Newsletter of the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee
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Provincial HSJCC
January 2017 Newsletter 


Letter from the Co-Chair
Message from the Co-Chair January 2017                                                                                                                                                           

We have started off 2017 with some great news: the launch of our new website. After many months of consultation, brainstorming and meetings with the talented folks at Ribbet Inc., we have a new site that truly captures the wealth of knowledge, information and initiatives that are being led by HJSJCC committees across Ontario.  The new site is more attractive, navigable and flexible. It will enhance the capacity of the 1500+ members in our network, allowing for improved connections and collaboration. We encourage all members of the HSJCC network to take a look at the website at: and tell us what you think!

The Provincial HSJCC continues to offer monthly webinars. This year, they will be organized into a “series”, with each topic being addressed over the course of several webinars. On January 12, 2017 we hosted the first webinar of this year on “Addiction and the Justice System”. Once we have completed that series, we will be hosting webinars on “Operational Stress Injury”.  As we develop and schedule more topics, the details will be posted on our website.

One of our most intensively researched and complex projects has been that of the “Police-Hospital Transition Project”, which provides a provincial police-hospital framework.  We are working closely with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to launch the project.  Once launched, we will host 4-5 regional forums across the province to introduce the framework and assist communities with the adaptation and implementation of it.
The data collection phase of the Mental Health Court Project is almost complete. In the next few months, we will be hosting a forum to share the results of this project.

In order to ensure that we thoroughly address many of the issues that arise locally and provincially, we have implemented an “Issue Management Plan”. At each meeting, we discuss these topics, with the input and expertise of agencies and government ministries that are actively engaged in addressing the issues. The first issue was about “Patient Transfers” (hospital to correctional facility; court to hospital), and the second focused on the province’s Opioid Strategy. This newsletter includes a summary of lessons learned from the Issue Management discussions.

The 2017 Provincial HSJCC conference is only 10 months away! The Planning Committee is busy organizing another outstanding event that will showcase the work of our human services and justice partners across the province.  Stay tuned and keep an eye on our website for updates.
Provincial HSJCC Updates
The Provincial HSJCC continues to make great progress on all the work identified in its 2016/2017 workplan! Below are some highlights of the work that has been happening through the Provincial HSJCC over the fall:
  • The New HSJCC Website Has Launched! The HSJCC website has been redesigned to be a comprehensive online hub for our members and a tool to better share and profile the work of our network. Please take some time to explore the many resources and features on offer. Training materials designed to assist network members in utilizing the new site will be available to the network soon.  Your feedback is most welcome and appreciated.  We hope that you enjoy the new website!
  • The Provincial HSJCC Conference Planning Committee continues to plan for an exciting, engaging and informative even for the next conference, ‘Walking the Path: Finding the Way to Wellness’, November 20-22, 2017 in Toronto.  The committee is please to announce that the keynote address will be from former National Hockey League star Theo Fleury.  A call for abstracts will go out in the new year- watch this space for more updates!
  • The Provincial HSJCC held a full committee meeting on January 17th. Meeting highlights included a consultation with MCSCS regarding the Strategy for a Safer Ontario and the second dedicated issue management session, which focused on the Opioid Strategy and the Opioid Crisis.  The Provincial HSJCC will next meet on March 21st, 2017. 
  • The Provincial HSJCC is continuing its Mental Health Courts project, which aims to increase our understanding of how Mental Health Courts are operating across Ontario. By early next year, the HSJCC Secretariat will be wrapping up the data collection phase of the project and the results will be captured in a report on the current state and operations of Mental Health Courts in Ontario.  A forum will then be held in the spring to share the knowledge learned from the project.  Updates will be provided in future newsletters. Expect the Forum to be held in the coming months.
  • Police-Hospital Transition Project: in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, the Provincial HSJCC has been working with a dedicated Task Force to develop resources that will assist communities in Ontario to improve police-hospital transitions for individuals that have been apprehended under the Mental Health Act. A framework and toolkit to assist communities in improving police-hospital transitions across the province will be launched very soon, to be followed by a series of educational forums for police forces and hospitals.  Watch this space for further information on these future forums. 
Communicating with People with Mental Health Disabilities: What Justice Sector Professionals Can Do to Remove Barriers

The Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto Branch and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health are pleased to announce the launch of a new training program for the justice sector. This online, multi-media training program for justice sector professionals was developed to remove communication barriers that people with mental health disabilities may encounter when they interact with the broader justice sector. The training was developed in consultation with various justice sector and mental health professionals and people with mental health disabilities, with support from the Government of Ontario. The course is targeted at:

  • members of the judiciary,
  • tribunal members and staff,
  • lawyers, paralegals, professionals working in courthouses,
  • professionals working in legal or probation offices, and
  • any other justice sector professionals who provide services to people with mental health disabilities, including members of Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committees.
This online course aims to:
  • increase awareness of the legal obligations of justice sector service providers  to meet the communication needs of people with mental health disabilities
  • increase awareness of mental health disabilities and related communication barriers
  • provide practical information and strategies on identifying and removing barriers in order to offer effective communications and services to people with mental health disabilities.
The course has four modules and takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete. Participants can select the modules they would like to review and go through the content at their own pace and in whatever sequence they wish. The course is structured as follows:
  • Module 1 provides an overview of the course
  • Module 2 distinguishes between the social and medical models of disability. It offers an overview of some common mental health issues and describes related disabilities
  • Module 3 provides information about the concepts of stigma, discrimination and the social determinants of health. In addition, learners will consider the impact of trauma on people in contact with the justice system
  • Module 4 outlines strategies designed to help justice professionals strengthen their communication skills, particularly in situations when they work with people who may have mental health or addiction issues
  • Additional material such as case studies, tips sheets, video clips and resource information, including referral and health service information, are also available.

The training program can be accessed at: To view the content, please register for the program by providing a username and email address (this information is kept strictly confidential and is only used for the purpose of creating a user account). If you have any questions about the training, please contact Frank Sirotich at


Through our monthly webinars, the P-HSJCC continues to share information on various topics related to the justice and human services sectors. In the New Year, we will be hosting a webinar series on Addiction. Held on January 12th, the first webinar on this series provided an overview of addiction, and substance misuse. If you would like to receive the presentation from the first webinar, please email Kashfia Alam ( The second webinar will focus on the Opioid Crisis and lastly, the third webinar will take a closer look at addiction and the justice system. Stay tuned for more details about registration for these webinars! 

We had the privilege of hosting many great speakers to present these webinars to the members of the HSJCC Network. The Provincial Communications and Knowledge Exchange Committee guides the development of the topic areas and themes of the webinars.

If you missed any of our 2016 webinars, or would like to listen to it again, you can find them at the links provided below:

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Criminal Justice System:

Addressing Compassion Fatigue:
Police-Hospital Transition Framework:
Recommendations for Meeting the Needs of People with Complex Mental Health Needs:
John Howard Society’s Reintegration Centre:
Recent Accomplishments & Upcoming Activities of the HSJCC Network:

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder:
The Hamilton Acquired Brain Injury Corrections Working Group: Integrating Multiple Sectors for Better Complex Case Management
Overview of Developmental Services in Ontario
Forensic Early Intervention Service
Communicating with People with Mental Health Disabilities: What Justice Sector Professionals Can Do To Remove Barriers      

HSJCC Network Events 
Save the Date!  
The 2017 Provincial HSJCC Conference will be held November 20-22, 2017 in Toronto. The Conference Planning Committee is diligently working to organize another exciting and informative experience.  More information will be provided in upcoming newsletters. For more information contact Sherry Sim at
Call for Abstracts!
The Provincial HSJCC Conference Planning Committee continues to work on providing a valuable experience at this year’s conference, Walking the Path…Finding the Way to Wellness November 20-22,  2017 in Toronto. 

The Planning Committee is also pleased to announce that the call for abstracts for the conference is now open through to March 10, 2017.  To fill out and submit an abstract, click here.  Abstracts relating to the following streams will be accepted:
  • Aboriginal / First Nation / Métis and Racialized Populations
  • Aboriginal / Culture Perspectives
  • Family / People with Lived Experience
  • Forensic
  • Self Care / Wellness
  • Seniors
  • Youth / Social Media / Bullying / Suicide
  • Veterans / Post Traumatic
There are also a number of sponsorship opportunities available.  For more information on conference, the abstract submission process or sponsorship opportunities contact the Conference Planner Sherry Sim at
Welcome to the Interventions in Practice Webinar Series!
Featuring work from the Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives (SISC) initiative
Webinar 7 – February 28, 2017
Intersections: Right Support, Right Provider, Right Time
Developed by the Champlain Youth Justice Service Collaborative
Bring your Justice perspective in co-creating an evidence priority agenda for mental health, substance use and addictions in Ontario.

Join EENet’s dialogue sessions, taking place across the province, to provide input on the evidence most needed to support you in your daily work and to navigate the system. Sharing Together aims to identify priority evidence needs related to mental health, substance use, and addictions, in the areas of health promotion and prevention, early identification, treatment and recovery, and across the lifespan. Results of the in-person sessions, and an online survey, will be used to co-create an evidence priority agenda for Ontario.
For more information and to register for a session taking place in your area, click here.
The Ottawa Regional HSJCC - Agency Fair and Conference
The Ottawa Regional, Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee, with the support of Crime Prevention Ottawa and the Ottawa Youth Justice Services Network, facilitated a Transitional-Aged Youth Agency Fair in July 2016. The Agency Fair hosted 34 Agencies from Ottawa and the surrounding areas. The Agency Fair was aimed at supporting knowledge exchange and collaboration in serving Transitional-Aged Youth. Additionally, we hoped to educate the Transitional-Aged Youth population with respect to what services and supports are available them and how and under what circumstances they may be accessed. Transitional-Aged Youth are persons aged 16-24 who are often defined as ‘falling through the cracks’ where access to services is concerned as they are often aged out of Youth programming and too young to access adult-based services. The day enabled networking between the Agencies which led to conversations about how we, as service providers, can work better together to address the needs of this specific population. The day also boasted a live musical performance by a very talented young woman from the Ottawa area adding a very personal touch to the day as she spoke to how some of the support services had touched her life and shaped her future.

The Ottawa Regional, Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee hosted a Conference in December 2016. The Conference was designed to be a day of learning and networking for service providers across the Champlain Region and saw over 100 attendees. The day was organized in two halves; the first half of the day was focussed on Mental Health Courts, both the Adult and Youth Mental Health Courts, and the second half was focussed on the Developmental Services Sector. Keynote Speakers included Stephen Leafloor (aka Buddha) from Blueprint for Life and Aminata Diallo from Developmental Services Ontario Eastern Region (DSOER). Blueprint for Life is a program that has travelled across Canada delivering a program that is unique in its approach: it offers healing through Hip Hop in custody facilities across the country. Stephen’s Keynote speech was, as per the feedback of attendees, one of the highlights of the day. Aminata Diallo, provided a thought-provoking presentation with regards to the Developmental Services Sector that had emotions running high among attendees with personal experience with the Developmental Services Sector. It was through this Conference and this presentation that a larger discussion ensued with respect to the need for the gaps in this service sector to be investigated further and potential solutions sought out. There was a commitment made, by the HSJCC Co-Chair, Gord Boyd, to bring this conversation forward to the Provincial HSJCC Table to highlight the current trends and gaps and to explore possible solutions.
Ontario is taking steps to provide Naloxone to justice involved client

New data that has emerged from a report recently released by Harm Reduction International shows a slowdown of the provision of harm reduction services to people who use drugs on an international scale, particularly within the criminal justice system. However, Ontario is taking steps to provide Naloxone, a life saving medication for individuals in contact with the criminal justice system who may be at-risk of opioid overdose upon release.

According to the Harm Reduction International report, addiction and substance misuse related issues impact a large number of individuals who come in contact with the criminal justice system. It is estimated that approximately 80% of men entering the Canadian federal system use drugs.

Drug overdose rates in Canada have jumped 327 per cent since 2008, and a contributing factor to this significant increase in deaths is the availability of potent opioids such as fentanyl. Individuals who are released from institutions who have addiction or substance misuse issues are often at greater risk of death due to overdose, particularly within the first two weeks.  Ontario’s Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose was announced by Ontario Health Minister Erik Hoskins on October 12th and included expanded access to Naloxone across the province. The strategy also states that it will “work with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to begin providing naloxone kits free of charge to at-risk inmates at the time of their release from correctional institutions.”

Naloxone is an opioid agonist that can reverse the effects of overdose from an opioid through an intramuscular injection. The province is also working to ensure that an intra-nasal Naloxone spray become widely available to the public. Naloxone is currently available free of charge in community pharmacies across Ontario.

For more information on the Ontario Opioid Strategy:


Issue Management Process
Over the last two P-HSJCC Meetings, committee members have engaged in two 'Issue Management' Sessions meant to precipitate conversation on issues that intersect the human services and justice sectors.  In November, the P-HSJCC dealt with the issue of Corrections-Hospital transfers, particularly those transfers that affect individuals in custody. In the January P-HSJCC meeting, the committee examined the Opioid Crisis and Ontario Strategy, hearing from a panel of experts.

Corrections-Hospital Transfers:

This issue management session dealt with the complex means by which individuals in custody are transfered to Schedule 1 Hospitals for treatment or assessment. The P-HSJCC heard from the Forensic Directors Group, as well as a representative from the Ontario Review Board/MAG, who spoke to the operational realities facing various players in the justice system from judges to correctional facility superintendents . 

The result of the session was a commitment to further study of the issue, as well as the engagement of key policy makers within the relevant Ministries. The session will also aid the P-HSJCC in informing upcoming Projects, such as the roll-out of the Red Bag Program. A fair-deal of attention was placed on the unique concerns of those communities which, by nature of geography, are more remote or further from urban centers in the South of the Province.

The Opioid Crisis:

The issue management session for January built upon a presentation conducted by MOHLTC on the Ontario Opioid Strategy. Hearing from a panel composed of Ministry representatives, the John Howard Society of Ontario, and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, the P-HSJCC engaged in a discussion of the Crisis that is currently being felt across Canada, responses from Government, and the concerns as they relate to the provision of care from civil society organizations. 

The resulting consensus from the Provincial Committee was that Local and Regional Committees should be engaged in a consultation as to how the Strategy and Crisis should be addressed by the HSJCC, and what Projects can be built or amended to support the roll-out of targeted responses. Please keep an eye out for emails that inform the Network of consultation dates and results.
With Support from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
With Support from EENet
Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Copyright © 2016 HSJCC

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