Staff with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services are investigating incidents at the Kenora Jail last week. Spokesman Brent Ross says they are also working with staff at the jail.

"Our thoughts are with the officer and his family during this difficult time. The impact of these events goes far beyond the individual involved," he said, in an email.

Ross confirmed the correctional officer involved in the hostage taking is at home recovering, and there are support programs available for jail staff, including the Employee and Family Assistance program or the resources made available through organizations such as Badge for Life Canada.

"We thank our staff for their excellent work responding to this incident," Ross added.

"Staff safety and well-being are of paramount importance to the ministry. As we investigate Friday's incident, we are committed to working with frontline staff to make sure they have the resources they need to keep themselves and our communities safe," he continued.  

Along with the hostage taking, there was also a small fire. The OPP have also been involved, as officers have been interviewing witnesses.

"It would be inappropriate to speak to the details of this investigation," Ross noted, adding overcrowding is a key issue for correctional facilities across the country.

"The ministry has no control over the number of people admitted to custody, or the length or circumstances of their stay. The ministry continually assesses capacity needs to ensure that beds are available where they are most needed in the province," the spokesman stated.

The current inmate count at the Kenora Jail is 138. The institution has 159 operational beds.

Since April 2016, the ministry has hired 28 correctional officers at the Kenora Jail, and there are plans to hire additional staff.

For more information:

Jail conditions in focus

Corrections officer thanks supporters

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