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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Health Unit Wants to Save Jails

Regional | by James Greensmith  

Grey Bruce Health Unit is lobbying province to keep Owen Sound, Walkerton jails open.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit is joining the fight to keep the Owen Sound and Walkerton jails open.

The Health Unit is sending a letter to the province on behalf of their  Board, outlining some of the concerns they have.

Medical Officer of Health Doctor Hazel Lynn says the Health Unit would be affected by the closures, because they deal with many people incarcerated at those jails.

Whether its mental health problems or addiction issues, Doctor Lynn says close to 80 per cent of people in these jails are in need of health services.

She says by removing them from their communities, you restrict their access to these treatment services and impede their ability to get better.

Transportation costs are also a major concern -- as family members would find it difficult to drive to Penatanguishine, and it would also be more expensive to shuttle prisoners to and from court appearances.

Doctor Lynn says a number of people have been sending requests to the Health Unit asking them to lobby the province to keep the jails open, and they are currently looking at those requests.

She adds closing the jails will have a huge impact on our community, particularly the most vulnerable members of society.


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