Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Hundreds of new beds announced for Brockville Correctional Complex, Quinte Detention Centre

Quinte Detention Centre on Richmond Boulevard in Napanee. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

The Ontario government has announced plans to upgrade the capacity of provincial jails in Eastern Ontario.

The capacity of the Brockville Correctional Complex will more than double, with the addition of 184 new beds.

A total of 18 new beds will also be added to the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, bringing that institution’s capacity to over 300 beds.

A June 10 media release explains that increasing the jails’ capacities will be supported by the hiring of up to 200 additional correctional staff which could include nurses, correctional officers and support staff. This number includes those hired to support an additional up to 430 new beds in London and Toronto facilities.

“We’re expanding and building facilities that will help frontline staff to do their jobs safely and effectively while increasing capacity to keep violent and repeat offenders off our streets,” stated Solicitor General Michael Kerzner in a media release.

As part of the government’s plans to increase capacity, two new jails will be built in eastern Ontario: the Eastern Ontario Correctional Complex in Kemptville and the Brockville Correctional Complex. The St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre will also be expanded to accommodate a women’s treatment unit and the Quinte Detention Centre will be expanded to add inmate programming and female capacity.

These initiatives are part of the government’s $500 million investment to modernize adult correctional services through infrastructure upgrades and hiring of new staff.

Chad Oldfield, Ministry Employee Relations Committee Co-chair for the Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU), said the union is pleased to hear of the government’s plan for infrastructure upgrades and the expansion of the bed count at St. Lawrence/Brockville and Quinte.

“This investment in staffing and infrastructure is a good example of the type of solutions we need to help keep communities, our staff, and those inside our walls safe,” he said. “We recognize the Ontario government’s ongoing commitment to support correctional staff and hope to see similar solutions implemented in other areas moving forward.”

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