Alberta government funding cuts force province’s only on-reserve jail to close

rovincial funding cuts have forced Alberta’s only on-reserve correctional centre to close.

LETHBRIDGE — Provincial funding cuts have forced Alberta’s only on-reserve correctional centre to close.

The Kainai Corrections Society minimum-security facility in Standoff had been operating for 25 years.

It shut down its 24 beds for inmates last week and 12 people have lost their jobs.

Probation, court worker and crime prevention services, along with an elders program, are to continue.

The Justice Department tried to close the centre four years ago, but lobbying by officials from the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta managed to keep it open.

Rick Soup, director of the corrections centre, said the closure will have a big impact on Blood Tribe members.

“The workers who were here, some of them were here for 25 years,” he said. “They dedicated their careers to corrections, so it’s going to be quite an effect on them and their families.

“And the community really supported the facility so … there’s going to be a huge impact there as well.”

The closure is also a blow because the centre was the only one in the province to offer programs solely for aboriginal offenders, Soup said.

“Of all the offenders in Alberta, 37 per cent are aboriginal … and we were the only First Nations corrections facility on-reserve to help them.”

Soup said the inmates will probably be moved into the general prison population at other facilities.

The Kainai society was created to serve members of the Blood Tribe, Treaty 7 and other First Nations who had become involved in the criminal justice system.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Nicole Buchanan, chair of Red Deer Public Schools board, says it’s too soon to say how the provincial government’s 2021-22 will impact the district. (Contributed file photo)
Red Deer school boards react to provincial budget

It’s still too soon to say how the latest provincial budget will… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

A nurse prepares to give the first COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in Edmonton on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Doctors urge Alberta to hold off on easing COVID-19 restrictions next week

Doctors urge Alberta to hold off on easing COVID-19 restrictions next week

Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a press conference in Calgary on Oct. 7, 2020. The Alberta government and its 11,000 physicians have taken a first step toward resolving an ugly, fractious year-long dispute over fees and working conditions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta and its physicians move to end ugly feud over fees with new tentative deal

Alberta and its physicians move to end ugly feud over fees with new tentative deal

A worker carrying a disinfectant sprayer walks past a WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, after cleaning another plane at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
British Columbia’s Site C dam to cost $16 billion, delayed until 2025

British Columbia’s Site C dam to cost $16 billion, delayed until 2025

Mark Machin, President and CEO of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, speaks at a seminar on building a sustainable social security system in Beijing, China on Monday, Feb.20, 2017. Machin has resigned after admitting he was vaccinated for COVID-19 abroad. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canada Pension Plan Investment Board MANDATORY CREDIT
CPP Investments CEO Mark Machin resigns after travelling to UAE for COVID-19 vaccine

CPP Investments CEO Mark Machin resigns after travelling to UAE for COVID-19 vaccine

Selina Robinson listens to Premier John Horgan in Coquitlam, B.C., Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Robinson, B.C's finance minister, says she's encouraged by predictions that British Columbia's economy will rebound this year and next. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Economists predict slight rebound and moderate growth for B.C. economy in 2021

Economists predict slight rebound and moderate growth for B.C. economy in 2021

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite falls as commodities, financials struggle

S&P/TSX composite falls as commodities, financials struggle

This image released by Briarcliff Entertainment shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a scene from the documentary "The Dissident." (Briarcliff Entertainment via AP)
US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist’s killing

US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist’s killing

Most Read