The country’s federal prison service is preparing to expand 35 existing penitentiaries across the country to accommodate an inmate population that is ballooning because of Conservative government law-and-order initiatives, Cancrime learned. The government and Corrections Canada, which runs the country’s 58 federal facilities, have consistently refused to provide any specifics of spending plans. A list obtained by Cancrime shows that plans are being made to add new units to 29 men’s facilities and all six women’s prisons.
Any doubt that new cells would have be built nationwide was erased in June, when the parliamentary budget officer released a report predicting that just one Tory get-tough tactic, the elimination of two-for-one pre-trial credit, would swell the federal prison population by about 4,000 inmates in the next five years, requiring the construction of 13 new prisons. There are about 13,500 federal prisoners now. Two years ago, Corrections completed a refit of medium-security Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, where four new open-concept units were added (units under construction in inset picture), at a cost of nearly $60 million. The construction required over the next five years will cost $2 billion, the parliamentary budget officer estimates.
Remarkably, although the new prison cells will be built with tax dollars, the government has refused to tell the folks footing the bill – taxpayers – what it plans to build and where. Now Cancrime has some answers.
Information compiled by senior Ontario CSC manager Chris Price says “construction will take place at institutions in locations where we expect the greatest increases in offender population.”
Price says new units will be built at the following men’s prisons:
Federal Training Centre
Beaver Creek Institution
Collins Bay Institution
Drumheller Institution (Minimum)
Pê Sâkâstêw Centre
Willow Cree Healing Centre
William Head Institution
…and all six women’s prisons:
Nova Institution for Women
Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario
Edmonton Institution for Women
Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge
Fraser Valley Institution for Women
For thumbnail sketches of all of the prisons above, visit this CSC site.
Here’s the entire parliamentary budget officer’s report: