New Elgin-Middlesex Regional Intermittent Centre Opens
State-of-the-Art Structure Improves Staff and Inmate Safety, Addresses Capacity Issues
Ontario is addressing capacity issues at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) and improving staff and inmate safety with the opening of a new state-of-the-art 112-bed Regional Intermittent Centre (RIC).
The new $9.3 million centre, built by Cambridge based Collaborative Structures Limited, is part of Ontario's intermittent offender strategy. The goal of the strategy is to ease capacity pressures by providing standalone intermittent centres on the grounds of an existing facility. Intermittent sentences allow some adults serving a custodial sentence of 90 days or less to serve their sentence typically on weekends, rather than all at once.
The 22,000 square foot facility includes various types of housing/beds in order to support diverse accommodations such as general beds, accessible beds, a dormitory to manage special needs and a segregation unit.
Security and workplace safety features of the EMDC RIC include:
- Location within the grounds of the maximum security EMDC
- State-of-the-art security features including electronically secured doors, locks, windows and washrooms, and furniture that is bolted to the floor
- Electronic security features such as full camera coverage and control modules that manage the movement of the facility through electronic doors, with integration into EMDC
- Uninterrupted sight lines for correctional officers, with natural light providing a bright and positive working environment.
Investing in infrastructure, new capital programs and hiring more correctional officers is part of the government's plan to transform the correctional system and build safer communities.
- Construction of the RIC created approximately 165 direct and 150 indirect jobs in the southwest region.
- The centre is a tension membrane structure consisting of aluminum arches with a fabric panel overlay. These are secure structures that are already being used by correctional systems in British Columbia and the United States
- Intermittent sentences are decided by a judge who must take into consideration factors such as the nature of the offence and the age and character of the offender, which may include whether employment and childcare responsibilities would make it difficult to serve a regular sentence.
- Ontario recently announced that full-body scanners will be installed in all adult correctional facilities to improve safety.
“The new Regional Intermittent Centre at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre is designed to improve staff and inmate safety, address capacity issues, reduce contraband, and increase safety in our communities. It is a key part of our government’s transformation of Ontario’s correctional system focused on increased access to rehabilitation programs, enhanced mental health supports, and community-based reintegration partnerships to build safer, stronger communities in our province.”
“As part of our government’s plan to transform Ontario’s correctional system, this Regional Intermittent Centre is an important step forward. I’m glad our government is making this investment in our community.”
“As Chair of EMDC's Community Advisory Board, I am pleased to report on behalf of the CAB, our confidence that the opening of the new Regional Intermittent Centre will make EMDC a much safer place in which to serve a custodial sentence and to work. We commend EMDC staff for all their good work to ready the RIC to receive inmates.”