King wants to be kept informed about dangerous offenders

July 20, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons
King Township wants to be notified about the placement of dangerous offenders, and it wants to keep the lines of communication open in regards to dangerous offenders living in the area.
Councillors recently approved recommendations made by the Mayor’s Task Force on High-Risk and Dangerous Offenders.
The recommendations included a request that staff review how “custodial homes” are dealt with in the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw.
They also want updates and annual presentations by officials at various levels of government regarding local group homes and their impacts.
Most importantly, King wants the municipality to be consulted in any future site selection process for the release of high-risk and dangerous offenders.
Staff will let other levels of government, agencies and law enforcements groups know about these recommendations.
The task force, which included Mayor Steve Pellegrini, Councillor David Boyd and civilians, spent the last six months discussing issues relating to offenders and hearing from experts across a wide spectrum of government agencies.
The group heard from the Ministry of the Attorney General on the justice system, sentencing and the Dangerous Offender designation.
The task force also heard from members of the York Regional Police High Risk Offender Unit, and how it works with parole and probation officers to monitor the activities of all offenders released into the community.
Representatives of the Ministry of Community and Safety and Correctional Services provided information on probation conditions, including the placement and assessment of high risk or dangerous offenders.
At that meeting, the group was told the ministry holds contracts with community-based organizations and services provides, such as Christian Horizons, who own and operate facilities. “These facilties are operated by highly trained professional staff … These facilities and their providers meet the specific needs of different types of offenders … To ensure community safety, the ministry performs annual audits on each of its contracts to ensure that safety requirements within the contracts are upheld,” according to the Township staff report.
It was noted the final determination of where an offender will be located depends on probation conditions, rehabilitation needs and site availability.
“As each case is unique, it is difficult to determine in advance where a particular offender may be placed.”
Members of Christian Horizons appeared before the committee in April, discussing their organization’s role and services. Christian Horizons supports nearly 2,000 people in more than 200 group homes in Ontario, with 3,000 staff.
King staff was asked to provide details on how group homes are zoned. Historically, group homes are considered residential uses, and the municipality can’t distinguish those who live inside a home. Municipalities also can’t prohibit group homes or care facilities.
Ruta Del Zotto, a former OPP officer who sat on the task force, said each member brought many valuable skills to the table and their recommendations stemmed from major areas of concern.
Mayor Pellegrini lauded the participants, noting they are all very talented and committed individuals.

Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support