Trouble brewing at the Niagara Detention Centre


Violent encounters are on the rise at the Niagara Detention Centre in Thorold.

OPSEU says that over 50% of the Corrections Officers at the Thorold jail have applied for transfers, claiming a glitch in computer software puts them in danger because it randomly locks and unlocks doors.

Chris Jackel, an Ontario correctional officer with the Ministry Employee Relations Committee tells CKTB a 6 million dollar upgrade was made at the jail a year and a half ago, and 'security glitches' controlling doors, and cameras are happening on a regular basis.

Jackel says he knows the software was a great investment, but it's causing major problems for staff members and has heightened stress.

He says violent encounters are increasing saying "violence has increased exponentially."

He says they want more staff members until the glitch is fixed, pointing to another community which hired extra employees to help until the bugs were worked out.

Jackel says some staff members have brought up the issue to management and were told there was no money, and in some cases they were threatened with discipline.

He says that has led to very low morale in the workplace and more than a third of employees have gone on a leave.

Jackel says it's a strong possibility that many guards will leave and find work elsewhere.

Earlier this week we told you about a mother who lost her son due to a drug overdose while serving time at the jail.

Angela Case has planned a rally to address issues at the facility April 7th at 2pm.

Case says the Ministry needs to do something saying the Niagara Detention Centre is overcrowded with 260 inmates, in facility built for only 125.