Job Title:Probation Officer
Employer:Province of Ontario, Ministry of Children Community and Social Services - Youth Justice Services
Grad Year:1984, 1990
Major(s):Criminology and Criminal Justice, Law (BA)
Expertise:Community Safety/Correctional Services
Industry:Community Safety/Correctional Services, Law

What makes you a good mentor?

I listen and learn what the mentee’s goals are and work in partnership on to achieve them. Our relationship is mentee directed and I provide the necessary support and feedback during our journey. I have kept in touch with a few of my mentee’s after our partnership and provided ongoing support. Three of my mentees now work in the justice field; one who is now a mentor. I am passionate about mentoring because the career journey is seldom direct and mentoring is a way to provide the third or fourth-year student a sober second thought and to share with them what went well during my life’s journey as well as what to avoid.

About John Watters

John who is from Pickering, Ontario chose Carleton for their Criminology program. Following graduation in 1984, John worked term positions with the Ontario and Federal Governments conducting research, and was encouraged to pursue his master’s in criminology. He returned to Carleton and completed his Honours in 1990. In 1991 he secured employment with the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services as a Probation/Parole Officer.

During his first eight years in that role, John was on contract and supervised a diverse adult caseload of offenders with charges ranging from domestic violence; impaired driving and sexual offences. In 1997 he held administrative responsibilities for four open custody homes. In 1998 he was offered a permanent position and during the time was assigned responsibility for two homes as well as a diverse caseload of adult offenders as well as sixteen and seventeen-year-old young offenders.

Due to administrative restructuring, John transferred in 2004 to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services [Now Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services] supervising only youth in trouble with the law. Throughout his career he served on various committees concerning gang prevention in order to enhance programs to divert youth from the justice system. As well as programs to enhance community safety and foster a better understanding of the criminal justice system to students and newcomer communities. In the past he was a local union steward and represented his members by his involvement with his local employee committee.

From the fall of 2016 to April 2019 John was seconded to the Service Delivery Division of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to assist with licensing as well as transfer payment agency policy and procedures review.

John is currently assigned to the Courthouse as the Court Probation Officer where he provides administrative support to the Judiciary, Crowns, and Defence as well as to colleagues.

In addition to his education at Carleton, John has also earned a bachelor’s degree in theological studies from St. Paul University.

In 2022, John endowed a bursary for Criminology Students facing financial hardship. That will be available the academic year 2023-2024.

John will be retiring from public service as of December 2022, but with his extensive experience will be in a position to continue to provide support for a student considering a career in the justice field.

In his spare time John volunteers in the community by organizing breakfasts for needy communities, support the Special Olympics by organizing annual bottle drives as well as other charitable works. He enjoys fitness, is an avid reader and enjoys travel.