Many child killers have been placed in Indigenous healing lodges according to stats

As of mid-September, there were 11 offenders in healing lodges who had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder of a minor

Newly released figures show the practice of placing child-killers in the federal prison service’s Indigenous healing lodges stretches back several years — well before the recent uproar over Terri-Lynne McClintic.

The federal statistics indicate 17 male and female offenders serving time for killing minors were transferred to one of the Correctional Service of Canada’s healing lodges from 2012-13 through last year.

As of mid-September, there were 11 offenders in healing lodges who had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder of a minor.

McClintic, convicted of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford, was moved to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan from a traditional prison, sparking public and political outrage.

McClintic was eight years into a life sentence for the abduction, rape and murder of the Ontario girl.

Conservative MPs hammered away at the issue in the House of Commons for days, pointing a finger at the Trudeau Liberals. The new figures show such transfers were also taking place while Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were in office.

Healing lodges use Indigenous values, traditions and beliefs to help with Indigenous inmates’ rehabilitation and to get them ready to return to their communities. The prison service says the approach is holistic and spiritual and includes guidance and support from Indigenous elders and community members.

READ MORE: Tories defend focus on transfer of offender to healing lodge

The Liberal government recently announced new rules that make it harder for federal prisoners to be transferred to Indigenous healing lodges if they’re serving long sentences.

Under the rules, 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.

The Correctional Service will also have to consider inmate behaviour and how close offenders are to being eligible for unescorted temporary absences from prison before transferring them.

McClintic is now back in a traditional prison in Edmonton.

The murder of a child is odious and utterly reprehensible, and perpetrators must be held fully accountable for their crime, said Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

“At the same time, our correctional system must also strive for rehabilitation so we can have fewer repeat offenders, fewer victims, and ultimately safer communities,” he said.

Healing lodges have a record of successfully dealing with difficult cases, and can be the right correctional approach for certain offenders, he added.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Vintage vehicles, costumed drivers cruise Fernie streets

Wheels in the Valley hosted their first ever Rally in the Valley event this past Saturday

Food conditioned black bear destroyed in Elk Valley

The bear was destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service on June 28

Elkford students plant trees as part of reclamation project

The students planted over 200 trees throughout the community

Elk Valley wildlife conservation projects receive funding

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation announced $9.2 million in funding across the province

Registration opens for Fernie Writers Conference

The conference will take place from August 17-23 and will feature several accomplished authors

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read