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Police record checks guideline eliminates mental health descriptions

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July 25, 2011

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On July 25, 2011, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) released the LEARN Guideline for Police Record Checks. This new guideline shows police services how to conduct police record checks for people seeking either work or volunteer opportunities. The OHRC worked with the OACP to provide a human rights perspective, and to outline protections under the Code for persons with disabilities, with a focus on people with mental health issues. The OHRC got involved with the project after learning about the unfair impact of police records checks on people with mental health disabilities who have had non-criminal contact with police.

A more detailed look at OHRC concerns is set out in a letter written to the OACP in March 2011. This letter emphasized on the need to balance the privacy and human rights of persons with mental health and addiction disabilities with community safety. The OHRC supports the new guideline as an important step to get this balance.

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