Justice Technology Services (JTS) of the Ministry of the Solicitor General (SolGen) offers the Access: Defence service to assist lawyers in connecting with their clients in custody.
In August 2022, JTS signed an agreement with Bell Canada, to support the current operation of the Access: Defence service and allow for transition to the new video-based Remote Defence Access (RDA) service. This modernization includes a shift from a user-pay model to a free service, in order to continue to enhance access to remote consultation with counsel and support efforts to reduce criminal case delays and backlogs.
This change will take effect on Friday, September 30, 2022, making Access: Defence (telephone access) a free service which aligns with the video-based Remote Defence Access service which is already free to lawyers. Previously, defence counsel was required to pay for this service.
The Access: Defence service is currently available at eight (8) correctional facilities including:
- Central East Correctional Centre
- Central North Correctional Centre
- Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre
- Maplehurst Correctional Complex
- Niagara Detention Centre
- Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre
- Toronto East Detention Centre
- Vanier Centre for Women
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