March 20, 2019

Keeping Saskatchewan Families And Communities Safe By Investing In Correctional Facilities And The Coroners Service

The Government of Saskatchewan is striking the right balance by making strategic investments in the province’s correctional facilities and the Saskatchewan Coroners Service, and by continuing to fund targeted police initiatives across the province.

“Community safety is a priority for our government,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said.  “With these investments, we are ensuring communities are safer, offenders living with mental health issues are getting the services they require and our staff are safer when they go to work each and every day.”

Included in this budget is an ongoing investment of more than $7.0 million for operation of the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford.  The secure side of the facility will provide services to offenders living with significant mental health issues.  This first of its kind facility will be operated by the Saskatchewan Health Authority and provide 96 beds for correctional clients.

“We are very excited to see the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford open to patients and offenders with mental health needs,” Tell said.  “This will also help with the day-to-day demands of our existing correctional facilities.”

More than $8.5 million is being invested in the correctional system to increase security, reduce contraband coming into facilities and increase the number of beds for young offenders.

This includes:

  • $1.2 million for custody services including new staff hired in the correctional facilities;
  • $3.8 million to continue replacing security infrastructure in correctional centres across the province;
  • $1.05 million for the ministry’s contraband reduction initiative, including a new body scanner at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre;
  • $2.0 million to complete the new living unit at the Paul Dojack Youth Centre; and
  • $586,000 to staff the new living unit at Paul Dojack Youth Centre.

The budget includes more than $15 million to continue funding 128 municipal police positions and targeted policing initiatives across the province.  The ministry also remains committed to addressing the issue of rural crime through continued investment in the Protection and Response Team, Crime Reduction Teams, and the Combined Traffic Safety Services Saskatchewan initiative.

The budget also contains an additional $1.6 million to address recommendations made in the recent external review of the Saskatchewan Coroners Service.

“Public confidence in the Saskatchewan Coroners Service is very important to the people of Saskatchewan and our government,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.  “These additional resources will help us ensure we have an effective coroner’s service that is meeting the needs of the province.”

This additional funding will be used for:

  • Hiring an additional forensic pathologist;
  • Entering into an agreement with the Alberta Office of the Chief Medical Officer to conduct forensic toxicology analysis;
  • Additional training for community coroners; and
  • Hiring additional staff to support the work of the Saskatchewan Coroners Service.

These investments will continue to ensure the safety and security of Saskatchewan communities and families as well as employees of the correctional system and the coroners service.