PRINCE ALBERT, Saskatchewan — The Government of Saskatchewan has completed a 144-bed expansion of the Prince Albert Provincial Correctional Centre in Prince Albert to further ensure the safety and security of facility staff, offenders and the public.
The Prince Albert Correctional Centre’s new $24 million (approximately $18.5 million USD) unit includes four separate housing pods and enough capacity to provide video court services for the entire facility, according to a statement issued by the government office. The project was part of the 2012-2013 budget and is slated to create more than 100 new jobs when fully operational.
“Our government is focused on reducing demand on the criminal justice system,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said in a statement. “At the same time we need to ensure we have adequate space to house the offender population that currently exists in the province. This expansion will help us do just that.”
The most prominent feature of the expansion is its “open concept” design, which allows for direct supervision and interaction between corrections workers and remand inmates. This design is also intended to boost safety for both groups.
“The open concept creates a safer environment for corrections staff,” 27-year corrections employee Wes Elder said in a statement. “It worked very well when it was introduced to the province at Regina Provincial Correctional Centre and I have no doubt it will work just as well here in Prince Albert.”
This project follows major capital investments of 60 beds at the Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert in 2013 and the 90-bed expansion to the Saskatoon Correctional Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2009. These were the first additional beds added to the province’s correctional system since the late 1980s.