It’s a running joke at the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility construction site that some of the employees working on the new prison in Priestville have already put in more time there than the inmates will.
The construction on the facility is expected to be completed sometime late October or early November. After that staff will begin training in preparation for moving inmates from Amherst and Antigonish to the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.
Tim Carroll, superintendent of the facility, offered a tour of the project on Thursday. When he talks about the state of the art building, it’s clear to see how different it will be from the buildings it is replacing.
The building is designed to provide sunshine and fresh air daily to inmates as well as those working there on a regular basis. Each cell has two windows and there are skylights providing additional light in many places. There are also separate places for inmates and workers to exercise. Health assessment and care have been taken into account with the design as well.
But as much as an emphasis has been placed on rehabilitation and proper care of those staying at the facility, it’s clear that security is also a top priority. A high fence with razor wire is being installed around the building. There will also be security cameras and other state of the art technology used to allow for adequate monitoring and safe movement of people.
The prisoners will be double bunked in rooms that are divided into sections with either 40 or 20 prisoners in each section. In each section there is a spot for a correction officer to be stationed almost continuously.
As might be expected there is a place for visitors to stop in and see inmates.
Another modern feature is rooms that can be used for inmates to make appearances via video camera to court rather than having to leave the facility.