Children / Youths in Jail in Canada

Letters to the Editor

Safety comes first for youth in custody

re: Close youth centre, report urges Dec. 16.

Dec. 18, 2003

Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter shut down Project Turnaround reportedly because it was too costly to keep open and, besides, he said the government already did the same thing in other facilities despite it having the best safety record in the system. Now the minister announces they can't afford to close the Toronto Youth Assessment Centre despite acknowledging reports of its extreme dangerousness ; but he explained, the youth can't be moved to other facilities despite the surplus capacity in the system because they need to have close contact with their parents as part of their rehabilitation.

Sometimes you can't have everything, and, in life's trade offs, not only would every parent with a youth in custody choose safety first, so would any professional who understands that one's most basic needs, including safety, must be met before rehabilitation has a chance to succeed.

JimCatton, deputy director,
Project Turnaround,
Moonstone, Ont.

Youth Jails Canada

Youth jail 'alarming' to lawyers

A 300 member lawyers' group says a jail for youths in Toronto is a source of "great shock and alarm" and has called on Ontario Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter to shut it down.