Are Correctional Services Community-Based or Centralized?

The much overused and often incorrectly used words “community” and “community-based” are favourites of organizations and governments.  These words are sometimes touted as a panacea for an issue.  What is fascinating is how easily these words become out of favour to suit a particular purpose.

Take for instance the announced Brantford Jail closure in Brantford, Ontario.  This facility is an important piece of correctional services in Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk Counties.  It is indeed a community-based service.  The announcment in the 2012 Ontario Budget will replace a community-based solution with a centralized service model.  Detainees from Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk will be transported to the Hamilton Jail instead of the Brantford Jail.  They will be transported back to the applicable courthouse as needed.

Is this decision about maintaining the quality of an essential service, or a knee-jerk reaction to deficit reduction?

Consistent action by government would go a long way to restore faith in government.


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