OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is making it harder for federal prisoners to be transferred to Indigenous “healing lodges” if they’re serving long sentences.
The move comes after public anger that Terri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford, was moved to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan from a traditional prison.
McClintic was eight years into a life sentence for the abduction, rape and murder of the Ontario girl. Her first eligibility for parole won’t come until she’s served 25 years.
Under Goodale’s new 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 of Canada will also have to consider inmates’ behaviour and how close they are to being eligible for unescorted temporary absences from prison before transferring them.
Healing lodges are meant to help with Indigenous inmates’ rehabilitation and to get them ready to return to their communities.
The Canadian Press