North Fraser Pre-trial Centre was opened in 2001 as a remand facility for adults. The requirement of the structure was to allow a space to provide assessment and classification of offenders who have been sentenced to 30 days or more by the Lower Mainland Court. The facility has literally changed the face of the correctional centres in British Columbia. The architects were challenged to develop a completely new operational model for this type of centre, with regard to operational costs and response time. They didn’t only meet the expectations but exceeded them, without compromising staff or inmate safety, security or environmental quality. In fact, all of these aspects were seen as dramatic improvements over all previous facilities in the province.
Within this project, of particular note was the unique approach taken to the pod design and the physical relationships from pod to pod that dramatically reduced response times and greatly improved supervision without a heavy reliance on electronic surveillance. The needs of inmates were respected, with dramatic improvements in environmental quality and access to programs, recreation, and visiting. Access to these functions by inmates is essentially unlimited throughout the day without posing any additional staffing requirements. The concept of all remand facilities to come has been developed and proven. The North Fraser Pretrial Centre is state of the art in function and operations.