POLITICS

Nova Scotia justice minister rejects Opposition calls for review of jail

03/12/2015 02:56 EDT | Updated 05/12/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's justice minister has rejected calls from the Opposition for an independent review of the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility after a 19-year-old inmate suffered life-threatening injuries during an alleged assault.

Halifax police say the man from Lower Sackville, who was allegedly assaulted around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, remains in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab says she received a letter from the Progressive Conservatives calling for an independent review but she feels the government's current plans to improve the situation at the jail is sufficient.

Diab says she's confident that measures are in place that will address the issues at the overcrowded jail in Halifax, which houses roughly 250 inmates.

She says some prisoners are being moved from the jail in stages to a new facility in Pictou County and $6.2 million was recently announced for renovations, which includes a redesign that will allow for around the clock supervision.

Diab says a new superintendent has been also been hired, new hiring practices have been instituted and internal and criminal investigations are underway into the alleged assault.

"These concerns have been ongoing for years and years. It's not something that happened overnight," said Diab on Thursday. "But we have a plan and we're planning to address and alleviate the pressures that are ongoing."

Halifax police Const. Dianne Woodworth says charges are pending against a 20-year-old man from Halifax. She says a weapon was not used in the assault.