Ontario Streamlining Youth Justice Facilities
McGuinty Government Delivering Youth Justice Services Responsibly
Ontario is closing the Bluewater Youth Centre in Goderich, a secure custody facility for youth that is operating at only 26 per cent capacity.
As it works to eliminate the deficit and get better value for taxpayer's money, the government can no longer afford to operate facilities that are not being substantially utilized. The province will also be reducing the number of beds at Brookside Youth Centre (Cobourg) and Cecil Facer Youth Centre (Sudbury) -- both facilities are currently operating under 50 per cent capacity.
All 17 young people at Bluewater will be relocated to other secure custody facilities as close to their families as possible. No youth are affected at the facilities in Cobourg and Sudbury.
Since 2003, the number of youth in secure custody has dropped from 1,017 to 370. The government has introduced a range of community-based and custodial programs that are helping to reduce the number of youth in conflict with the law.
The McGuinty government is committed to a strong youth justice system that responds to youths' unique needs, reducing the number of youth who re-offend and thereby making Ontario's communities safer.
- Since the Youth Criminal Justice Act came into effect in 2003, the number of youth in secure custody has dropped from an average of 1,017 youth to about 370 in 2011.
- Ontario has 21 secure youth custody facilities, seven of which are directly operated by the province.
- The government is working with youth, families, staff, their representatives and the local communities to minimize the impact of these changes.
“Fewer youth are coming into custody because of improvements we've made to our youth justice system. As part of our plan to eliminate the deficit and protect the services families rely on, we can't afford to operate facilities with so many empty beds. We've had to make some hard choices, and I know this will be difficult for the staff and their families, but the government will work with them throughout this challenging process.”