The Kenora District Services Board, the Kenora Chiefs Advisory and the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre have formalized an agreement to develop a new bail bed program in Kenora. A bail bed program is an approach to better supervise and support low-risk people in the community, while awaiting their criminal trials.
In cases where vulnerable individuals are charged with minor offences, the services board says that community-based solutions can be a productive alternative, as compared to remaining in custody due to their vulnerable situations.
The agencies say that there are two main components to the Bail Bed Program: Bail Supervision Programming and Housing with Supports Programming.Ne-Chee Friendship Centre will be responsible for providing bail supervision programming, and the KDSB and KCA will be responsible for providing housing with support programming.
"The overall priority is to provide surety for those going through the Bail Aftercare Program and to establish a holistic aftercare program for those within the residence," says Patti Fairfield, Executive Director of the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre.
"We are thrilled about creating this partnership with KDSB. It is an exciting opportunity as we are building in case management for these individuals," says Joe Barnes, Executive Director at Kenora Chiefs Advisory. He continues, "We will ensure the provision of appropriate supports in their time of need, to help them in their healing journey."
The KDSB will additionally provide property management resources. The program is set to operate out of the former Northland Supportive Housing building on Matheson street.
“Over 70 per cent of all bail violations in Kenora each year are attributed to individuals failing to abstain from alcohol or drugs and breaching the rules of their residency,” says Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer at the KDSB.
“Without appropriated and culturally based supports, the system sets young men and women up to fail. This program will be designed to change these statistics. The program will be based on support and healing so that our communities can avoid so many young people having to spend a lifetime in the justice system.”
The program is set to launch on August 1.