For Immediate Release
6 December, 2023
Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre), leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s NDP, is calling on government to commit to a completion date for the new penitentiary and take meaningful action in the interim that does more than pick around the edges of issues at the existing facility in St. John’s. Conditions for inmates and workers at HMP, including the presence of mold and rodent infestations, go unaddressed in spite of multiple government announcements that Dinn describes as hollow gestures.
“I renew my call for action to ensure that staff have safe working conditions, and that inmates have humane living conditions and are able to avail of programs and other services,” said Dinn. “If maintenance is an issue, then dedicate a maintenance team to address deficiencies as quickly as possible. Invest the necessary financial resources to do so while we wait for the construction of the new correctional facility.”
In July of 2020, the government announced that a new penitentiary would be started in 2022 and completed by 2024-25 as a public-private partnership. So far, work has not started on the new facility, and issues continue to impact the health and lives of inmates who live there, as well as the staff who work there.
“Government cannot continue to ignore these issues and make hollow gestures and announcements thinking the problem will go away, while people continue to live and work in these deplorable conditions,” said Dinn. “The government is picking away at the edges to give the impression that things are improving, but I’m not convinced. We need to know when the new facility will be built, when the current HMP will be closed, and how the government is going to show inmates and workers some humanity until that time comes.”
A transcript of the most recent letter sent to the Minister of Justice and Public Safety can be found here: https://www.nl.ndp.ca/post/ndp-leader-jim-dinn-calling-for-government-to-address-living-and-working-conditions-at-hmp
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com