Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre is one of B.C.’s prisons for inmates awaiting trial or serving a sentence of less than two years. (Black Press files)

‘Double-bunking’ still a problem for B.C. provincial jails

Staff shortages have caused unit closures at some prisons

The latest audit of B.C.’s prison system finds more inmates sharing living units than the B.C. Corrections set as its target four years ago, with likely effects on safety and rehabilitation.

Inmate crowding is highest at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in Saanich, with 66 per cent of inmates “double bunked” as of last summer, B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer reported in an update on the situation released Tuesday. When the audit began in 2015, the target was 32 per cent shared living units.

Second highest capacity for male inmates was Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge, with 56 per cent of inmates in shared units and four units closed due to lack of staff. Kamloops Regional was at 52 per cent, Surrey Pretrial was at 49 per cent, North Fraser Pretrial in Port Coquitlam was at 48 per cent and Prince George Regional was at 36 per cent.

B.C.’s newest provincial prison, Okanagan Correctional Centre near Oliver, was at 22 per cent double-bunking with two units closed, and Ford Mountain in Chilliwack was the only facility for males showing no shared living units.

READ MORE: ‘Honeymoon is over’ at Okanaga Correctional Centre

READ MORE: Wilkinson Road ‘fortress’ marks 100 years of operation

Women’s facilities at Alouette River had four units closed but no inmates sharing. Prince George Regional had 17 per cent of women inmates sharing living units.

The audit also reviewed programs for controlling assaults, escape attempts, drug and weapon smuggling and property damage in B.C. prisons.

One of the 2015 audit’s recommendation was to assess the impact of housing sentenced and pre-trial inmates together, to meet a regulation that they should be separated “where circumstances allow.” The latest audit found no progress in that area.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Harrison Festival fundraiser dance to have ’70s theme and features Chilliwack band

Chilliwack band The Vacationers to perform at May 31 Harrison Festival Society’s fundraising concert

Seabird Island opens 50th annual festival

The weekend festival will see First Nations teams compete in soccer, three-pitch and canoe races

Lofty plans for Chilliwack school district revealed

Chilliwack school district draws up plan to add 2,900 student seats in five years

Agassiz study to look at drone use for pesticide application

The study will be the first in Canada to use drones to apply pesticides to farm fields

Chilliwack’s pediatric observation unit gets financial shot from trades workers

Unions and contractors donate more than $30,000 to Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Semis catch fire at wrecker off Highway 1 in west Abbotsford

Crews called to scene at around 2 p.m., finding up to six semis that had caught fire at the wrecker

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Most Read