A Prison in Summerland, BC? No: Oliver.

Correctional facility approved for Oliver, BC

Inmates will stay in the community

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BC Corrections could use some correcting

In a post from June 16, 2011 titled “BC politicians on the downside of prisons”, ex-Mayor Gordy Robson of Maple Ridge tried to warn us, that BC Corrections were not upfront when making promises to the communities in which they had facilities, and in fact the Ministry of Public Safety had violated their ‘good neighbor agreement’ with Maple Ridge.

Gordy Robson had also said that “. . . whatever promises they are making now, they will not live up to.  The evidence here in Maple Ridge is that Corrections will not admit or honor the agreement they had, and that is very disturbing”. 

Inmates DO stick around

In contrast to Corrections BC’s claim in their fact sheet that convicts don’t stick around when released, Mr. Robson also said that released inmates in Maple Ridge are just dropped off at the bus station and some decide to stay.

The following is the Q and A from the official Okanagan Corrections fact sheet put out by the Ministry of Public Safety:

Q. What happens to the inmates when they are released? Where do they go?

A. It is important to realize that in most cases, inmates are not from the area the correctional centre is located and want to return to their home communities. Sentenced inmates are always given a bus ticket to return to their community of origin upon completion of their sentence.

We already knew this was a crock from having spoken to several correctional officers. One CO from Surrey told me that remanded individuals and prisoners are only given bus tickets from Surrey Pretrial, IF they know to ask for one. This is entirely contrary to what Brent Merchant from BC Corrections had been telling us all along.

The correctional officer also told me that if a remanded inmates trial came up at 4:00pm and the paperwork didn’t come through until 10:00 that night, that by law they are forced to release them even if the buses have stopped running for the night.

Where are they going to go at 10:00 at night in Oliver with no buses running? For one, they might steal your car, which according to the CO’s we talked to, is a common occurrence.

MLA Terry Lake says “inmates stay in the community”

Feb 6, 2012 KFJC-TV  Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake praised this morning’s announcement, [re the Oliver prison], saying it will be a benefit for the crowded Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre. Lake says it’s a tough process to locate a facility like a jail, with some seeing the positives and others, the negatives…

Lake says both he and Mayor Peter Milobar have long been concerned about crowding at KRCC, saying when inmates are released, they often stay in the community and put pressures on local police.

Written by summerlandbc

April 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

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