Double-bunking in crowded prison cells is not a problem for Toews

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he has no problem with the number of federal inmates sharing cells built for one.

And even as he reiterated his commitment to building 2,700 new cells in existing prison facilities, he said those additional units aren’t meant to alleviate the pressures caused by double-bunking – because there’s no need.

“We won’t make any changes on the double-bunking policy. Double-bunking is appropriate. All Western democracies use double-bunking, dual accommodation, in appropriate cells,” he told The Globe and Mail in an interview. “And we will continue to do that.”

Mr. Toews used a Winnipeg press conference Wednesday to underscore that the increase in inmate population isn’t nearly as high as Corrections Canada projected. The Tackling Violence Crime and Truth in Sentencing acts were expected to result in 3,600 more inmates into the penal system by March of 2013; increases so far are closer to one-third that.

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