In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada
Controversial Youth Jail Closing in Nova Scotia

A controversial youth jail is closing in Nova Scotia.

The Shelbourne Youth Centre was the focus of allegations of physical and sexual abuse of prisoners by staff in the 1960s and '70s. Investigations into the situation are continuing.

The closure of the Shelburne prison will save the province about $3 million a year. Activists are calling for the $3 million to be re-invested in education and grassroots programs for youth in the community.

The prison was largely empty at the time of the announcement. Some attribute the drop in youth in jail to the new Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Under the Act, youth who are convicted of non-violent offences receive intensive supervision or other community-based sentences, instead of incarceration.

Also, youth crime rates in Nova Scotia have dropped by about 30 per cent over the last decade.

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And a related story New law prompting provinces to close youth jails