The Province of Ontario is making strategic investments in public safety and strengthening justice services by modernizing the adult correctional system across Eastern Ontario. New construction and building upgrades will update facilities, address issues of overcrowding, and create new spaces for the delivery of mental health services, inmate programming and staff training.
Details were provided on Thursday by Premier Doug Ford, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
“Our frontline correctional staff have been absolute champions throughout the pandemic, putting their communities first and keeping all of us safe,” said Ford. “By making these important investments in Eastern Ontario, we will upgrade our corrections infrastructure, better protect our correctional officers, and contribute to our economic recovery through these new construction projects.”
“The Ontario government is making a substantial investment that will transform the corrections system in Eastern Ontario,” said Jones. “Modernizing outdated infrastructure and building new facilities will create a better and safer environment for our hard-working frontline staff and address overcrowding in many of our institutions.”
The modernization strategy for Ontario’s Eastern Region includes:
- Building a new Greater Ottawa Correctional Complex on an existing government-owned site in Kemptville to improve staff and inmate safety;
- Replacing the Brockville Jail, which was built in 1842 and is currently the oldest in the province,with a new facility that will increase capacity and improve access to services and programming in the area;
- Expanding the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre in Brockville and the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee to improve mental health services for women who are incarcerated and add capacity; and
- Renovate the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre to better accommodate programming for inmates and other initiatives.
The Eastern Region Strategy builds on the government’s plan to invest $500 million over five years to modernize correctional facilities and support frontline corrections officers across the province, including the hiring of more than 500 new correctional staff. The Eastern Region Strategy will provide benefits throughout the area for years to come, including creating jobs and supporting local businesses during construction and providing jobs to local residents once the projects are completed. As a result, these projects will help stimulate the economy over the long term as Ontario moves into the next phase of recovery from COVID-19.
“These critical investments demonstrate our government’s ongoing commitment to our incredible frontline corrections workers, while also providing an important boost to our local economy,” said Clark. “I am so proud today’s announcement includes expanding the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre to provide treatment for female inmates with serious mental health needs. This is a project I have worked on for years alongside community leaders to build on the expertise we have now at the facility.”