Traditional justice
Kivalliq land camp ready next month

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Arviat (Apr 03/00) - Nunavut's only stand-alone land camp should be accepting inmates as early as next month.

Based about 100 kilometres outside of Arviat, Nunavut's Justice Department completed its site inspection in February.

Arviat SAO Darren Flynn and the camp's main operator, Tony Otuk, recently returned from a justice conference in Iqaluit.

"It was an interesting conference," says Flynn.

"We learned some of the experiences of camp operators in the Baffin Region."

Flynn says the remaining supplies will be shipped out to the site at the end of this month and the camp will be ready to go.

"We're dependant upon the Justice Department. As soon as it can supply us with three or four offenders, we're in business."

The Arviat land camp has six 12 x 12 cabins on site and the hamlet has purchased two snowmobiles, a boat and outboard motor.

The boat is required for summer months when the camp is not accessible by ATVs.

"My plan, once the camp is running, is to rotate our operators on a 15-day basis," says Flynn.

"We'll be hiring a couple more operators, but no decision as to who has been made at this point."

Kivalliq offenders who opt for the land program will get their sentence time reduced by a third.

Flynn says the program has proven itself effective with a repeat offender rate of 20 per cent among those opting for land camps, versus more than 50 per cent coming out of institutions.

Arviat expects the Justice Department will send Kivalliq offenders to its camp rather than the Baffin's because of travel costs.

"The way it works in the Baffin is that people live year-round in outpost camps and take one or two prisoners at a time.

"We're targeting four to five prisoners, but we could handle groups of eight.

"We have a fair amount of investment in the project. We were able to tap into some funding programs to help out and the land camp is something tangible now.

"We're looking forward to finally having it up and running."