Innovative replacement correctional centre now open in Nanaimo

by ahnationtalk on May 22, 202435 Views

May 22, 2024

NANAIMO – A new state-of-the-art facility in Nanaimo is a significant step forward in advancing correctional services on Vancouver Island and supporting community safety.

Located next to the original correctional centre, the new campus-style Nanaimo Correctional Centre (NCC) is architecturally inspired by traditional Coast Salish plank houses and designed to ensure safety and security, while supporting a strong connection to the natural environment and an operational model focused on healing, recovery and change.

In addition to expanding remand capacity for Vancouver Island, the new centre includes a unit for women and features modern purpose-built spaces for programs such as the Guthrie program, which combines work, addictions treatment and counselling. The new centre features specialized areas for working with people with complex mental-health needs and a sophisticated health-care centre.

“Helping people make meaningful change and take steps to address the root cause of their behaviour is challenging work,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The new NCC is a testament to our commitment to supporting those individuals and the dedicated correctional and health professionals who play a vital role in fostering safer communities.”

The new NCC recognizes the evolution of correctional practice and proves that the use of natural light and building materials, which create more normative and positive environments, can co-exist with advanced security features that keep people safe.

Throughout construction, hundreds of local jobs were generated, and more opportunities continue to be available to support the expanded health and correctional services offered at the new centre. Additional work will take place at NCC to support the construction of a building for traditional Indigenous programs and a horticultural centre, adding to the unique programming BC Corrections offers throughout the province to support healing through culture, and help people gain new skills and see themselves in a new light.

The completion of the new NCC represents government’s commitment to leading change through innovation and strategic investments that support British Columbians.

Quotes:

George Chow, Minister of Citizens’ Services –

“We owe it to British Columbians to ensure our capital investments are forward-thinking and environmentally responsible. The new NCC enhances the correctional services available on Vancouver Island and contributes to the Province’s climate goals, thanks to innovative design features that will achieve LEED certification and reduce energy costs well beyond industry standards.”

Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction; MLA for Nanaimo –

“While they’re in custody, we want to support people to make meaningful change so that they can have a different life after prison. With this rebuild, Nanaimo’s groundbreaking Guthrie program can even better help people develop new skills and prevent re-offending.”

Jennifer Duff, chief operating officer, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) –

“The safety, security and well-being of our staff and clients are always top of mind, and the new Nanaimo campus delivers on all fronts. A big thank you is in order for our colleagues at BC Corrections and, of course, the hardworking and dedicated BCMHSUS Correctional Health Services staff members for supporting this transition in Nanaimo. Your commitment to our clients is commendable.”

Learn More:

To learn more about the NCC replacement facilioty, visit:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PSSG0071-001201

To learn more about careers in BC Corrections, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/careers-myhr/job-seekers/featured-careers/bc-corrections

To learn more about correctional health services jobs and careers with the Provincial Health Services Authority, visit:
https://jobs.phsa.ca/en/corrections

A backgrounder follows.

Contact:Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Media Relations
778 405-3306

BACKGROUNDER

Facts about the Nanaimo Correctional Replacement Project and Guthrie Therapeutic Community

  • The total capital investment for the Nanaimo Correctional Replacement Project is $181 million.
  • Phase 1 – Nanaimo Correctional Centre Replacement Project (spring 2021 – spring 2024):
    • Site preparation and construction of the new centre.
    • A phased approach to transition operations to the new centre began on April 30, 2024.
  • Phase 2 – Nanaimo Correctional Replacement Project (spring 2024 – spring 2025):
    • Deconstruction and removal of the old centre and restorative landscaping.
    • Construction of a traditional Indigenous programs building (Lelum / house of friendship), horticulture centre and additional equipment and/or program space.
  • Guthrie Therapeutic Community:
  • Guthrie is a self-contained residential addiction treatment program that has been in operation since 2007 and the first program of its kind in a Canadian correctional centre.
    • The Guthrie program is run by Nanaimo’s Connective (formerly the John Howard Society of Nanaimo) and accepts individuals in B.C. provincial custody from throughout the province.
    • Guthrie can support as many as 52 residents.
    • Residents learn how to hold themselves and others accountable in a respectful way, foster a positive environment and support each other’s progress and success.
    • At the end of their custodial sentences, residents transition into the community.
    • They are provided support to find employment and housing, and are monitored for as long as six months following their release.

Contact:Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Media Relations
778 405-3306

NT5

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