Justice and Public Safety
June 5, 2017

The following statement was issued today by the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General:

Minister Parsons Addresses the Housing of Female Inmates at HMP

The safety and wellbeing of inmates and correctional staff in the province’s facilities is a top priority. I cannot comment on matters before the court but, I can give some general information about the process of transferring female inmates. Currently, there are no adult custody female cells in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. It’s common for female inmates from all regions in the province, to be transferred to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Correctional Centre for Women, in Clarenville. If the Correctional Centre in Clarenville is full, women are held at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s.

In many ways, the female unit at HMP is like a separate prison. Renovations were made last year at HMP to appropriately and safely accommodate female inmates. The unit is completely self-contained.

I have spoken with female inmates held at HMP on several occasions and while incarceration is not ideal, the women held there are pleased with the unit.

It is our priority to ensure all inmates have access to cultural supports. Inmates are assessed and transferred based on criteria such as security requirements, medical issues, programming needs, court dates. As minister, I have no involvement in the assessment and decision to transfer an inmate.

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Media contact
Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 699-2910

2017 06 05                             4:05 p.m.