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Sask. spending nearly $913K on Kate's Place in Regina through 2026

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre announced three years of funding for Kate's Place in Regina on Tuesday. (Nicholas Frew/CBC - image credit)
Saskatchewan Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre announced three years of funding for Kate's Place in Regina on Tuesday. (Nicholas Frew/CBC - image credit)

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre announced funding Tuesday for an alternative correctional facility in Regina that has shown success for more than a decade.

The provincial government is spending nearly $913,000 over three years on Kate's Place, operated by the Salvation Army's Regina Waterston ministries.

"Kate's Place plays a real role … in helping women reunite with their children, gain stability, gain possibilities for employment, for education," Eyre said at a news conference Tuesday.

"Challenges remain, there's no question. But there are also some very, very notable successes."

Kate's Place offers women participating in the Regina drug treatment court or those placed under supervision by community corrections a long-term space to battle drug addiction and build independence.

Kirk Fraser/CBC
Kirk Fraser/CBC

Drug treatment courts, which fall under the umbrella of Saskatchewan's provincial court system, exist only in Regina and Moose Jaw, Sask. The goal is to help offenders become sober and address any other issues that may lead to crime, so they can eventually end their time involved in the justice system, according to the court's website.

Someone with a substance abuse problem who is accused of certain offences, or facing a custodial sentence for between one and two years, is eligible for drug treatment court after a one-month assessment.

The accused must plead guilty, but their sentence is delayed so they can take about one year to undergo a treatment program, the website says. If they successfully complete it, their sentence will be reduced.

The drug treatment program takes a year to 18 months to finish, the website says.

Kate's Place is the only program in the Regina drug treatment court, as well as the province's electronic monitoring programs, that is dedicated to women.

The complex is constantly supervised and contains eight two-bedroom apartments for women and their children. There are support staff, such as counsellors, working around the clock.

"The journey of putting your life back together … is not a 30-day project," said Kate's Place executive director Karen Hoeft. "It is a journey of stripping back the things that have held people captive, have harmed them. The harms that were done to them, the harms that they did to others.

"These are strong women and they have great things to offer us as a community."

Kirk Fraser/CBC
Kirk Fraser/CBC

So far, 309 women have gone through Kate's Place, many of whom graduated the program, Hoeft said. Those who are successful stay for more than a month, including some women who stayed for over a year.

Those who stick it out show significant development: nearly three in four women leave the facility having been sober for three months or longer, while almost nine in 10 women report using drugs less frequently, according to a news release from the justice ministry.

Most improve various life skills, such as financial literacy, and understand the impact their crimes had on victims, the release says.

The provincial budget featured an increase of $17.6 million to all community-based organizations (CBOs), including those funded by ministries other than social services.

The allotment for Kate's Place marks an increase of $27,000 — or three per cent — from the previous three-year agreement, Eyre said.

The increase is on par with the commitment made to all CBOs in the budget, she said.

The money will be used to pay for Kate's Place staff so it can maintain operations, Hoeft said.