Intensive Intervention Strategy

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or record-keeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

End of an Era, the closing of the Prison for Women in Kingston

Corrections for women offenders have come a long way since Creating Choices. The new facilities for women offenders were completed and opened between 1995 and 1997. These facilities consist of regular housing units where inmates are responsible for all aspects of daily living, with expectations similar to those in the community.

In 1996, following the opening of the first new facilities, several incidents at the Edmonton Institution for Women demonstrated that due to their disruptive behaviour, high escape risk and risk to the public, a small portion of the women offenders required a greater degree of structure and control than could be provided within the existing regional facilities. This prompted CSC to remove these women from the regional facilities. The interim strategy put in place was to house these maximum-security women in small units in men's institutions in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan. These units are physically separate from the rest of the institution. Women offenders requiring long-term intensive mental health treatment that could not be provided by the regional facilities were offered the opportunity to transfer to the mental health unit at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatchewan and later to the Prison for Women.

Following this, the Correctional Service of Canada worked to develop a national Intensive Intervention Strategy for high-risk, high-needs women. The key elements of this strategy announced in September 1999 are as follows:

  • the regional facilities' current Enhanced Security units be modified to accommodate maximum security women who require a greater degree of structure and control. These units will be physically separate from the remainder of the facility, but will be located within its existing perimeter. Specialized staff will provide high-level intervention and supervision;
  • a Structured Living Environment house, also known as a Healing House, will be constructed at each regional facility to accommodate minimum and medium security women with serious emotional or cognitive difficulties. These houses will provide 24-hour staff support and supervision; and
  • specialized programming will be provided to both populations through an inter-disciplinary team approach.

The regional women's facilities are currently being redesigned to meet the security and mental health needs of these women, with an anticipated completion date of September 2001.