Credits: Edith Maracle, Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
At a press conference Thursday, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the prisons were too old to be in service any longer - their crumbling infrastructure and antiquated designs actually pose safety challenges for correctional service workers.
"Institutions built in the 19th century are not appropriate for managing a 21st century system," Toews told reporters.
The Kingston Pen opened in 1835. It currently houses 346 offenders, according to Correctional Service Canada's website.
Most of the inmates at the institution are serving life sentences. They will be moved to other maximum security prisons, Toews assured, adding that the influx of federal inmates expected after the Tories stepped up its efforts to get tougher on crime have not come to pass.
The closures are expected to save the government $120 million a year, and will impact 465 employees.