End Racism in Ontario Corrections

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My name is Iosko Assenov. I am a former Correctional Officer who worked within an Ontario jail, and a current Government of Ontario employee of 6 years. 

During my time in Corrections, I experienced blatant racism that was directed at offenders, staff members (including myself), and members of the public. Racism that I could never have imagined occurring in Canada has occurred within this Ministry.  

As more staff from across the Province continue to come forward about these issues it is now clear that Corrections has a racism problem that needs to be appropriately addressed. 

Not all staff are 'racist.' Most staff are hard working men and women who work in a very challenging role in society, but those who remain quiet are as complicit as those who perpetuate racism itself. The sub-culture promotes secrecy, and keeping matters in-house, and is further exacerbated by conflicts of interest and nepotism.

Despite blatant acts of racism that continue to be reported by staff members such as myself to the Government of Ontario, staff have been met with utter silence and dejection, no investigation, and no accountability whatsoever.

This lack of care to investigate these issues has further fostered an environment where those staff members who have the courage to report these issues become further victimized, while those who perpetuate racism remain untouched. 

Over the past 5 years I have continued to report these issues to the Ministry of Corrections by way of CBC news, emails, videos and public discussions and forums. At no point has the Government reached out.

As members of the public who pay for a publicly funded service, we need to demand more from those who have the ability to create the changes needed. 

If even our own staff from within are being racially abused, how then can we expect them to protect and speak up for offenders and members of the public during racially motivated incidences in the future? 

Corrections needs to change from within - Racism in Corrections needs to end. 

I am looking for 10,000 signatures. Please sign and share this petition which will be forwarded to Corrections management, Premier Doug Ford, and all Members of Parliament who have a vested interest and the ability to address racism effectively.

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