Kingston Penitentiary to be closed by Federal Government

Discussion in 'Politics & Diplomacy' started by someMidTowner, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. someMidTowner

    someMidTowner Administrator Staff Member

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    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/04/19/pol-prison-closing-toews.html

    The federal government will close the maximum-security penitentiary in Kingston, Ont., that opened in 1835 and houses some of Canada's most notorious prisoners, CBC News has learned.

    Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the Regional Treatment Centre located on the grounds of the penitentiary will also close, as will the medium-security Leclerc Institution in Laval, Que.

    Toews told a press conference Thursday in Ottawa that inmates at the prisons will be moved to other facilities.

    The government wants to cut $5.2 billion from the federal coffers by 2014-15, and plans to cut $295 million from the Correctional Service Canada (CSC) budget by then.

    Toews said closing the institutions will save $120 million per year.

    More than 100 employees with CSC were given notices Thursday that their jobs are "affected" and could be eliminated because of the budget cuts. The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, one of several unions that represents federal civil service workers, said 101 members were given the news – 31 people at Leclerc Institution in Laval, Quebec, and 28 at the Kingston Penitentiary.

    Eighteen nurses, five psychologists and five IT workers were the PIPSC members given notices at the Kingston facility. Twenty nurses, eight psychologists, and three IT workers were given notices at the one in Laval.

    CBC News has also learned that 42 jobs are being affected at Kingston's Regional Treatment Centre, a psychiatric facility on the grounds of the Kingston Penitentiary. Three doctors, 28 nurses, six psychologists, three social workers and two occupational therapists were given notices about their jobs.

    Not everyone in the public service who receives an affected notice will necessarily be laid off, they could be moved to another department, or may have to compete with co-workers to keep their job. Some jobs, however, may eventually be declared "surplus."

    The government said in the budget tabled last month that it "has no intention of building any new prisons," indicating that the inmates at the Kingston Penitentiary may be moved to another prison.



    The Kingston Penitentiary can hold up to 421 inmates, according to information on the CSC website. There are more than 460 employees.

    The facility has housed some of Canada's most notorious killers, including Mohammad Shafia, who along with his wife and son killed three of his daughters and his first wife.

    Among those also reportedly imprisoned there are:

    Paul Bernardo, who was convicted in 1995 of kidnapping, raping and murdering southern Ontario teenagers Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy.
    Russell Williams, the former colonel who was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 for raping and killing Cpl. Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd.
     
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  2. ShonTron

    ShonTron Moderator

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    Funny how the Harper government wants to increase incarceration rates, yet plans to close prisons. There's a good case for Kingston to close (it would make for a great new site for the small Penitentary Museum across the street), but Leclerc? (A somewhat-modern medium security prison in Laval)
     
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  3. W. K. Lis

    W. K. Lis Senior Member

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    Closing TWO prisons and opening ZERO new ones? What are they going to do? Open a gulag out on an island in the arctic? No prison, just houses on the barren tundra surrounded by sea ice?
     
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  4. someMidTowner

    someMidTowner Administrator Staff Member

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    Not trying to be argumentative, but how is a prison closing in toronto not a "toronto issue"?
    Just wondering, no disrespect intended


    Edit: nevermind im an idiot, i confused it with the don...wow fail by me
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
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  5. unimaginative2

    unimaginative2 Senior Member

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    The article said they'd be expanding 30 other prisons. My guess is the maintenance costs at Kingston just got too high. I'm not sure what the issue is at Leclerc.
     
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  6. cdr108

    cdr108 Senior Member

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    i'd surmise the same for Kingston ... since it was built in the early 1800's, no matter how much retrofitting, it probably isn'mechanically up to date or energy efficient as a newer build.

    any chance the PCs are going the way of private prisons?
     
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  7. ShonTron

    ShonTron Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure where scum like Williams and Bernardo will be sent - the half-empty SHU (Secure Handiling Unit) near Saint-Jerome, Quebec. It's a supermax wing of the Archambault/Ste-Anne-des-Plaines Institutions and the only full supermax unit operated by CSC.

    All the expansion plans I've heard of are expansions of existing prisons such as Collins Bay (only 1-2 km from Kingston Pen).
     
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  8. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    Well, on a more practical note I can see it being another (macabre) tourist attraction for Kingston.

    AoD
     
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  9. unimaginative2

    unimaginative2 Senior Member

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    I don't think the SHU will replace the Kingston Pen. It's intended to house especially dangerous or at-risk offenders temporarily. Prisoners aren't intended to be there permanently. They're also usually (though not always) kept in their home region/province. Millhaven is a maximum security facility that was originally built to replace Kingston, and I suspect it might be expanded to take on that role after all.
     
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  10. adma

    adma Superstar

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    As per the suggestion that it'll be a de facto expansion of the pen museum across the street. (And perhaps, with a touch of Fort Henry tossed in for good measure.)
     
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  11. rdaner

    rdaner Senior Member

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    I am hoping that this phenomenal waterfront property is acquired by the university.

    All photos courtesy of the Kingston Whig Standard.

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  12. W. K. Lis

    W. K. Lis Senior Member

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    With condo square footage getting smaller (411 sf for Studio units, in some cases, from this link), just wondering if some of the cells might end up as condo units?
     
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  13. ShonTron

    ShonTron Moderator

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    Some have billed Kingston Pen as a potential "Alcatraz North" - but better analogies in the US would be Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and West Virginia State Penitentiary, both of which are far older than Alcatraz as active prisons and neither are as well known.

    I've been to both Alcatraz and Eastern State. As tourist attractions, both are both really well done, and different. Neither are hokey.

    Steve Buscemi narrates the Eastern State self-guided tour. Perhaps Donald Sutherland for Kingston?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
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