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

76 new cases of COVID-19 reported Thursday

Active cases at 1,036, 10,713 recovered cases

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools receive grant from Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

WRPS has received $15,975 from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

Leduc RCMP search for man involved in July shooting

Police believe he may be in possession of a firearm and ask the public not to confront him.

Leduc RCMP charge male following assault with a weapon investigation

45-year-old male was in the victim’s home when he stabbed him with a knife.

COVID-19 tests urged for all teachers and school staff

121 new cases Wednesday, active cases up to 1,040

Charges likely in fatal attack at central Alberta medical clinic: RCMP

A vigil was held Monday night to mourn the victim

Ermineskin Cree Nation has a new chief

There were seven challengers to incumbent, including NGCI president

Three people drown at Crescent Falls

Rocky Mountain House RCMP say the incident occurred Tuesday

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

Ponoka RCMP lay charges following carjacking

Maskwacis man arrested after brief chase Aug. 8

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Most Read