Arrest Processing Unit (Synopsis)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police—'M' Division/Yukon Department of Justice (Public Safety and Investigation and Yukon Corrections)

Description: In April 2010, a Yukon Police Review was launched by the Yukon Department of Justice and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) 'M' Division following the December 2008 in-custody death of a detainee in the Whitehorse detachment cells. This review called for the creation of an Arrest Processing Unit. The Arrest Processing Unit operates under a memorandum of understanding between RCMP ‘M’ Division and the Yukon Department of Justice. It provides on-site medical assessment and supervision by specially trained corrections staff.

The memorandum of understanding for keeping prisoners in the Arrest Processing Unit was signed by the Yukon Department of Justice and the RCMP on May 18, 2011. Effective January 2012, a temporary agreement was put in place whereby the Department of Justice temporarily assumed responsibility for holding RCMP prisoners in the Admissions and Discharge Unit at Whitehorse Correctional Centre until construction of the Arrest Processing Unit was completed. The former cellblock in Whitehorse Detachment was re-purposed as an investigative interview suite. Whitehorse Correctional Centre and RCMP continue to operate under this alternative arrangement until construction of the physical structure of the Arrest Processing Unit is complete.
Objective: The key objectives of this initiative are to increase the safety and quality of care for persons being held in police custody, reduce prisoner-related workload in operational policing units and make effective use of corrections expertise and infrastructure.
Outcomes: The Arrest Processing Unit reassigns specific detention-related duties from RCMP members to correctional staff. This allows RCMP officers to return to frontline duties more quickly after an arrest takes place. The Arrest Processing Unit allows for a reduction in the number of guards and matrons needed to watch prisoners, as well as for a reduction of prisoner transportation requirements between RCMP “M” Division cells, Whitehorse Correctional Centre, Whitehorse General Hospital and courts. Reducing the amount of prisoner transportation required increases safety and security for prisoners, escort staff and the public.

A formal evaluation of the Arrest Processing Unit is planned but has not yet been completed. The Department of Justice is monitoring the number of people going through the Arrest Processing Unit, the cost associated with running the facility and the satisfaction of those involved (the RCMP, the Department of Justice and users of the facility). With this information, the department will assess the systems and processes and determine if changes need to be made.
Resources: Significant costs are involved in the design and construction of the Arrest Processing Unit. A total project cost will be available once construction is complete. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the RCMP has contributed capital funds toward construction costs, and assumes a portion of the ongoing operations and maintenance costs of the facility.
Province: Yukon Territory
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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