McGuinty Government To Build New Youth Justice Facilities In Thunder Bay And Fort Frances



    Last Step In Plan To Create Dedicated Youth Justice System

    THUNDER BAY, ON, June 8 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is completing its
plans to establish a dedicated youth justice system by building new youth
justice facilities in Thunder Bay and Fort Frances, Michael Gravelle, MPP for
Thunder Bay - Superior North and Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay - Atikokan
announced today on behalf of Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne
Chambers.
    The Thunder Bay and Kenora/Rainy River District centres are two of the
few remaining centres in Ontario with youth units within adult facilities.
This initiative will allow youth to move from the Thunder Bay Correctional
Centre to a 16-bed facility dedicated to youth located in Thunder Bay. In the
Kenora/Rainy River District, youth will be transferred to a 12-bed facility in
Fort Frances dedicated to Aboriginal youth and operated by an Aboriginal
organization. This will allow the ministry to close the youth unit located in
the Kenora Jail.
    "These new dedicated facilities for youth will continue to ensure
accountability from youth in conflict with the law, at the same time
recognizing the different needs they have than those of adults," said Mauro.
"This is a progressive step forward by our government and addresses a long
standing need in the youth justice sector in Thunder Bay."
    The government has allocated a total of $28.4 million to support the
construction of the new youth justice facilities in Thunder Bay and Fort
Frances and a 16-bed expansion of the William E. Hay Centre in Ottawa that
will allow youth to move from the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre. These
projects will create approximately 480 construction jobs. The facility in
Thunder Bay, to be ministry operated, is expected to create up to 30 full time
equivalent jobs.
    "Youth in conflict with the law need to be held accountable for their
actions, but they have very different needs than adult offenders," said
Gravelle. "These innovative new small-scale facilities address the unique
needs of troubled youth, and also help keep them closer to their homes, their
families, their community and local service agencies. They will also help our
young people get their lives back on track and discourage them from
re-offending."
    "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
facilities by engaging industry professionals through an open and competitive
process. This will ensure the facilities meet all of the ministry's
requirements and offer the best value for the people of Ontario.
    The new facilities are expected to be operational by April 2009.

    
    Disponible en français

                           www.children.gov.on.ca



    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       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
communities.

    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 development:

    -   a 16-bed facility in Sault Ste Marie, scheduled for completion in
        February 2008
    -   a 192-bed facility in Brampton, scheduled for completion in late 2008
    -   a 16-bed facility in Thunder Bay, scheduled for completion in early
        2009
    -   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.

    Disponible en français

                           www.children.gov.on.ca
    




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

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES

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