News release

New Correctional Facility Officially Opens in Pictou County

Nova Scotia's newest correctional facility will add 150 beds to the correctional system and enhance safety and security for offenders and staff. The Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, located in Priestville, Pictou Co., opens Monday, Feb. 9.

"This state-of-the-art facility is an important part of our continued work to improve and strengthen Nova Scotia's corrections system," said Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab. "We've also implemented a new hiring policy and have committed $6 million in enhancements for the province's largest jail, the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth."

The Pictou County jail replaces the aging Antigonish and Cumberland correctional facilities, which were built in 1948 and 1890, respectively. It can house a maximum of 196 offenders.

The physical layout is for a direct-supervision model which will increase staff presence in offender living units. This allows staff to more effectively supervise and monitor offenders.

Funding in this year's capital plan will cover renovations to the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth to fully implement a direct-supervision model. Security features at that facility will also be upgraded.

"We know from other jurisdictions that having staff in the living units with offenders at all times has a significant impact on the number of incidents that occur due to violence and non-compliance with policies and procedures," said Bill Smith, executive director of correctional services. "When staff and offenders interact more, and when staff have more direct control of offenders and the living units, it creates a safer and more secure environment for everyone."

The $42.3-million facility in Pictou County is the second largest in the province. It features more than 200 closed-circuit TV cameras in and outside the building, a health-care suite, offender classrooms and booths for court attendance by video-conference.

It is also LEED certified, which recognizes sustainable design and construction. The facility was built using natural materials, managed construction waste and used materials with recycled content. It has a recycling program, will reduce water use, and will optimize energy use through geothermal wells.

For more information about the facility, visit http://novascotia.ca/just/Corrections/NENS.asp .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia's newest correctional facility will open February 9th, adding one hundred and fifty beds to the system and improving safety and security.

The Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility can house almost two hundred offenders and is a state-of-the-art facility says Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab. She says the new facility is part of the plan to improve the corrections system.

The province is also investing six million dollars to make changes at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth.

For more information about the new correctional facility, visit the department website.

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