Victoria youth custody centre to close

Vancouver Island jail has 56 regular employees, averages 15 young offenders. Some will go to Burnaby, others to Prince George

Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux

VICTORIA – Vancouver Island’s youth custody facility is under-utilized and will soon be closed, with sentenced young offenders transferred to Burnaby.

Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux announced the decision Monday. She said the Victoria facility currently averages 15 secure custody inmates in a 60-bed facility.

Timing of the closure will be determined in discussions with union for the 54 regular employees and 10 auxiliaries who staff the Victoria centre, Cadieux said.

The three youth custody centres in Prince George, Burnaby and Victoria are “incredibly over-resourced,” Cadieux said, adding that there is ample room at the Burnaby facility to accommodate Vancouver Island youths. Young offenders from beyond southern Vancouver Island may be held in Prince George.

Cadieux said centralizing facilities will save the province money to offset the $4.5 million reduction in federal funding B.C. received because of the lower number of youth inmates.

It also makes it more practical to deliver inmate programs, Cadieux said.

B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union president Darryl Walker said the decision is a surprise and a “shortsighted mistake,” after government assurances that it would remain open as other options are explored.

“Our members were committed to working with the ministry to explore new uses for the centre that would address the government’s concerns around over-capacity,” Walker said in a statement.

Youth facilities serve as remand centres for those awaiting court, as well as those sentenced for repeat or violent offences that rule out serving a sentence in the community.

“This is a decision we’ve struggled with for some time,” Cadieux said. “Our youth custody numbers have been declining and declining over the last decade, and over the last year, our three youth custody centres have been operating at a combined average capacity of 56%.”

 

Just Posted

Penticton retired nurse’s petition on deadly medical errors read in House of Commons

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Oliver man sentenced to 18 months for two firearm offences

Waylon Faulhafer prohibited from possessing a firearm for life and issued DNA order

Rascal Flatts extend summer tour to Penticton

Rascal Flatts create a Forever Summer Playlist tour extending it into the fall

Penticton cyclist injured in hit-and-run in critical condition

Jesse Birkedal was injured in a hit-and-run while cycling on Eastside Road

RCMP spike belts help nab alleged Okanagan truck thieves

RCMP arrested two Kelowna men who attempted to evade two spike belts

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Okanagan library branch back in business after Monday closure

Discovery of unknown powdery substance in Vernon book return prompts evacuation, closure

Hergott: Contribution and Expectation of a will

Lawyer Paul Hergott continues his column on wills

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Beloved South Okanagan baker dies

Beloved baker Ben Manea died suddenly on June 15, bakery to operate for one final week

Knife-wielding man robs South Okanagan pizza shop

RCMP are looking for the suspect who was wearing a ski mask

Most Read