The federal government is promising to add a total of 362 new bunks to five federal prisons in B.C., Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews announced Monday morning in Abbotsford.

"The expansion of institutions in the Fraser Valley not only reaffirms our government's commitment to British Columbia, but helps ensure that criminals serve sentences that better reflect the severity of their crimes," said Toews.

More than $77 million will be spent to add beds to the Kent, Matsqui, Pacific Institution, Ferndale and Fraser Valley prisons over the next four years, said Toews. 

Conservative MP Ed Fast, also attended the announcement, which was made inside the Pacific Institution

"In the previous system, a violent criminal sentenced to nine years in prison could potentially be on our streets in as little as three years if he or she spent two years awaiting trial. This possibility is not acceptable to Canadians," said Fast.

"We are acting to ensure that criminals pay their debt — their full debt — to society," said Fast.