September 6, 2018 6:41 pm
Updated: September 6, 2018 6:47 pm

BC Corrections missed deadline to start external inspections: Ombudsperson

Under Inspection: The Hiatus in BC Correctional Centre Inspections Report Cover

BC Ombudsperson / www.bcombudsperson.ca
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B.C.’s Ombudsperson is waiting for the province to make good on promises to improve inspections at provincial corrections facilities.

Jay Chalke says the provincial government agreed to implement all seven recommendations he made in a 2016 report on prisons.

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That report found that the province lacked a legally required program of regular corrections facilities inspections form 2001 to 2012, and that the regime implemented in 2012 needed improvement.

“I’m calling on them to live up to that commitment,” he said.

So far, he says the province has implemented six, which are related to internal inspections.

“But what they haven’t done is brought themselves into compliance by establishing an external inspections regime,” he said.

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Chalke says without doing so B.C. is not meeting international standards of the Mandela Rules, the U.N.’s standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners.

Those include ensuring independent, external inspections and allowing confidential interviews with inmates.

According to Chalke, the promise pledged to meet those rules by March 31, 2018.

Chalke says the corrections service does have an interim measure in place, where a government official accompanies internal inspectors.

In a written statement, BC Corrections says it remains committed to fulfilling the last recommendation and is working on a solution.

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