Springhill needs to be considered as home for new jail

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To the Editor,

I have been following with great interest comments in the local media about the placement of a possible provincial correctional centre in our area.

To the Editor,

I have been following with great interest comments in the local media about the placement of a possible provincial correctional centre in our area.
I can appreciate the fact that any municipal unit might want such a facility. I was disappointed, however, that a municipal unit would criticize the prospects of placement of this facility in a neighbouring town.
It is vital that this potential correctional centre remain in this area. If a decision is made to construct this facility in a given location, it would be appropriate for all municipal units to accept and support that decision.
The town of Springhill would be a viable location for a new correctional center for several reasons. The previous town council (2004-08), of which I was a member, discussed this potential construction with support and enthusiasm. The accessibility of geo-thermal power, the availability of land, the proximity to the federal institution and its many offerings, in addition to the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre which is providing training for federal correctional officers, all point toward a Springhill placement. In my opinion, in today's society transportation is a non-issue. Justice centres have been consolidated.
There was very little concern when local courts in Springhill and Parrsboro were closed and cases referred to the Amherst Court system. Three jails (Baddeck, Arichat, and Port Hood) were closed in Cape Breton and all inmates are now transferred to Gardiner Mines outside of Sydney. The Guysborough Correctional Centre closed. Inmates were transferred to Antigonish. The Truro jail was closed. Inmates are sent to Antigonish or Burnside, Dartmouth. The youth facility located in Waterville serves the entire province. Provincial sheriffs, in addition to transporting provincial inmates, also transfer federal inmates to Springhill, Dorchester, and Renous, N.B. Transporting inmates from the Amherst court to a Springhill correctional centre would not be a concern.
I would like to ask the residents of Springhill to show their support for our local council with respect to this project by containing our MLA, the Honourable Murray Scott, the minister of justice, the Honourable Cecil Clarke, and Rodney MacDonald, the premier of Nova Scotia regarding this issue.
Clarence Falconer, Springhill
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Recent comments

  • Jon
    January 18, 2010 - 11:15

    The old one is less the 1 acre, they went to build the same as the one in Yarmouth which is 25 acres. The Marsh causes to many enviro issues. For a small town the hardware store had a major addition put on , nursing home major addition the federal prison has had a major addition to it. So for what we have we are doing quite well. So ever time we lost something to Amherst we never said much but when one jail may be lost to us the whole town freaks out. Why not spread the wealth around. Who cares if it is politics that it goes here. What if it doesn't go here at all and ends up in Truro. Then we all lose. This would just give a small town a little more of a tax base......If it stays in Amherst great....I have no issue with that if it saves money...but land and heat costs may come into play....And this may save more then any transportation may cost....So in the end it will be about economics no just politics...I know ppl won;t see it that way if it comes here but believe me it will be based on that...

  • commonsense
    January 18, 2010 - 11:10

    20 acres ? wth ? it is now on 1.5 acres - sprinhill is in better shape than amherst ? ok now give your head a shake duh - ropak and that's it - come on - biuld the jail on the marsh - if anyone escapes the quicksand will get them - good riddens to them -

  • Jon
    January 18, 2010 - 11:00

    So ppl think that it will be easy to find a site in Amherst. You must be joking right. Do you know how many acres it will take to build this new jail. Over 20 that is not a parcel of land many towns have. There is no way to build on the site where the old jail is located. So unless the town of Amherst has a piece of land they want to give the province it will most likely have to be bought privately. That won't be cheap. Cost of transportation as an issue is a joke. The sheriff's are in Springhill on most days so how this would hurt costs is beyond me. If a youth is in custody at the waterville faicility and has to go to amherst for court then they are transport back is this cost effective? Probably not but when you look at the overall picture it is with only the up keep of one facility. As for our economy here in Springhill it seems to be in better shape then Amherst's maybe Anne should by your town.

  • commonsense
    January 18, 2010 - 10:32

    hello people it's a jail - not a 100 room hotel - is springhill in that bad of shape ?-call anne murray she will buy the whole town for 100.00

  • DJ
    January 18, 2010 - 10:29

    While I appreciate the positive effect the jail facility might have on the economy of Springhill, I think politics are coming before common sense. It is true that inmates are transported to Court in Amherst from many areas such as Westmorland, Renous and Springhill but if the cost of transporting these prioners could be avoided - why wouldn't we do that? You must remember that almost 100% of the lawyers who represent these people are located in Amherst. With the rest of the legal infrastructure in Amherst, it just does not make any sense to build a new jail in Springhill. Delivering inmates from further away delays the courts even more than they already are. Try attending Court and seeing the arrival time when an inmate has to come to court from outside Amherst. If the cost to build a faciliity in Amherst were a lot more expensive I could understand the desire to build somewhere else but there are plenty of sites in Amherst that could be purchased at a low cost to build the jail. This issue is not about discrediting Springhill or any town for that matter. Its a matter of common sense. Let's not get caught up in an Amherst vs. Springhill argument. Let's put politics aside and move forward with what makes the most economic sense.