Imagine What We Can Do with the Under-Used Brookside Youth Detention Centre Site? Have your say!

The Government of Ontario will be closing Brookside Youth Detention Facility. Now is the time to imagine the possibilities - Imagine Brookside - and the future of this important site to our community!

Have your say, below.

For some background:

In the 2019 Provincial Budget, the Government of Ontario announced it would review all youth secure custody facilities, developing a more comprehensive and sustainable youth justice services system. This is critical to addressing the needs of youth, while ensuring front line workers are supported.

Ontario has witnessed a 78 per cent reduction in the number of youth admitted to custody and detention in Ontario.

There are about 8,500 fewer admissions to custody and detention now, than in 2004-2005.

This is, in part, thanks to a number of steps the Government of Ontario has taken to target at-risk youth at a young age. Locally, we have made significant investments to support worthwhile initiatives helping our most vulnerable youth. 

Brookside Youth Centre is a 16-bed secure youth custody and detention centre in Cobourg.

The current site consists of 14 buildings and the footprint of the site is approximately 30 acres.

Its costs approximately $10 million annually to operate and maintain Brookside.

Brookside Youth Centre has been operating at a reduced occupancy rate for several years.

The Town of Cobourg passed a Notice of Motion in August 2020 to the Government of Ontario to consider alternate uses for the site, expressing significant interest.

The operational decision to close the underutilized Detention Centre reflects the responsible use of taxpayer dollars without decreasing the level of care for youth in conflict with the law.

Most importantly, this decision balances the imperative to support front-line workers affected at the facility. This is why the Government of Ontario is working actively with OPSEU to support staff impacted. We will ensure that workers who want to continue to work within the Government of Ontario are found a position.

Please fill out the feedback form below to provide your input on the future of this site.