MLAs set to scrutinize Nunavut’s corrections system

Auditor General of Canada released two reports in past six years with criticisms of Nunavut’s jails

The legislative assembly, shown here, will hold a hearing this week on the 2021 Auditor General of Canada’s report on Nunavut’s correctional system. (File photo by Dustin Patar)

By Nunatsiaq News

Territorial leaders are expected to meet this week to discuss what work has been done to address two audits of Nunavut’s correctional system.

The Auditor General of Canada has scrutinized the system twice since 2015. The first audit listed a number of “critical deficiencies” it said threatened the safety of staff and inmates.

The second audit, released last year, concluded the territorial justice department hadn’t made satisfactory progress in addressing the issues listed six years before.

There were nine new recommendations in the 2021 report, and nine outstanding from the 2015 report.

Nunavut’s legislative assembly has scheduled the televised hearing for Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The [hearing] will allow members of the legislative assembly to consider the extent to which the Government of Nunavut is taking action to address the auditor general’s recommendations,” committee chairperson George Hickes said in a news release.

Senior officials in the GN’s Department of Justice will be witnesses at the hearing as well.

The auditor general has reviewed all eight correctional facilities in Nunavut.

That includes, in Iqaluit: Baffin Correctional Centre, Nunavut Women’s Correctional Centre, Aaqqigiarvik Correctional Healing Facility, Makigiarvik, the Uttaqivik Community Residential Centre and Isumaqsunngittukkuvik Youth Facility, all in Iqaluit.

It also covered Kugluktuk’s Ilavut Centre, and the Rankin Inlet Healing Facility.

Last fall Hickes, who was justice minister at the time, responded to the auditor general’s followup report saying his department accepted all of the recommendations and would address them.

Hickes also said then that the report did not cover some planned changes, including a tool to track inmate progress, needs and incidents, as well as a new case management system that was scheduled to be launched last month.


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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by If you really want to know.. on

    Dear Members of the Legislative Assembly, if you want to know what changes are and are not being made, or what deficiencies remain unaddressed, then skip the part where you talk to the department managers and “brass”. They have far less incentive to tell you what is happening on the ground (in fact, many probably do no even know themselves as they hole up in their offices all day) than the people who work and deal directly with the inmates and the deficiencies listed by the Auditor General.

    In other words, do what the Auditor General did and talk directly to corrections staff.

    • Posted by Musical Chairs on

      Our new Minister of Justice has been “on the job” since Friday. I’m sure can tell the other MLAs about all that has been done by his staff.
      Perhaps if MLAs spent a few days as inmates they would understand the deficiencies…

  2. Posted by 867 on

    One of the deficiencies the MLA’s decried were the consistent staff shortages at the correctional facilities. Seems like nobody cares about staff shortages in most departments, but when it’s a critical service like a jail or a nursing home, it receives attention. Jails are tough places to work, and like the Taxi game, not many locals want to work in them.

    Either hire southerners who will quit not long after being hired due to the stress of working in these facilities or hire locals who will only show up to work sporadically when they feel like it. What is the best approach? Does it even make sense to have jails in Nunavut?

    • Posted by Thomas Shelby on

      I agree with everything you said but remember they are healing centers, not jails LOL insert “eye roll”

  3. Posted by Addicted to relief workers on

    Why do all our correctional centers rely so heavily on relief workers? Why aren’t there competitions to fill all the job openings in the division? Instead they just fill their schedules up with relief workers more? Isn’t that against policy?

    • Posted by Incompetence crisis on

      I’m not familiar with corrections specifically, but if it is like so much of the GN then there are too many management roles filled by people who have no experience, education or motivation.

    • Posted by Name withheld on

      I like to know why the same system is in place for this amount of time if it hasn’t been working since it was implemented?

      The same exact inmates are coming back over and over is due to the fact that Gladue court is in place here. I’m not saying don’t follow it but try and put harder sentences for repeated offenders.

      Look at the Finance Dept for Justice and see where they are over spending and why ? Are they spending more on relief workers ? Compared to CSA? Why haven’t they been appointed to indeterminate. Can you confirm what position had been direct appointed and by whom?

      I don’t think you will get a lot of answers as

      1. Was Article 23 used when direct appointments were made and if they weren’t. What was the reason?

      2. Why aren’t you positing the positions that are vacant?

      3. Why aren’t you speaking to the staff who deal with the issues ? Not the keyboard pushers!!

  4. Posted by Joke on

    Corrections in Nunavut is the worst managed in Canada.
    That is a fact.
    Zero rehabilitation. Zero management. Very little programing. Management is scared to make a decision. There afraid to look bad With there big heads.

    • Posted by Clowns on

      100% afraid of looking bad but that’s the only way they look

  5. Posted by Captain obvious on

    Any auditor general reports are shelved and put away by the GN, no work or implementation on the recommendations from the reports.
    This is why Nunavut is the way it is right now, year after year, decades, nothing is ever done by the GN. A revolving door of employees every few years that start all over and never accomplishing very much.
    Doesn’t seem to be improving or changing anytime soon.

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