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

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

Just Posted

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The avalanche came down on the highway sometime Sunday evening (Feb. 21) (Dawson photo)
Road to Bella Coola wharf reopens after large avalanche

The road was closed after a large avalanche covered a significant portion of the highway

Jenni Mueller lives near the wharf on the other side of the avalanche. She took this photo and thinks the avalanche happened around 8 p.m. last night (February 21). (Jenni Mueller photo)
Avalanche closes road to wharf at Bella Coola

A day and night of heavy rain resulted in avalanches across the region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

Williams Lake First Nation government staff are anticipated to return to work Monday, Jan. 25. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Court orders new hearing over Williams Lake First Nation’s century-old land dispute

A three-judge panel unanimously set aside a 2018 finding by the Specific Claims Tribunal

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read