New correctional centre opens in Nanaimo at $181M price tag

New correctional centre opens in Nanaimo at $181M price tag
Province of B.C.
The back fence of the new NCC is shown.

A modern correctional centre has opened its doors in Nanaimo, replacing the former Nanaimo Correctional Centre (NCC) that was more than 70 years old.

The new $181 million jail includes over 200 rooms and is located beside the previous correctional centre.

The province says the new NCC is “architecturally inspired by traditional Coast Salish plank houses” with a focus on security, as well as supporting a connection to the natural environment, healing, recovery and change.

The new facility also includes a new centre for women, with purpose-built spaces for programs like the Guthrie program, which combines work, addictions treatment and counselling, according to the province.

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A cell at the new NCC is shown. (Province of B.C.)

Construction of the new medium-security jail began in fall 2021, and while doors have opened, more construction is in the works.

The province also plans to build another structure that will include a horticulture centre, space for Indigenous programs, and space for other programs unique to B.C., such as metal shop and culinary training.

The programs help give people “new skills and see themselves in a new light,” according to the province.

There’s also plans to demolish the old NCC, which was originally built in 1953, as well as restorative landscaping.

“While they’re in custody, we want to support people to make meaningful change so that they can have a different life after prison,” said B.C. Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Sheila Malcolmson.

“With this rebuild, Nanaimo’s groundbreaking Guthrie program can even better help people develop new skills and prevent re-offending,” she said in a release Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: B.C. prison guards decry increasing violence, drone drops of weapons, drugs

An outside section of the NCC is shown. (Province of B.C.)

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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