For Immediate Release

Penitentiary Issues a Human Rights Issue: Crosbie

St. John’s, NL (July 6, 2018) – Today, Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie is calling on the Ball Liberals to start prioritizing improvements to our province’s correctional facilities in the wake of the unexpected death of an inmate at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.

“I am deeply troubled by yet another death of an inmate in our correctional system, and believe that we cannot afford to wait any longer to improve this system,” said Crosbie

“This complex problem requires the introduction of additional, immediate supports, and long-term, transparent strategic-planning.”

Crosbie refers to a recent letter from the deceased inmate, along with other reports of inmate and guard experiences, as examples of the poor conditions of our systems, including at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.

“While it is important that those who commit crimes face punishment, the abhorrent conditions of our penitentiary goes beyond that,” added Crosbie

“Not only do these conditions indicate potential human rights violations, it also creates an unsafe working environment for the front-line workers at this facility.”

Crosbie believes it is time, in wake of the death of another inmate, for the Ball Liberals to prioritize improvements to our correctional facilities, including reaching out to the federal government for assistance in building a replacement for the existing penitentiary.

“While I think it is important we take immediate actions to address this crisis – including introducing better counselling services at the penitentiary for both front-line workers and inmates — it’s also time to get on with building a new penitentiary,” added Crosbie

“Federal Minister O’Regan has indicated there is support available for the provincial government to avail of if they choose to make this a priority – and in light of recent events, it is finally time for them to make this a priority.”

Contact: Media@TeamChes.ca, (709) 222-9092