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

Rock Creek family inspiration for new boxing event

Rock Creek will host some of the best provincial boxers at Rumble in Rock Creek

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Fruitvale man, 25, dies after falling from zipline in Thailand, reports say

Bangkok Post says man fell from Flight of the Gibbon zipline in Chiang Mai

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Drug decriminalization report welcomed in East Kootenay

Provincial report recommends decriminalizing people who use illicit drugs, shift focus to treatment

New flight service an ‘angel’ for medical patients

Angel Flight East Kootenay will fly medical patients to Kelowna or Vancouver

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Family dog stolen from Kootenay backyard

RCMP appealing for information on pregnant Karelian bear dog missing from Elko, B.C.

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read