On January 10 Correctional Services Canada announced four new expansions to Canadian prisons “for the safety of Canadian streets and communities with an investment to help keep dangerous criminals behind bars.”
To be completed by 2012-2013, the announced expansions are:
$73 million for new units holding 96 beds each at the Cowansville and Donnacona institutions in Quebec;
$55 million for expansions at Riverbend in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, the Cree Healing Lodge at the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, Saskatchewan, and a new 96-bed unit at Edmonton Institution;
$20 Million for expansions to the Frontenac institution and the Pittsburgh Institution in Kingston, Ontario; and
$10 million for the Beaver Creek Institution in Gravenhurst, Ontario.
Correctional Services eventually plans to create a total of 2,700 new places at current penitentiaries. It also has long term plans to build entire new facilities.
The government wants to expand the prison facilities because crowded conditions are now leading to early release dates. Press releases for the above announcements said: “In the previous system, a violent criminal sentenced to nine years in prison could potentially be on our streets in as little as three years if he or she spend two years awaiting trial. This possibility is not acceptable to Canadians. We are acting to ensure that criminals pay their debt — their full debt — to society.”