I was impressed! The tour of the new prison gave me a clearer picture of what will be going on in there and what the administrations goals are as opposed to some public perceptions. When I lived in the Lower Mainland of B.C. I served as an M2 sponsor for about 20 years. An M2 sponsor relates to, visits and hopefully helps an inmate prepare for a better life after release. The plan was good, the results varied.
In the Okanagan Correctional Center the design, programs and technologies used are leaders in Canada. But that is not the most impressive part. From what I understand in the tour I was part of, they plan to interview each inmate as he/she comes in so as to assign the appropriate level of security for that person, direct him/her to the right work (carpentry, metal work, electronics, greenhouse, laundry, janitor type work, etc.) and/or educational program opportunities. Contraband is removed and all requirements made clear. The aim is to do what they can to prepare that person for a more successful life out in society. This means getting them into a scheduled routine of work, meals, courses, recreation, etc. These would be life skills that many of them don’t have. The average length of stay in OCC is about 67 days so they want to accomplish a lot in a short time. Cameras are everywhere, staff is watching, schedules are enforced, consequences are looming over the reluctant but help is also available. Come to think of it, the Lord watches over everything we do, say or even think (Ps. 121 and 139). He also does this with our best interests in mind. OCC has huge plans for success! If they achieve that with even some of them they deserve our respect.
Undoubtedly there will be disappointments but ‘kudos’ to the staff for setting such meaningful goals! However, I still don’t want to move in.
Thank you and best wishes to the OCC,