POAO Update: April 2019
On April 1, 2019 POAO President and VP had the opportunity to speak to a Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of the Solicitor General and advocated on behalf of our PO's and PPO's in the province. Topics discussed were related to the loss of professional discretion, officer mental health, resources for clients, loss of permission to attend training events, increasing administrative tasks, status of STICS, concerns regarding substance use and mental health and the overall decline in morale. At the meeting, it was agreed that the conversations would continue with your professional association to be your voice, the platform for our pivotal role in the transformation of corrections, the safety in our communities and the health and well-being of our youth. This will ensure that our voices are heard as after all, together we are an ocean and on our own, we are simply one drop.
POAO Update, February 2019
On February 7, the Board conducted our first meeting of the year. It was our first meeting using our new teleconference system, and despite being the first time using the format, the meeting went exceptionally well. We kept the meeting to an hour, but in that time, we managed to cover a range of topics.
The constant thread running through all our agenda items was how to move the Association forward. Certainly, the present climate is very different than what we are used to, and we are operating under constraints that we never had to deal with the past. But we are determined to move ahead and continue to fulfill the mandate of the Association, which is to provide education to, and advocate for, Probation Officers in Ontario.
We’ve done a lot of work to update or website. We’ve improved the appearance and made it easier to navigate. Building a website has become more complicated than it was a decade ago, and we had to hire a web developer to assist in the process. Special thanks to Carley Hughes, who oversees our tech portfolio, for pulling together all the pieces and making the website happen. The website is a place for our members to submit articles of items of interest that would be beneficial to the membership. Please email email@example.com if you have any suggestions for the website.
Recently, POAO was contacted by a representative from Parliament in Ottawa, seeking the Association’s input on Bill 375, which is working its way through the legislature. The Bill is aimed at making a change to section 723(a) of the Criminal Code, which deals with Pre-Sentence Reports. The proposed change suggests that “any aspect of the offender’s mental condition that is relevant for sentencing purposes, as well as any mental health services or support available to the offender”, be included in the report.
Finally, Probation Officers week is May 6-10, 2019. Stay tuned to hear about PO week events taking place in your area.