News

Victoria youth custody centre to close

Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux - B.C. government photo
Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux
— image credit: B.C. government photo

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%."

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

ICBC frauds include fires, faked thefts
 
Humble start for South Okanagan Crime Stoppers
 
Picket lines remain at Naramata Centre
Taxes set to climb to pay for regional district office renovation
 
UPDATE: Guards take no chances with alleged Penticton doctor attacker
 
Crown seeking no-contact order for two accused in Louie murder case
Community Market organizer sues Downtown Penticton Association
 
Dead man at Kamloops jail had violent link to Penticton
 
Dream Music Festival takes shape

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.