Sunday, January 28, 2018

Jails in Ontario

SYSTEM: ANY

So as a result of a recent brush with the legal system and a side comment while playtesting this current adventure, I thought, "So the Bruce Nuclear Response Team has the authority to arrest people. I wonder where they go?"

That led me into the hole that is the Ontario Correctional System. The short answer to my original question is, "They get put into jail in Owen Sound." (I think. There's some ambiguity there: the Wikipedia page lists the Owen Sound Jail as active, but the Ontario Corrections page doesn't.) And for gaming that should be sufficient.

It turns out, though, that there are several layers to this particular onion. In Ontario, there are a number of types of things we lump together as jails:
  • There are jails. This is short term holding. Technically, we still spell it "gaol" for the names of some of the older facilities.
  • There are detention centres. These are the same thing, but while jails were originally set up by counties, detention centres are more modern. Both are administered by the province, now.
  • A correctional centre holds anybody whose sentence is under two years (that is, if your sentence is two years less a day, you go to a detention centre). If your sentence is two years or more, they move you to the federal system.
  • There are correctional complexes. These are centres that hold both detention centres and correctional centres.
  • Federally there are correction facilities.
  • "Treatment centres provide specialized and intensive treatment for motivated offenders with clearly identified problems relating to substance abuse, sexual misconduct, impulse control and anger management."


Anybody who knows better can correct me.