Last Step in Plan to Create Dedicated Youth Justice System
OTTAWA, June 8 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is completing its plans to
establish a dedicated youth justice system by expanding the William E. Hay
Youth Centre in Ottawa, Phil McNeely, MPP for Ottawa-Orléans announced today
on behalf of Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers.
The Ottawa Centre is one of the few remaining centres in Ontario with
youth units within adult facilities. This initiative will allow youth to move
from the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre to a facility dedicated to youth.
"Youth in conflict with the law need to be held accountable for their
actions, while receiving the help they need to discourage them from
re-offending," said McNeely. "The expansion of this facility addresses the
unique needs of troubled youth, and also helps keep them closer to their
homes, their families, their community and local service agencies and to get
their lives back on track."
The government has allocated a total of $28.4 million to support the
expansion of the William E. Hay Youth Centre and the construction of two other
youth justice facilities. A 16-bed facility in Thunder Bay will allow youth to
move from the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre and a 12-bed facility dedicated
to Aboriginal youth in Fort Frances will allow youth to move from the Kenora
Jail. These projects will create approximately 480 construction jobs.
"Our government is committed to providing an opportunity for troubled
youth to turn their lives around and become productive members of society,"
said Chambers. "If young people are provided with the right supports and
intervention, there is opportunity for rehabilitation and a reduction in
recidivism. We believe that if we don't make this commitment now, our
communities will pay the price later on."
The Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC), the government agency that manages
the government's properties, will oversee design and construction of the
facility by engaging industry professionals through an open and competitive
process. This will ensure the facility meets all of the ministry's
requirements and offers the best value for the people of Ontario.
The facility expansion is expected to be operational by April 2009.
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ONTARIO YOUTH JUSTICE FACILITIES
The McGuinty government is committed to building strong, safe and vital
communities in Ontario by holding youth in conflict with the law responsible
for their actions, while providing them with meaningful rehabilitation so they
can become responsible, productive members of society.
To support this, Ontario is creating a dedicated, fully-integrated youth
justice system for youth aged 12-17, separate and apart from the adult system.
This includes removing youth from youth units in adult facilities. The new
system provides a broad range of evidence-based community and custodial
programs and services to meet the needs of youth, their families and
The government has closed the following youth units so far:
- Brockville Jail Youth Unit, in March 2004
- Quinte Detention Centre Youth Unit, in March 2004
- Windsor Jail Youth Unit, in March 2006
- Invictus Youth Centre, in May 2006, to facilitate construction of the
Brampton Youth Centre.
Five dedicated, secure youth justice facilities are now under
- a 16-bed facility in Sault Ste Marie, scheduled for completion in
- a 192-bed facility in Brampton, scheduled for completion in late 2008
- a 16-bed facility in Thunder Bay, scheduled for completion in early
- a 12-bed facility dedicated to Aboriginal youth in Fort Frances,
scheduled for completion in early 2009
- a 16-bed expansion to the existing William E. Hay Youth Centre in
Ottawa, scheduled for completion in early 2009.
All of these new facilities will have state-of-the-art security and
provide evidence based rehabilitative programming. These services will include
risk-needs assessment, case management and reintegration planning. Education,
vocational services, housing and counselling will also be available, and will
take into consideration levels of physical, mental and emotional development,
as well as language and cultural beliefs.
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For further information:
For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416)
212-7161, (416) 571-7247 (Cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children
and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156