THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay’s new youth custody facility was officially named today to honour the legacy of the late Justice Ronald B. Lester and his service to the community. “The Lester family is deeply honoured and very proud that the naming of this important community facility was made in recognition of Ron’s many years of working with young adults, both in his professional and private life,” shared Susan Lester.
Justice Lester was a long-time advocate in the area of youth justice and strongly believed in helping youth achieve their educational goals so they could improve their circumstances and help others. “Justice Lester left a legacy of dedication to Children & Youth. I am very pleased that his name will adorn this facility as a reminder to all that use its services,” stated Bill Mauro, the MPP for Thunder Bay Atikokan.
The Ronald B. Lester Youth Centre is a 16-bed facility that serves males ages 12 to 17 at the time of their offence. The facility offers programs and services to address the unique needs of troubled youth, while holding them accountable for their actions. Youth staying at the facility are closer to their families, which can contribute significantly to their rehabilitation and better prepare them to make better life choices.
Ontario has moved all youth in custody out of units co-located in adult correctional facilities and into separate youth custody facilities to provide young people with more effective programs and more opportunity for rehabilitation.
“The late Ronald B. Lester worked for many years to help children and youth reach their educational goals, giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential. That is why we are pleased to ensure that his legacy and spirit lives on at this facility,” said Laurel Broten, Minister of Children and Youth Services.