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

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

BC Ferries Sailing Cancellations

Prince Rupert - Haida Gwaii - Northern Adventure

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Most Read