following set terms and conditions, including staff escorts.

For more information on the province’s measures to protect Ontarians from COVID-19, go here.