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Home Canadian Press A look at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit

A look at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — The Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit is one of Canada’s most decrepit prisons. A look at Nunavut’s main correctional facility:

Capacity: Built to hold 68 minimum-security prisoners. Holds an average of 82 prisoners with a peak of 115. They include minimum-, medium- and maximum-security inmates as well as prisoners awaiting trial.

Problems: Pervasive mould, holes in walls, fire-code violations, serious wear and tear on facilities.

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History: Operational and security concerns first identified by Office of the Correctional Investigator in 1996. Further reports followed in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2012.

Security: Violent encounters tripled between 2002 and 2012 to 185. The prison averages about eight contraband incidents a month.

Prisoner care: Federal auditor general Michael Ferguson found none of 24 prisoners looked at had a plan for rehabilitation; 33 per cent of inmates with mental-health issues had access to help; five per cent of inmates had release plan.

Improvements: Renovations totalling $900,000 to remove mould, repaint, patch walls, fix sprinklers. Auditor general says bringing prison to modern standards would cost $8.8 million. A 48-bed minimum-security prison adjacent to BCC will help in short term. Ferguson says Nunavut will be short 70 prison beds by 2026 and still has no plan for maximum-security facility.

The Canadian Press

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