Ontario is continuing to work towards its goal of increasing mental health supports in the province’s corrections system by creating the first mental health unit in the province dedicated to female inmates.
The unit is expected to open in early 2018 as part of a new 192-bed adult female detention centre located on the site of Brampton’s Roy McMurtry Youth Centre (RMYC). The RMYC is a 192-bed secure facility for male youth that are in conflict with the law.
Due to the fact that there has been a steady decline in youth admissions, the centre will now be divided into two sections to separately house male youth and female adult inmates until smaller, community-based secure custody facilities for youth are completed in the Greater Toronto Area. At that point, the male youth will be relocated to the new facilities, which will provide safe and secure environments that will support more opportunities for effective rehabilitation.
The mental health facility will have the capacity to accommodate 32 inmates while meeting their unique needs. Retrofits to this unit, as well as construction and site planning for the new youth facilities are already underway. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2022, while smaller youth sites are expected to be completed in winter 2020.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that all inmates have access to the mental health services they need, when and where they need them, to support their successful rehabilitation and reintegration back into their communities,” said David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, in a press release. “This new adult female detention centre, with its dedicated mental health unit, is the best way to serve female inmates and the community.”