June 12, 2018

Public Inquiry Needed for Clarenville Women’s Prison: Crosbie

St. John’s, NL (June 12, 2018) – Today, Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie is calling for a public inquiry into recent deaths at the Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville.

“I am deeply troubled by the reported deaths of inmates at the women’s prison in Clarenville, and am now asking the Premier to launch a public inquiry into this serious matter as soon as possible,” said Crosbie

“These events, in addition to recent media reports on inmate experiences within the prison, risk eroding public faith in our justice system. An inquiry will provide meaningful answers that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve on this issue, and can help restore public confidence.”

Crosbie believes the terms of reference for the inquiry can include an investigation into systemic issues within the facility, including issues surrounding mental health.

According to recent media reports, Justice and Public Safety Minister Andrew Parsons has indicated that corrections staffing levels have remained unchanged in the Clarenville facility. In light of the recent all party committee on mental health, Crosbie believes it is important to understand what changes have been made within our prisons to deal with the increased understanding of inmate needs.

“It is becoming evident that there are deeper systemic issues within our correctional facilities. Without a full inquiry, it is unlikely that meaningful solutions can be put in place,” added Crosbie

“Further, we must ensure that immediate mental health supports are available for inmates as we await the outcome of this much-needed inquiry.”