Sandy Silver today issued the following statement on the Auditor General of Canada’s report:
“The findings in the Auditor General’s report on corrections in Yukon are very concerning, as crime rates in the territory are among the highest in Canada. The OAG was very clear in its report that the Department of Justice is not adequately preparing offenders for successful reintegration into the community.
A lacklustre oversight on rehabilitation is at the heart of this issue, leaving many of those exiting corrections homeless, jobless, and at a high risk of reoffending.
The report found that many of those in the correctional system were not offered core programming to help reintegrate them into the community. Many inmates leaving incarceration do so without a transition plan in place.
The Auditor General points out that the department has not met its obligation to incorporate cultural heritage and needs of Yukon First Nations. A previous Yukon Party Minister of Justice had assured the legislature that First Nations cultural programming had been implemented; unfortunately, this is not the case.
I do not feel these shortfalls are the fault of the staff at corrections, nor due to transitioning into a new facility. Having spoken to former employees of Whitehorse Correctional Centre, I know they are not surprised by the report’s findings and they have expressed concerned about the mismanaged release of inmates.
I am glad to see that the Department agrees with the Auditor General’s recommendations and hope this will lead to an ideological shift in the way corrections is handled. I am concerned, however, that the response so far from the Yukon Party indicates that most of the issues identified by the OAG are already being dealt with.
I look forward to the public hearing with the OAG this summer and to debating this in the Assembly this spring”
For additional information contact:
Brad Weston, 667-8942
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