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Project Turnaround to close in New Year

Canada NewsWire - Ontario Newsroom
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

TORONTO, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government will close Project Turnaround, a privately-operated strict discipline facility for youth, when the contract expires at the end of January 2004, Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, confirmed today.

"The decision to close Project Turnaround is operationally and fiscally responsible," said Kwinter. "The facility has become very expensive and we are convinced that we can do the job more effectively and more efficiently through existing institutions. Our ministry youth centres, where youth must participate in rehabilitative programs, offer excellent programming," he added.

The ministry's youth centres admit all youth and place them into programs that suit their assessed needs. The ministry has beds available and a flexible range of programs - including a highly structured day with dawn-to-dusk programming and aftercare programs following release, two features of Project Turnaround -- within its existing network. In addition, the government-operated programs are designed to meet the needs of all youth, not just a select few.

By contrast, Project Turnaround is a small, military-styled program, with restrictive admission criteria and only admits youth who volunteer to participate. At present, the project is operating well below capacity.

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For further information: Gail Solomon, Minister's Office (416) 325-0867;
Julia Noonan, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7042

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