Nunavut’s new territorial jail welcomes its first inmates
Four men transfer to Rankin Inlet facility from BCC
Rankin Inlet’s new jail accepted its first inmates when four men were transferred Jan. 10 from the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit.
The 48-bed medium security facility will receive weekly transfers of prisoners from the BCC until it reaches full capacity.
The transfer is being done gradually to give staff and inmates time to adjust to the new space.
Three of the inmates transferred today are from the Kivalliq region.
In a previous interview with Nunatsiaq News, Chris Stewart of Nunavut’s justice department said Rankin Inlet’s jail will try to take men from Kivalliq when possible, so they can be closer to family and friends.
This opening is good news for the BCC, which continues to operate well over capacity.
BCC’s warden, Ray Fast, said they are currently housing 86 inmates.
That’s well over their 65-person capacity. Even the small gymnasium has been converted to a dorm, limiting access to recreation for the inmates.
“Obviously, it will take some of the overcrowding pressure off here,” Fast said.
Rankin Inlet’s new jail has been dubbed a “healing centre” for its range of counseling, wellness, and professional development programs.
It was designed to look more like a school than a jail, in keeping with requests from the community.
The officially opening for the jail is slated for Jan. 25.