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Ontario jails getting hundreds of more beds amid capacity crisis

More officers and staff being hired as well
The Ontario Correctional Institute (OCI) in Brampton, Ont., is shown on April 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

LONDON, Ont. — Ontario will add more beds to its beleaguered jails, which are bursting with inmates.

Solicitor General Michael Kerzner says the province will add several hundred spots throughout the system.

The province's jail population has spiked over the past year with data showing the majority of institutions are beyond capacity.

Ontario will reopen two intermittent detention centres in Toronto and London jails to add up to 430 beds by 2026.

Kerzner says they will hire up to 200 correctional staff including officers, nurses and support staff as part of the expansion.

Premier Doug Ford pledged in March to build more jails to deal with an influx of inmates, the vast majority of whom are innocent and awaiting trial.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2024.

The Canadian Press