In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada
Privately Run Youth Prison to Close Down

A privately run youth detention centre in Ontario is closing down. Project Turnaround is a boot camp style prison for people 16 and 17 years old near Orillia, Ontario.

It is run by Embrace Youth Corporation and opened 6 years ago under the previous Conservative regime of Mike Harris. The youth who serve time at the facility are subject to 16-hour military-style work days, and are referred to as cadets.

Dalton McGuinty, premier of Ontario said that the reasons for closing the prison are practical rather than ideological. The contract with the private company, is worth about $2.5 million a year and expires early in the new year.

There have been several complaints from youth over the years. The complaints ranged from mistreatment by staff to being kept in isolation.

The prison was also recently temporarily closed because of the presence of mould and requires extensive repairs.

The youth were recently transferred to other youth detention facilities in the province. The facility was only about 1/2 full at the time the youth were moved.