ARCHIVED - Harper Government Announces the Closure of Two Federal Prisons

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OTTAWA, Ontario, April 19, 2012 – Today, the Harper Government announced the closure of two federal prisons: Kingston Penitentiary, including the Regional Treatment Centre, in Kingston, Ontario; and Leclerc Institution in Laval, Quebec. The Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Vic Toews, and Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais made the announcement. 

“Our tough new laws to tackle crime are starting to end the revolving door of justice by keeping dangerous criminals behind bars longer,” said Minister Toews. “More importantly, our efforts have not resulted in a significant increase in the number of federal prisoners, which is why we are announcing the closure of two federal prisons.” 

Kingston Penitentiary is a maximum-security facility located in Kingston, Ontario and is one of the oldest prisons in continuous use in the world. Built in 1835, Kingston Penitentiary predates Confederation. It has four units that can accommodate 421 inmates.  

The co-located Regional Treatment Centre (RTC) is an accredited psychiatric institution situated within the perimeter security of Kingston Penitentiary. Inmates are housed in two units. The RTC opened in 1959 and can accommodate 143 inmates. 

Leclerc Institution is a medium-security facility, located in Laval, Quebec. It has five units that can accommodate 481 inmates.

It is anticipated that the three facilities will be decommissioned within the next two years. 

“Since 2006, our Government has not built a single new prison and we have no intention of building a single new prison,” said Senator Dagenais. “Our efforts to make our communities safer are geared towards keeping dangerous criminals off our streets and behind bars.” 

These closures will save the Government approximately $120 million per year and result in the reduction of positions within Ontario and Quebec. However, the majority of affected staff will be redeployed to other facilities in other institutions nearby. The Correctional Service of Canada will ensure that offenders are appropriately placed at other institutions.  Public safety is the number one consideration in all placement and transfer decisions.

To learn more about the Correctional Service of Canada, please visit

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