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

Seniors plead to Surrey council ahead of public hearing for 1,000-plus unit development

In June, seniors in the buildings said they felt ‘left in the cold’ as plans for redevelopment materialized

Several people in custody following reports of shots fired into a Surrey home

Police say the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help to find missing 15-year-old boy

Prabhjot Singh Gill was last seen Dec. 6 in the area of 140th Street and 66th Avenue

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

Winning Christmas card art shown at Surrey gallery

Arts Council of Surrey’s annual competition won by Edwin Stephen and Nancy Painter

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Strong turnout of volunteers to search for missing senior

Ted Vanderveen disappeared in rural Maple Ridge on Nov. 28

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

SkyTrain strike to begin Tuesday with ‘full shutdown’, CUPE says

BCRTC president says job action is ‘completely unacceptable’ to use SkyTrain users ‘as leverage’

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

Most Read