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

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1910

Jan. 20-26: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

44 Engineer Squadron’s new Cranbrook armoury officially opens

The Canadian Army and the City of Cranbrook celebrated the start of… Continue reading

Three ICE players make NHL midseason rankings

Two ICE forwards and a goaltender make the NHL’s midseason rankings ahead of the 2019 draft.

Cranbrook’s top official inks new contract

Chief Administrative Officer David Kim signed five-year agreement in September

Weekend wrap-up: ICE finish six-game road trip

The Kootenay ICE went 2-3-1 on their road trip as they finished up against the Wheat Kings.

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in B.C.

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Most Read