Released on May 9, 2022
A new Dedicated Substance Abuse Treatment Unit is being established at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre as part of the province's Gang Violence Reduction Strategy.
Dedicated Substance Abuse Treatment Units enhance community safety by providing supports and treatment to offenders dealing with addictions issues. The new unit will begin programming on May 16, and its first intake will include 25 inmates. The program is five weeks long and will run daily from Monday to Friday.
"Addictions is one of the major root causes of crime and gang violence," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. "We know from experience that treating offenders' addictions issues and related mental health concerns can reduce their involvement with the criminal justice system, and make Saskatchewan a safer place for everybody."
Programming in the unit will include behavioural therapy, relapse prevention, development of problem-solving skills, and goal-setting exercises. Services will be delivered through a partnership between the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Evaluation of the Dedicated Substance Abuse Treatment Unit program at the Regina Correctional Centre found that participants have a statistically significant lower rate of reoffending after release.
The first Dedicated Substance Abuse Treatment Unit became operational at the Regina Correctional Centre in 2008. Additional units were launched at Pine Grove Correctional Centre and Prince Albert Correctional Centre in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Other steps taken as part of the Gang Violence Reduction Strategy include providing outreach, intervention and prevention services to help people leave gangs through community partners; expanding the Crime Reduction Team initiative; and improving intelligence gathering and sharing between police agencies.
For more information, contact:Noel Busse
Corrections, Policing and Public Safety