In an effort to cut costs, the province is closing 26 youth remand centres across the province.
SaultOnline has learned the Derek Holder House has been chosen as one of the sites for closure, costing the city approximately 20 jobs.
Palmer Lockridge is the Director of Issues and Media Relations for MPP Todd Smith issued this statement in regards to the closure. MPP Smith is the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.
“A focus on prevention and education programs has contributed to a 81% reduction of youth admitted to custody and detention in Ontario since 2004-05. This means there are 8,500 fewer admissions per year now than in 2004-05.
As a result, the government inherited a number of youth justice facilities, including Justice Derek Holder House, that were significantly underused. In 2019-20 Justice Derek Holder House had a utilization rate of only 2% and there were zero youth in the facility for a majority of the year.
The decision to close Justice Derek Holder House is a difficult one, however these changes are in line with recommendations made by the Auditor General. These actions will address the significant underutilization, build a sustainable system that will fully support youth in conflict with the law and will allow the government to reinvest more than $39.9 million annually into programs that support Ontario families and communities.”
SaultOnline has reached out to the city for comment and will update the story if it becomes available.