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Prince Albert, Sask. jail expansion opening delayed

File photo. Delays push back the opening of the Prince Albert Correctional Centre expansion for at least two months. File / Global News

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A Saskatchewan Corrections official says an expansion of a Prince Albert jail will open later this spring. Heather Scriver, executive director of custody services with the Ministry of Corrections, says the new section at Prince Albert Correctional Centre has had some construction delays.

She says the expected opening date is April or May. The expansion was originally set to open in March 2015.

The expansion means an addition of 144 beds, or 72 new cells. Currently there are 314 inmates at the centre.

“We are still crowded.” Scriver said. “We do have offenders that are being housed in … the gymnasium and a classroom.”

READ MORE: Murderer escapes from Saskatchewan Penitentiary

Since one of the classrooms has been converted into living space for inmates, it means there is less space for programming.

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“But we have made concessions throughout the facility to have a makeshift classroom or a roving teacher to go around and meet with offenders on … literacy and … classroom-type stuff,” she added.

“Overcrowding has added to employees’ workload and stress,” said Bob Bymoen, president of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU). “It’s also putting more stress on the inmates, and the tighter living conditions are increasing the potential for violence,” he added.

But Scriver said control is being maintained and there hasn’t been an increase in incidents.

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