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Cecil Facer Youth Centre closure will force youth in custody hours away from families

For Immediate Release

SUDBURY – The staff of Cecil Facer Youth Centre (CFYC) learned this week that the 16-bed facility will close down two years from now, forcing Sudbury area youth in custody to move hours away from their families and communities. The news is devastating for the staff of the facility who have dedicated their careers to helping young people in conflict with the law.

“This is yet another short-sighted closure of a facility for youth who need specialized help in their own communities,” said Peter Harding, OPSEU/SEFPO Co-chair of the Youth Justice Ministry Employee Relations Committee and a Youth Services Officer. “It’s not too late to reverse this bad decision.”

“Young people shouldn’t be placed in custody hours away from their families,” said JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President. “Our members who work with these kids every day know that community and family support is crucial for their wellbeing.”

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) has informed OPSEU/SEFPO that the grounds of CFYC will be used to build a 50-bed institution for adult women. While all staff displaced from CFYC will be provided with employment options, the move still leaves CFYC staff worried about the ill effects on the youth they work with, and also faced with a difficult career choice.

“Now our members have to decide whether to relocate hours away to keep working with youth, or to change careers and work with adults,” said Harding. “It’s an agonizing decision, and so unnecessary. You don’t have to move young people in custody or the staff who work with them hours away from their communities.”

The land for CFYC was donated to the province by Judge Cecil Facer and his family, who wanted the land to be used to support youth in conflict with the law. Judge Facer presided over the Sudbury Juvenile and Family Court from 1945 to 1964.

“We support the employer’s efforts to provide more services for women in custody,” added Harding. “But not at the expense of northern youth who require services in their own communities.”

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Media contacts:

Peter Harding, OPSEU/SEFPO Co-Chair, MCCSS-Youth Justice Ministry Employee Relations Committee, 905-373-6738

JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President, 416-806-9526