(Joel Krahn/Yukon News)

Yukon RCMP, justice department mum on Whitehorse courthouse cellblock

Neither will say if work is being done to address ‘deficiencies’ identified in an RCMP inspection

The Yukon RCMP and department of justice have been mum on what work, if any, is being done on the Whitehorse courthouse’s cellblock more than two months after the police force pulled its members from the space.

Yukon RCMP personnel who previously facilitated the movement of Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) inmates within the cellblock — transferring inmates from the cellblock’s sally port to a courtroom or holding cell, for example — stopped working in it following an inspection by the RCMP’s departmental security branch (DSB) Jan. 18 that identified several “deficiencies” within it.

Correctional officers with the Yukon department of justice have since taken over those duties. Yukon RCMP is continuing to transfer inmates back and forth from the WCC to the courthouse.

In response to emailed questions, department of justice spokesperson Megan Foreman said the department is “not in a position to provide any details in respect of renovations or modifications that are being done to address security concerns.”

“As result of security concerns being raised by the RCMP, we have taken some immediate steps and we continue to assess the situation,” she wrote.

“At present, we are in a situation where inmates are being brought to courts in a safe and timely manner and the business of the courts is continuing without any delay arising from inmate transportation. On some occasions we are facilitating court appearances by video conference.”

The department did not offer a response to follow-up questions about whether a timeline for repairs has been established or how much those repairs might cost.

In an interview March 16, Yukon RCMP Supt. Brian Jones said that there has been “no permanent way forward identified,” including any sort of timeline or if RCMP personnel will ever be back in the cellblock again.

As the courthouse is a government-owned building, Jones said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on what action, if any, is taken in regards to addressing the cellblock’s “deficiencies.”

“We’ve raised those concerns with (the government) and we’ve provided them with a rationale of why we’ve removed our officers from the cellblock,” he said. “We’re in discussion with them and we’ll await to see what their response is, but again, I emphasize, we’re going to continue to support the administration of justice. We’re working together. We have a very good relationship with them and that continues to this day.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 14

Frostbitten big toe finds new home in Dawson City’s infamous cocktail

Nick Griffiths, who ran the Yukon Arctic Ultra in 2018, donated two toes to the Downtown Hotel.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation suspends deputy chief after impaired driving charges

Deputy Chief Cheryl Charlie was charged June 6. Councillor Darius Elias has also been suspended.

Firefighters called to Whitehorse Elementary School over code violations

Door that occasionally wouldn’t open from inside among many issues that need attention, parent says

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Driving with Jens: Keeping pets safe in your vehicle

In my last column I discussed ways to avoid the tragedy which… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Whitehorse Troughbillies

Yukon could take its hot rocks to the bank

ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge spurs mountain bike races in Whitehorse

“I have to remind myself to do that sometimes – just slow down and look around.”

Whitehorse FC Premier U15 boys finish fourth despite injuries and short bench at Slurpee Cup

“They worked super hard and were more hungry for the win than the other team”

2019 Yukon Gymnastics Championships showcase Whitehorse talent

“It was a nice way to end off our season”

U Kon Echelon holds multi-stage Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships

The 2019 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships were held in and around… Continue reading

Cyclists race in the rain at Southern Lakes Yukon GranFondo

‘It was a good number for the conditions’

Most Read