For Immediate Release
7 December, 2022
NL NDP Critic for Justice and Public Safety and MHA for Torngat Mountains, Lela Evans, is calling on government to ensure the corrections system is properly resourced and commit to a timeline to improve the situation. The Auditor General Performance Audit of Adult Custody and Community Corrections provided scathing insight on how people across the province’s corrections programs are being left unsupported and programs are not properly resourced.
“This report today left me feeling sick to my stomach. The chronic neglect by successive governments continue to cause failures across the public service. Here we have corrections officers, public servants in the Department of Justice and Public Safety, people on parole and many more, who are not being supported,” said Evans. “This is the result of budget-based decision-making and successive governments focussing on things like ‘efficiencies’, ‘attrition’, and other cuts to the public service instead of focusing on outcomes for people.
“Why did it take an Auditor General report to make the Minister of Justice act? The corrections systems needs to be properly resourced for it to be effective. This should have been monitored, and flagged within the department. Corrections and Parole Officers should be able to do risk assessments and rehabilitation plans. Without these resources in place to provide a modern correctional support system, people leaving incarceration are left vulnerable and at a risk to re-offend,” said Evans.
“If you are released today and you’re facing record inflation, a housing crisis, and no plan as to how you’re going to get a job and support yourself, you’re pretty vulnerable. Getting thrown back in jail where you have a roof over your head and three meals a day starts to seem more appealing that life on the streets.
“We need to properly support our public safety system, and see offenders for what they really are – people in our community who need support. That should be the focus of our rehabilitation system and the public service needs the means to do that.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com