Transferring prisoners to healing lodges to be restricted, Goodale says

The move comes after public anger that Terri-Lynne McClintic was moved to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan

Federal prisoners will have a harder time being transferred to Indigenous “healing lodges” if they’re serving long sentences, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Wednesday.

The move comes after public anger that Terri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford, was moved to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan from a traditional prison.

McClintic was eight years into a life sentence for the abduction, rape and murder of the Ontario girl. Her first eligibility for parole won’t come until she’s served 25 years.

Under new rules announced Wednesday, prisoners won’t be eligible for transfers to healing lodges without secured perimeters until they’re into the “preparation for release” phases of their sentences.

READ MORE: Philpott defends Indigenous healing lodges amid controversy over Stafford killer

The Correctional Service of Canada will also have to consider inmates’ behaviour and how close they are to being eligible for unescorted temporary absences from prison before transferring them.

In addition, the deputy commissioner for women will be involved in decisions to ensure national standards are applied consistently and relevant factors are considered.

The changes will apply to past and future cases.

Healing lodges are meant to help with Indigenous inmates’ rehabilitation and to get them ready to return to their communities. Goodale said the government will continue to promote “their valuable role” in federal corrections.

There is also a need for the Correctional Service “to increase the level of public awareness” about how it makes decisions, Goodale told reporters.

“These are decisions that are not taken lightly or capriciously. They are based on evidence and sound principles, and there needs to be a higher level of understanding of that.”

In addition, there must be more meaningful and useful communication with victims given the anguish they have suffered, he said.

“They need to know that their perspective is being properly respected.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Fire forces 36 people at Vanderhoof care home to evacuate

No one was hurt after the fire at Stuart Nechako Manor

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Canfor curtailing operations across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read