Halifax jail conversion will see fewer barriers between inmates, guards

Nova Scotia's largest jail is taking a new approach to inmate supervision, creating fewer barriers between guards and prisoners.

Officials at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Halifax provided a tour Tuesday to describe a $6.8-million renovation.

Superintendent Tim Carroll said seven living units are being merged into four larger units where guards sit at a desk in the common area.

The correctional officers spend their shifts near the inmates, rather than doing occasional walkthroughs or watching them on video.

The so-called direct supervision model has been adopted at many institutions across North America.

Carroll said research indicates having closer, ongoing relationships between inmates and guards reduces conflicts and violence.