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%.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrives just in time thanks to tip

Officers remind of resources after mental health call Monday morning

Man arrested after speeding to Victoria court date for driving offence

West Shore RCMP remind drivers to be mindful of construction zones

Sunny day crash hampers traffic on Blanshard in Saanich

Lanes closed Monday afternoon as one person taken to hospital

Victoria police seek suspects in series of bear spray attacks

Police responded to several calls Saturday evening

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Most Read