Prison for Women: The Last Years
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When the decision was made in 1996 to remove certain women from the regional facilities and place them, as an interim measure, in co-located units in men's institutions, the Ontario Region put a plan into action to place Ontario women in a separate unit at the Regional Treatment Centre in Kingston, Ontario.
The women who were to be transferred to the Regional Treatment Centre successfully challenged CSC in January 1998. CSC kept the Prison for Women open to house Ontario Region women classified as maximum security, along with those of any security level requiring more intensive mental health treatment.
The method used in the past few years by the mental health staff and correctional staff had such a positive impact on the population at the Prison for Women that it became one of the foundations of the new Intensive Intervention Strategy.
The staff assigned to the Regional Treatment Centre crossed the street and began to work at the Prison for Women. With the influx of "treatment-oriented" staff, a change came over the old institution. There was now a strong core of both mental health staff and correctional staff that began to work together as a team. Eventually, the dynamic approach used with women in the Special Needs Unit began to be applied to the maximum-security inmates as well. This method had such a positive impact on the population at Prison for Women that it became one of the foundations of CSC's Intensive Intervention Strategy, along with the experiences and successes learned in the co-located units and at the Intensive Healing Program at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatchewan. This approach has also been credited for the significant and sustained reduction in the maximum security population.
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