Justin Piché denounces the projet of building a new jail in Ottawa

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Last week, the Ontario government announced that a 725-bed jail will be built to replace the current Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC). In an op-ed published in the Ottawa Citizen, Justin Piché does the math and concludes that the financial, human and political costs of doing so are too high for this project to make sense. He explains: "A new jail in Ottawa could cost us at least $500 million. Factor in the average daily cost to incarcerate one person in Ontario, which in 2015-16 was $215 per day, or $78,475 per year, the 725-bed human warehouse that’s slated to replace the 585-bed Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre will likely cost taxpayers somewhere around $11 million more annually to operate than the existing facility." And later claims that "There’s a massive body of criminological research and front-line experience that shows it isn’t just old jails that aren’t up to the task – it’s imprisonment itself. Confining human beings does great harm to prisoners and their loved ones, while failing to prevent victimization in the long-term. The history of carceral expansion in this country is littered with examples of new facilities being built to address horrid conditions of confinement, only to usher-in new correctional crises."