Canada expanding rarely used program that lets mothers live with children in minimum security prisons

National Post | News

Although it is rarely used, the Canadian prison program in which incarcerated mothers of young children are given special rooms is set for a major expansion.

As it adds 114 beds to minimum security prisons in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, the Correctional Service of Canada will also add 15 new rooms adjacent to the main prison areas, set aside for mothers and their children, CSC spokeswoman Chantal Guerette said in an email.

The rooms “were designed with the capacity to facilitate the mother-child program,” she wrote, but she did not confirm whether more women would actually take part.

Currently, only two do, part time. Since 2008, only 14 children have participated at the federal level, with eight of them on a full-time basis.

“It’s very unclear,” said Howard Sapers, Canada’s ombudsman for federal prisons.

“We’ve been in frequent contact with Corrections Service Canada about this issue, not…

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