Thunder Bay

Ontario announces funding to replace Thunder Bay jail

New correctional facility will have 325 beds

New correctional facility will have 325 beds

The Thunder Bay District Jail was the site of a hostage-taking incident in December, 2015. The union representing corrections workers has been calling on the province to replace it. (Jody Porter/CBC)

The Ontario government has just announced funding for a new multi-purpose correctional centre to replace the Thunder Bay, Ont., jail.  

The facility will have 325 beds. 

The government has not released details on the location of the centre or a timeline for its completion. 

"Construction of a new jail for Thunder Bay has been a major priority for me and my colleague, Michael Gravelle, as well as our province for some time now," Thunder Bay-Atkokan MPP Bill Mauro said in a statement.

"This new facility will address the current health and safety conditions faced by our correctional staff and inmates living conditions. I would like to thank our Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Marie-France Lalonde, for her support of our local priorities as we continue investments in Thunder Bay's core provincial infrastructure."

The province has also announced the establishment of a Community Advisory Board for Thunder Bay, similar to the boards used in ten other provincial correctional institutions.  

Report calls for new jail in 3 to 5 years

Board members act as independent observers, offering a local perspective concerning care, supervision, and programs for offenders, the government said in a statement.

It advises the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and provides advice on all aspects of facility operations including the treatment of inmates.

The union representing Ontario's corrections workers has been calling for a replacement for the Thunder Bay District Jail for more than a year.

The call followed a hostage-taking incident at the current facility in December, 2015, and the revelation that one man, Adam Capay, had spent four years in solitary confinement.

Thursday's announcement followed the release of a report on segregation in Ontario corrections facilities produced by an independent review team.

The report, titled Segregation in Ontario, calls for a new Thunder Bay correctional facility to be operational within three to five years.