Today I visited the currently operating institution of Collins Bay located in the city limits of Kingston, Ontario. Joining me again on this tour are Maria and Yomna from the CSC who have not previously toured this institution- this is a learning experience for all of us. A federally owned prison, Collins Bay Institution was built in 1930 and after the closing of Kingston Penitentiary, it became the oldest operating facility in Ontario. This multi-security level facility houses minimum, medium, and maximum security level inmates and currently sits slightly below the rated capacity of 600+ male offenders.
Security is maintained by this perimeter wall seen below with guard watchtowers. Similar to ideas used in the Scandinavian countries, there is maximum security on the outside of the prison with various levels of freedoms inside this wall.
Modern additions for housing were added in 2006 inside of this secure perimeter in an apartment style for offenders who have proven they can co-habitat peacefully with other inmates in these individually operated units. Shown below are the new medium security level units with the rated capacity for 96 offenders but which only hold 74 currently because they are under capacity.
The tour of Collins Bay Institution was extremely in depth-I was granted guided access to any area of the prison I requested to see. The staff was very accommodating and open to sharing experiences and ideas which may guide my research to a better prison design. We all share the common goal of improving the conditions and outcomes of prisons by treating the incarcerated offenders humanely.