News Release Archive


The consultation process to upgrade and improve correctional
facilities in Nova Scotia will now begin, Justice Minister Jay
Abbass said today.

Contract negotiations setting the terms of reference for the
first phase of the project have been completed with ACG
Corrections Services Inc. In partnership with the government, ACG
will be seeking input from a wide range of sources in designing
the plan for adult correctional centres.

Nova Scotia's correctional facilities, which date back more than
a century, are inadequate and must be updated to meet current and
future needs. The plan that will now be developed will outline
the number of institutions, security levels, locations and
layouts, and programs and services for offenders.

Along with a full analysis of current facilities and their
potential for continued use, a thorough examination of offender
demographics, budgets and transportation requirements will be
conducted, the minister said. Alternatives to incarceration, such
as electronic monitoring, will also be explored. Options
regarding the operations of the facilities will be examined,
however no decision on operations will be made until a plan is

The Department of Health and the Nova Scotia Hospital are
partners in the process. The Provincial Forensic Psychiatry
Service, which is run by the Nova Scotia Hospital, will examine
the possibility of constructing a forensic hospital for its own
use on the same site as a correctional facility.

The hospital would be staffed by health care professionals on a
24-hour basis and would be designated as a hospital under the
Hospitals Act. The Provincial Forensic Psychiatry Service
provides assessment for referrals from the court, treatment and
rehabilitation for individuals found to be not criminally
responsible or fit to stand trial. This approach may allow the
two facilities to share common services such as a heating plant,
or laundry facilities, the minister said.

A wide variety of groups and individuals will be consulted over
the next several weeks. Consultations will include the judiciary,
the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, municipalities, police,
community groups and offenders to name a few.

Mr. Abbass said the union will continue to be informed, and input
from staff and union will be sought throughout the process
Opportunities for public input will also be invited through
written submissions. The consultation process begins in November.

"This stage of the planning process is extremely important," said
Mr. Abbass. "We want to hear from a wide variety of groups and
individuals on everything from video arraignments to programs for
offenders. We want to take the time to do a careful analysis and 
make a decision that's right for Nova Scotia. This process will
allow us to do that."

A plan is expected to be completed by the spring of 1997. Once a
plan is developed, decisions on implementing the plan will be
made, including the possible involvement of ACG in building the


Contact: Michele McKinnon  902-424-6811

         Lori MacLean      902-424-5025

trp                     Oct. 25, 1996 - 9 a.m.