Inmates kept in prison too long for lack of halfway houses: auditor


OTTAWA — Canada’s auditor general says hundreds of federal prisoners are having their parole delayed only because the Correctional Service of Canada doesn’t have halfway houses for them to live in.

In a new report Tuesday, Michael Ferguson says staying in prison, sometimes for months longer than they’re supposed to, hurts offenders’ rehabilitation and prospects for success when they’re released.

He says the backlog of prisoners waiting more than two months for parole increased tenfold over the last three years, from 25 to almost 260.

And the shortage of spaces means parolees are increasingly sent to communities where they have no family or supports, and no intention of staying.

The audit says parole officers often do not get important information about the parolees they are supposed to monitor and help, such as details about health conditions that could affect their ability to live and work on the outside.

A spot check of 50 cases found that nearly half of the time, parole officers didn’t see their parolees on the right schedule or didn’t check to make sure they were following special parole conditions.

The Canadian Press