ST. THOMAS– On Friday afternoon, a private meeting was confirmed between the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Madeleine Meilleur, PC Critic for Corrections Bob Bailey, and Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek for Tuesday, August 14. The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss solutions to the ongoing problems at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre.
After touring the entire facility with Mr. Bailey last fall, Mr. Yurek has sought to bring the issue to the attention of the Minister. To that end, Yurek’s office has been in contact with the Minister’s office to try to organize a meeting.
“I am encouraged that the Minister has started to acknowledge that the conditions at EMDC are pressing,” said Yurek, “I will compare notes on our tours of EMDC and express the concerns that my office has received from constituents. I will also be asking the Minister to outline her plans to improve EMDC and avert this crisis.”
The detention centre was originally built to house 200 inmates but currently holds 450. On his tour in the fall, Yurek noted that cells built for two were generally housing up to four or five inmates. These conditions have led to increased tensions that erupted into a weekend melee a few weeks ago.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to common sense. A jail designed for 200 but holding 450 is going to be a problem. The government needs to take some action now before this problem gets any worse. “