A secure youth custody facility here can now accommodate more youth in conflict with the law with specialized services and programs.

Unveiled yesterday, the newly expanded William E. Hay Youth Centre now has an additional 16 beds for a total of 40 for male youths aged 12 to 17. All male youths in conflict with the law who require secure custody in the Ottawa area will now be served at this facility.

“No longer will youth in conflict with the law be sharing a facility with adult offenders,” Children and Youth Services Minister Deb Matthews said. “Not only will they take responsibility for their actions, but they’ll have access to dedicated youth programming that will significantly reduce their risk of reoffending.”

The centre’s staff are focused on ensuring that “no young person’s entire future is defined by a poor choice they have made or a risk they have taken,” said Youth Services Bureau executive director Alex Munter.