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Alberta Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General cuts funding to Kainai Corrections Society forcing the closure of the only on-reserve correctional centre in the province

on Tue, 04/08/2014 - 10:28

For Immediate Release - April 7, 2014

The Alberta Ministry of Just...ice and Solicitor General have told the Kainai Correctional Centre Society (KCCS) that it is cutting the funding for the correctional centre resulting in 12 employees to lose their jobs and the loss of a correctional centre on-reserve for minimum security inmates. The closure was effective April 1, 2014.

For 25 years the Kainai Correctional Centre (KCC) has housed minimum-security inmates providing rehabilitation measures using a holistic approach. In 2010, the same Alberta Government Department again attempted to shut down KCC but Blood Tribe officials were successful in lobbing the Alberta Government to keep the centre open by changing to a temporary absence facility. During the last four years, the Alberta Government has continually reduced the number of inmates assigned to KCC and now contend it is “under utilized”.

Despite recent lobbying efforts by Blood Tribe Officials, KCCS is being forced to close
the 24‐bed facility and limit its services to Probation, Court Workers, Elders Program and Crime Prevention.

In 2010 KCCS met with the department of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General and collectively they identified the Security Rating System as the primary issue for KCCS. There has been insufficient opportunity to revise and implement that recommendation from four years ago.

KCCS has struggled to hold the attention of officials within the Ministry of the Justice and Solicitor General since that time and over the past years has attempted to gain allies within the department in order to follow through with the 2010 recommendations. They have continually seen the issues around the screening process and see a direct effect that has reduced utilization. Their services are not encouraged in other facilities or throughout the system, and this is seen as the cause for the decline in their inmate numbers.

The creation of KCC was to provide a more effective facility that would better serve members of the Blood Tribe, Treaty 7 and other First Nations who have become involved in the criminal justice system. Over representation of Aboriginal persons in correctional centres remains higher than their representation in the over-all population, throughout Alberta and Canada.

KCCS was originally established so that the Blood Tribe could become directly involved in the criminal justice system in the province. “KCC is not just about the offender, it helps the community and the offenders family,” says Rick Soup, Director of KCCS.

Members of the Board of KCCS will continue meeting over the next while to determine their next steps and to determine new opportunities and options for KCC. KCCS believes the society still has a role to play providing rehabilitative services right in the community, where there is a wealth of resources and experience in offering rehabilitation programming that has proven to keep offenders from re-offending.

Alberta claims they are providing Aboriginal specific programming in their correctional facilities; but with KCC no longer serving as a correctional centre, Alberta will have no facilities on-reserve to house inmates.

 

For further information, contact:
Rick Soup, Director of KCCS 403-737-2555 Cell (403) 382-8600

Billy Wadsworth
Box 530 Councillor, Blood Tribe
Stand Off AB T0L 1Y0 Stand Off AB TOL 1YO
Cell (403) 220-0949