Prison psychological tests must be fair to Indigenous inmates: high court


OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says the federal prison service has failed to ensure its psychological assessment tools are fair to Indigenous inmates.

In a decision today, the high court accepts Jeffrey Ewert’s challenge of assessment techniques to gauge the risk of reoffending and potential for violence.

Ewert, who identifies as Metis, alleged the Correctional Service of Canada’s assessment tools were unreliable when administered to Indigenous inmates.

A Federal Court judge agreed with some of Ewert’s arguments but the decision was later overturned — prompting Ewert’s appeal to the Supreme Court.

Born to a Metis mother and a British father, Ewert was adopted as a baby by a Caucasian family in Surrey, B.C.

He has been locked up for more than 30 years in maximum- and medium-security institutions, serving two concurrent life sentences for second-degree murder, attempted murder and escape from custody.

The Canadian Press