No jobs are expected to be lost at the Brandon Correctional Centre as a result of the province changing the way detainees are housed before appearing in front of a judge.
A provincial spokesperson said late Wednesday that Manitoba Justice does not expect to make any "operational reductions" at the Brandon jail after permanently ending direct lockup.
Earlier that day, Justice Minister and Attorney Cliff Cullen announced that police services in Brandon and Winnipeg would have to house people they arrest in police stations before appearing in front of a judge for the first time, instead of in a provincial jail. The measure was originally put in place as a temporary measure to prevent COVID-19 from entering the corrections system, but Cullen said it was an "opportune time" to bring Manitoba in line with other provinces.
The move garnered negative reactions from both Brandon’s police chief, Wayne Balcaen, and the president of the Brandon Police Association, Darren Creighton. Both said housing people in Brandon police headquarters takes a significant amount of resources and the building was not designed for it.
In response, a spokesperson for Cullen said Thursday the province has hired a consultant "with extensive experience in policing, including operations and corporate management, to assist the Brandon Police Service with this transition."
The consultant’s contract is worth $20,000.
On Wednesday, the province also announced $5 million for Brandon and Winnipeg police infrastructure programs. The spokesperson for Cullen said Manitoba Justice will "allocate resources to help make necessary facility upgrades to house persons detained in police custody," including at police stations.
» Twitter: @DrewMay_
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