Manitoba’s Agassiz Youth Centre is closing

The Manitoba government is closing the Agassiz Youth Centre (AYC), a youth correctional centre located in Portage la Prairie.

Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced the closure in a news release on Thursday, saying the province will wind down operations of the facility while looking to provide resources for community intervention initiatives for youth.

The province noted that it has seen a decline in youth incarcerations over the last nine years, adding that the Agassiz Youth Centre is less than 30 per cent occupied.

The Agassiz Youth Centre will officially close in July. By this time, all incarcerated youth in southern Manitoba will be at the Manitoba Youth Centre, which has been operating at less than 50 per cent capacity.

There is currently fewer than 90 youth in custody in Manitoba, which is a decrease from over a decade ago, when more than 300 youth were in custody. Manitoba still has more youth incarcerations per capita than most provinces.

The province noted that there has been a decrease in youth incarcerations across Canada over the past number of years. This has resulted in several unit and facility closures in Manitoba, and facilities operating at an average of 45 per cent capacity over the past five years. Manitoba’s current overall capacity is at 29 per cent, which is a notable decrease from 10 years ago when it was at 102 per cent.

The Manitoba government will engage with staff, community members, and other stakeholders about the future use of the Agassiz Youth Centre site. It will also work with the Agassiz Youth Centre staff and General Employees’ Union to match the employees affected by this closure with available work.

View original article here Source