Sask. committing $6M to upgrade correctional facilities across the province

The biggest chunk of money — $4.6 million — is going toward replacing the Urban Camp, a facility adjacent to the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.

$4.6M will go toward replacing Urban Camp facility adjacent to Saskatoon Correctional Centre

The Urban Camp is a part of the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. (CBC)

The Saskatchewan government says it is spending more than $6 million for upgrades to several correctional facilities across the province. 

The biggest chunk of that money, announced Friday — $4.6 million — is going toward replacing the Urban Camp, a facility adjacent to the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. It houses around 50 inmates who are deemed low-risk and are allowed to go out into the community to work.

Corrections spokesperson Noel Busse said the work will be done over two years. 

"We've had the same trailers for quite a while," he said. 

"When you have a house, there are things you want to replace.…It was just seen that this was a good opportunity to upgrade and modernize the Urban Camp facility."

Busse said the camp allows the province to house people in "the least restrictive manner possible" and helps manage the population at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.

"We're doing everything we can to reduce reoffending, and to help offenders reintegrate back into their communities and get the education and employment opportunities they need," Busse said. 

He also said the trailers are still secure, but it was just time for an upgrade. There's no set plan at the moment for where inmates will be housed when construction is going on, and there's still design work to be done.

Right now, the Urban Camp's programming is suspended due to COVID-19, but the facility is still housing inmates. There's no timeline for when they may go back to their work with community partners in Saskatoon. Busse said they are following provincial health guidelines. 

The remainder of the $6.3 million will be split between several other facilities, including:

  • $920,000 for the expansion of the Cultural Lodge program at the Regina Correctional Centre, Saskatoon Correctional Centre, Prince Albert Correctional Centre and Kilburn Hall Youth Centre.
  • $110,000 for kitchen upgrades at the Regina Correctional Centre.
  • $450,000 for razor wire upgrades at the Regina, Pine Grove, Saskatoon and Prince Albert correctional centres.
  • $65,000 for an expansion to the parking lot at the Prince Albert Youth Residence.