Yukon will take temporary custody of up to 20 inmates from Nunavut

·1 min read
The Whitehorse Correctional Centre will be taking custody of up to 20 inmates from  the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)
The Whitehorse Correctional Centre will be taking custody of up to 20 inmates from the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)

The Yukon government will temporarily take custody of up to 20 inmates from Nunavut.

The Department of Justice confirmed to CBC that it is working with the Nunavut government to take in the inmates, after a fire at the Baffin Correctional Centre last week.

Fiona Azizaj, spokesperson for the department, told CBC in an email that the inmates are on remand or serving a territorial sentence at the Baffin Correctional Centre, and will be moved to the Whitehorse Correctional Centre.

"The inmates will remain with Yukon Corrections until repairs have been completed at the Baffin Correctional Centre or until the remand warrant expires or their sentence is satisfied," Azizaj said.

Within 24 hours of the fire, Nunavut's Department of Justice says it found "suitable relocations" for the inmates — 30 of whom were transferred to a designated unit at the Joyceville Institution in Kingston, Ont., late last week. The other 30 inmates were placed in other correctional facilities within the territory at the time.

The territorial government did not confirm when the inmates were arriving, or if any guards would be coming with them.

"We have worked with the chief medical officer of health to prepare a plan with respect to managing the incoming inmates in a manner that is safe for staff, existing inmates, inmates who will be entering the facility from Nunavut and Yukon citizens," Azizaj said.

The department said it would provide more details on the isolation plans of the new arrivals by early next week. A spokesperson for Nunavut's Department of Justice also told CBC that it would be able to answer questions about when this decision was made after the weekend.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health, was not immediately available to comment.