The Northern Women’s Centre at UNBC has joined others to protest the recent decision to move serial killer, Cody Legebokoff, from maximum-security to a medium security prison.
In a May 9 release, the Northern Women’s Centre has asked why one of Canada’s youngest serial killers is being given the luxury of a new, less secure environment with more contact.
The release further gives Legebokoff’s history which was that he got a life sentence for 25 years without parole for the murders of four young women in the community.
“He has only served five years of this sentence. Perhaps, Legebokoff’s move to medium security could be understood if he had shown some responsibility or some remorse for the murders of Loren Donn Leslie, 15, Natasha Montgomery, 23, Jill Stuchenko, 35, and Cynthia Mass, 35 – but he has not,” read the release.
Northern Women’s Centre staff met with Doug Leslie, Loren’s father and communicated via email with Louanne Montgomery, Natasha’s mother as well as as well as Judy Maas, older sister of Cindy Maas and the families revealed to staff that they were not adequately informed of Legebokoff’s movements and whereabouts.
“It should be noted too that a psychological assessment of Legebokoff has never been released to the public. It is evident that Legebokoff has psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies. According to the Journal of Police Science and Administration, psychopaths and sociopaths can never be rehabilitated. We are fearful that Legebokoff will have a greater likelihood of escaping a medium security prison or be released and still be young enough to continue his brutality towards women,” stated the release.
Marie Pier Lécuyer, communications advisor for Correctional Service Canada in an email response to Vanderhoof Omineca Express said, she can confirm that Legebokoff is under the CSC’s jurisdiction. However, in accordance with the Privacy Act, CSC is unable to comment on the specifics of an offender’s case including their location or when they may have been transferred.
“It is important to know that all offenders are thoroughly evaluated and placed in facilities that can assure their security and meet their program needs. Rehabilitative efforts, leading to a gradual and controlled release, has proven to be a better way of protecting the public than keeping offenders in maximum security institutions to the end of their sentence, and then releasing them into society without supervision,” Pier Lécuyer said.
Todd Doherty, MP Prince George — Cariboo has been very outspoken about Legebokoff’s transfer and has brought it up at the House of Commons. The Northern Women’s Centre said in the release that they welcome the move from the member of parliament, and are urging residents in Prince George and around to write a letter to Ralph Goodale, the federal minister of public safety, to voice their concern.
“Police officer Brendan Fitzpatrick with the BC RCMP Major Crime Section during the Legebokoff investigation states that, “Doherty should demand answers from Goodale” as to why Legebokoff has been “given this generous benefit”. Indeed, the presiding judge of the Legebokoff trial, Glen Parrett stated, “He (Legebokoff) lacks any shred of empathy or remorse. He should never be allowed to walk among us again,”” stated the May 9 release from the women’s centre.
The release calls for a protest to demand that Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau use their power of review under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to get Legebokoff moved back to a maximum security prison.
“As a spokesperson with the Northern Women’s Centre states — the pendulum has swung too far; offender’s rights are taking priority over victim’s and their family’s rights,” read the media release.
Meanwhile, Pier Lécuyer said that transfers allow inmates to have access to programs that may not be available at their current institution and for inmates to be housed in an environment that is consistent with their safety and security needs.
The offender’s security level is based on three factors — how the offender will adjust to the institution, the risk of escape and public safety.
“One of the factors that CSC taken into account when considering the transfer of inmates to lower-security level facilities is the offender’s progress in addressing the needs identified in their correctional plan, which outlines what they must do to address the factors that led to their criminal behaviour. All transfers of inmates to lower levels of security occur only after CSC has appropriately considered public safety,” Pier Lécuyer said in the email.
She defined a maximum security institution as a prison designed to house offenders who present a greater threat to the safety of the public, require a higher degree of supervision and/or have a higher chance of attempting to escape. Pier Lécuyer said that movement, association and privileges are very restricted.
And in a medium security prison, the same security safeguards exist as they would in a maximum security institution, however allows for more interactions among offenders, she stated.