WHITEHORSE—The Department of Justice is asking the public to comment on amendments to the Corrections Act that are aimed at providing legal clarity on a number of issues.
“We consulted extensively with the public, First Nations and stakeholder groups during the development of the Corrections Act and we are ensuring that this tradition of consultation continues with these amendments,” Justice Minister Mike Nixon said. “These proposed changes ensure that the Arrest Processing Unit, the Correctional Centre Revolving Fund and use of alcohol and drug testing have a strong legal foundation in the act.”
The amendments include:
- A limit on the applicability of the act on persons held in the Arrest Processing Unit. Currently, certain sections of the act, such as the need to develop an inmate case plan, are impractical for short-term prisoners held in the unit.
- Expansion of the types of samples that can be taken from inmates or people on probation. Many probation clients are court ordered to abstain from drugs or alcohol. Currently the act only describes urinalysis testing.
- Establishment of a Correctional Centre Revolving Fund for revenue generated by the canteen, phone system and other sources. The fund would be used for inmates (e.g., repairing damage caused by inmates, paying for television service and indigent inmate phone cards) and victims’ emergency needs or medical costs.
A paper detailing the Corrections Act amendments is available on the Department of Justice website. The public may submit comments via the website or in writing to the Department of Justice until September 6. A What We Heard document will be released in early fall after the consultation has ended.