Auditor General's Yukon corrections report highlights policy enforcement gaps

The federal Auditor General’s report on the state of corrections services in Yukon, tabled today in the Yukon legislature, demonstrates an acute need for increased compliance with its own case management policies – and the Corrections Act itself – in order to ensure that appropriate access to reintegration and rehabilitation services are offered.

"Thanks to a strong series of recommendations, the Department of Justice has a number of concrete improvements it needs to make in order to meet its obligations," said Yukon NDP Justice Critic Lois Moorcroft. "I look forward to holding the government accountable to the Auditor General’s recommendations."

Without accessible programming and adequate probation infrastructure, our communities are less safe. The Department of Justice’s own statistics show that between 2004 and 2010, 41 per cent of offenders who served time at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre came back to serve another sentence. To reduce this high level of repeat offences, the provisions of the Corrections Act that reflect Yukon’s holistic approach to healing and rehabilitation need to be better incorporated into the justice department’s operational practices.

The hotly debated use of solitary confinement at Whitehorse Correctional Centre -- a penalty that the Canadian Medical Association recently deemed "cruel and unusual punishment" -- was unfortunately not discussed in the Auditor General’s report. The recent case of an inmate placed in long-term solitary confinement at the Whitehorse jail brought to light the fact that extended periods of solitary confinement are still a sad reality in Yukon.

"The lack of Auditor General recommendations on solitary confinement do not change the fact that the justice department is failing to respect some offenders’ basic human rights," added Moorcroft. "The Yukon NDP will keep pressing the Yukon government to put an end to solitary confinement in Yukon."

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For more information, please contact: 
Mike Fancie, Yukon NDP Official Opposition 
867-689-4866 or mike.fancie [at] yla.gov.yk.ca

 

Photo: decade_null / flickr. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.