Young offenders in Calgary and southern Alberta will stay in custody in Calgary to receive rehabilitative education services instead of being moved to the Edmonton Young Offender Centre.
On May 28, the new NDP government reversed the former government’s decision to close the Calgary Young Offender Centre. Three days after its election, the Rachel Notley government had already put the planned closure on hold to conduct an internal review.
“We are working on the newest chapter in the story of our province. This includes making common-sense decisions, and reversing the closure of the Calgary Young Offender Centre is one such example,” Notley said in a news release.
The reversal aligns with an emergent resolution adopted by the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s 2015 Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) less than two weeks earlier. The resolution urged the government “to operate a Calgary Young Offender Centre that includes all services currently offered to support the successful reintegration of those young offenders into society.”
Even before ARA, Association President Mark Ramsankar had provided a letter of support to the Calgary Young Offender Centre with respect to the planned closure.
Reopening the Calgary Young Offender Centre will ensure that local young offenders have access to necessary rehabilitative and custody services while remaining close to their families, the government says. As an essential community service, the centre helps young offenders from Calgary and southern Alberta get their lives back on track.
The Notley government made a commitment to reverse the decision during the election. The government says the centre will reopen as youth are moved back to Calgary and as staffing arrangements are made. ❚