Internal document pegs value of prison system at $5 billion

Collins Bay InstitutionWhat is Canada’s federal prison system worth? It’s a sprawling network of 75 properties that cover more than 6,000 hectares (that’s roughly the size of 10,000 Canadian football fields) across the country and includes 56 institutions. The figures come from an internal 2008 Corrections Canada document (after the jump) that was made public some time ago by the Information Transparency Project, a group based in Kingston, Ontario. The group says it obtained the document through Access to Information law. Though the doc is five years old, it contains a fascinating figure, the estimated replacement cost for the entire prison system. The price tag is a whopping $5 billion. That’s enough cash to build more than 450 typical elementary schools.

The document was produced in 2008, before the federal government announced in April 2012 that it would close three facilities, maximum-security Kingston Penitentiary in Ontario, the regional treatment centre inside KP’s walls and medium-security Leclerc Institution in Quebec.

The document here lists 58 institutions but Corrections Canada now claims, on its website, control of 56 institutions.

Here’s the document made public by ITP:

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