Bepple keen on women’s prison
They are often the hardest prisoners in the system to house, prompting the city to inquire about the status of a remand centre for women in the B.C Interior.
Kamloops city council has agreed to send a letter to the provincial government, inquiring whether the new remand centre proposed to be built in the Oliver area will include space for women.
The motion was brought forward by Coun. Nancy Bepple, who has been pushing for some sort of facility for women in the Interior for the past year.
“Now is the time to put it in the works if they’re [provincial government] going to move forward with having a remand facility,” she said, adding there was no mention of such a centre in the recent announcement for the new provincial jail.
A resolution calling for a women’s remand centre was approved last year by the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
Bepple said women are often housed in city jail cells, which are not equipped for long-term incarceration, while the practice puts a burden on local governments to provide the service.
She also argued that, when women are sent to the Lower Mainland — the location of the nearest women’s remand centre — it leaves them far away from their families and legal counsel.
The province spent several years looking to add a new prison for men in the Interior.
Earlier this month, the provincial government announced it will be building a 360-cell remand centre on Osoyoos Indian Band land near Oliver.