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Companies selected to replace crumbling, rodent-infested Newfoundland jail — again

The Canadian Press
Companies selected to replace crumbling, rodent-infested Newfoundland jail — again

ST. JOHN’S — The Newfoundland and Labrador government has selected a corporate entity to replace a Victorian-era jail home to rampant rodent and mould infestations.

The province says a private conglomerate called New Avalon Corrections Partners, led by Plenary Americas and PCL Investments, was the only respondent to its call for qualifications to replace Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s.

A news release says New Avalon Corrections Partners meets the qualifications to replace the jail, which houses medium- and maximum-security adult males as well as people on long-term remand and inmates awaiting transfer to a federal prison.

The release did not provide a timeline for when design or construction might begin.

This is the second time the Liberal government has retained a private partnership to replace the aging facility; the province enlisted another conglomerate in 2021 but announced late last year that cost overruns had forced it back to the drawing board.

The penitentiary opened in 1859 and is notorious for its crumbling, outdated infrastructure and its rampant rodent problems; a provincial court ruling in 2022 said an inmate had to be treated with antibiotics for a rodent bite.

Her Majesty’s Penitentiary is the second-oldest operating jail in the country, behind the Brockville Jail in Ontario, which was built in 1842.

©2024 The Canadian Press

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