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Province Announces 190 Refurbished Bikes Donated to Youth as Part of an Addictions Treatment Program for Inmates

July 5, 2013

Headingley Correctional Centre has donated 190 refurbished bicycles to Winnipeg youth through an innovative addictions treatment program for inmates, Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced today.

“Addiction can be a significant risk factor for inmates,” said Swan.  “Learning how to repair a bike teaches valuable skills and supports the broader work of the addictions treatment program with the added benefit of giving something back to the community.”

Children attending the Youth Agencies Alliance (YAA) bike rodeo at the Ryerson Boys and Girls Club this afternoon will learn about bicycle safety and then have the opportunity to receive one of 20 refurbished bikes donated by the correctional centre.  Helmets and locks will also be provided.

“Owning a bike is a great mode of transportation because it’s healthy and empowers kids to shape their summers in a safe and fun way,” says Chino Argueta, recreation and sport co-ordinator for Youth Agencies Alliance, a group of 19 after-school and community service agencies working together to improve the lives of marginalized youths and their families living in Winnipeg.

“Thanks to this innovative program, many under-served youth across the city will have access to bikes, locks and helmets.”

Since May, Headingley Correctional Centre has also donated 40 refurbished bicycles to the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre bike rodeo, 20 the Happy Days on Henderson festival and 110 to the WRENCH Community Bike Bazaar at Valour Community Centre, Swan said.  The refurbished bicycles were salvaged at no cost or donated to the correctional centre.

The Winding River Therapeutic Community addictions treatment program at Headingley combines community living, cognitive-behavioural therapy, personal accountability and positive reinforcement to help inmates understand the connection between their addictions and criminal behaviour, with the goal of recovery and reduced future contact with the law.  The refurbishment work is part of treatment, focused on giving back to the community and learning new skills.

There are currently 145 inmates in the Winding River program in various stages of addictions treatment.  The program is based on the success of a similar program in a correctional centre in Nanaimo, B.C.

For more information about the Youth Agencies Alliance and today’s bike rodeo, Manitobans can visit www.youthagenciesalliance.com or call 204-801-3683.

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