With another phase now over, Kevin Junor is on to a new assignment at a provincial corrections centre.
Selected to the administrative team two years ago during the Ministry of Community & Correctional Services (MCCS) succession management planning, Junor joined Maplehurst Correctional Complex last Monday as a deputy superintendent.
Located in Milton, Maplehurst is a combined maximum security detention centre for remanded prisoners and a medium and maximum correctional facility for offenders sentenced to less than two years.
Junor was the deputy superintendent in charge of operations for a year at the Don Jail, which houses nearly 600 remand offenders awaiting trial. Opened in 1864, the soon-to-be-closed facility is considered one of the country’s toughest jailhouses.
“That was quite a learning experience in a challenging environment for someone who was completely new to the system,” said Junor, who oversaw a staff of about 170. “The facility has a reputation, but I enjoyed working with the staff to implement effective relationship management. I was able to learn the operations of a maximum security institution and how to lead a team to accomplish our mandate of care, custody and control of all inmates. I am now going to a centre that is almost twice the size of the Don and I am looking forward to the new challenge.”
Recruited to the MCCS because of his exceptional management and leadership skills displayed while serving as a diversity manager with the Ontario Public Service, where he identified systemic barriers visible minorities face and advised on policies, directives and actions to eliminate these barriers, Junor spent three months as superintendent of programs at the Ontario Correctional Institute and a similar period of time as part of the administrative team that helped launch the Toronto Intermittent Centre before going to the Don Jail.
Prior to joining the Ministry, the 2011 Harry Jerome Award winner and military officer took a stab at politics. He lost by just nine votes in his bid to become councillor in the Town of Caledon in the municipal elections three years ago.
Born in England, Junor spent nearly a decade in Jamaica before coming to Canada in 1973. It was while he was at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute that he was introduced to the military after a recruiter visited the Scarborough school in 1980.
Starting out as an infantry soldier in the Toronto Scottish Regiment, Junor was promoted to the rank of chief warrant officer in 1998 and later Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), making him one of the youngest soldiers to achieve the two ranks by age 35. He was also the first Black to be appointed RSM for the Land Force Central Area infantry training exercise conducted in Kentucky 11 years ago.
One of the highlights of his military career was the six months he spent in Sierra Leone five years ago as part of Operation Sculpture, which was Canada’s contribution to the British-led international military training team in the West African country. Their mission was to help the government rebuild its army following the country’s brutal civil war in which government troops committed nearly as many atrocities as the rebels.
As a reward for his contribution, Sierra Leone soldiers carved Junor’s image into a walking stick they presented him and conferred on him an African name, “Konkor Marah”.
He graduated in 1984 as a civil engineering technician and joined the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as a laboratory technician prior to enlisting in the military.
The Seneca College Distinguished Alumni is a senior parishioner at North Peel Community Church in Caledon and a former chair of the town’s policing advisory council.