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Supports expanded for those leaving correctional facilities

The B.C. government is adding more mental health and substance-use supports for people coming out of the justice system.

The province is doubling the number of community transition teams from five to 10.

Community transition teams consist of social workers, nurses, peer support workers and Indigenous patient navigators who provide short-term treatment.

There will now be a team for all 10 correctional facilities in B.C.

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Provincial officials said they are also boosting the teams with more healthcare and support workers.

The length of time people can use these services is also getting tripled from 30 to 90 days.

“The treatment and supports people get in the weeks following release from a correctional centre are key for a safe transition back into the community,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in a release.

“These new and expanded community transition teams will help people get the support they need on their pathway to recovery.”

The five new teams are for people leaving the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, Ford Mountain Correctional Centre, North Fraser Pretrial Centre, Okanagan Correctional Centre and Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

with files from Josiah Spyker, My East Kootenay Now staff

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