Surrey, BC- The Aging Offender program, operated by the Phoenix Society, has just been launched this May. This innovative new program is a partnership with the Correctional Services of Canada and based in our Rising Sun Villas building in Surrey. This program is designed to provide a bridge between correctional institutions and community and provides residents with a range of programs and supports include life skills, employment and/or crisis counselling.
What is so unique and exciting about this new eight (8) bed program is that it is targeted to support a population that is really lacking appropriate housing options. According to the report titled Aging and Dying in Prison: An Investigation into the Experiences of Older Individuals in Federal Custody, the proportion of older individuals in federal custody (those 50 years of age and older) is growing and now account for 25% of the federal prison population.
In order to address this need, we created the Aging Offender program that is specifically designed to ensure residents have appropriate accommodations and specialized staff (nurses, personal support workers, occupational and recreation therapists), to provide quality care. Prior to this program opening, aging offenders or those with complex medical histories, would often remain incarcerated because of the lack of suitable housing or were placed into inappropriate settings.
“The Correctional Service of Canada looks forward to our continued partnership with the Phoenix Society as we work together to ensure public safety through timely access to community supports and interventions, for offenders who are aging.”
A/District Director, Pacific District Community Corrections
According to Keir Macdonald, CEO, Phoenix, “Community Residential Facilities were never intended to be nursing homes, or long-term care facilities, yet increasingly they are being asked to fulfill those functions. We are very excited to launch this new program and to meet this growing need in our corrections system.”
The Phoenix Society is dedicated to providing accessible services and opportunities to people who face barriers related to addiction, mental health, housing, education, criminal justice involvement and/or employment. The Society responds to the needs of their clients across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley by offering an extensive continuum of care from outreach and harm reduction services to a diverse range of residential addiction treatment, housing and recovery supports.
Keir Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 604.218.1946/ 604.587.6690