Liberals failing to disclose major incidents at Burnside Correctional Facility

February 2, 2015

NDP MLA Frank Corbett says a Chronicle Herald story published on Sunday, Feb. 1 indicates the Liberal government is not following the major incident disclosure policy at the Burnside Correctional Facility. He says Justice Minister Lena Diab owes Nova Scotians an explanation for why she has ignored transparency rules.

“It’s reaching the point where one has to ask, ‘Who is in charge at the Department of Justice?’,” said Corbett. “In the last year, the number of assaults have doubled. This facility holds some of the most dangerous criminals in the province and things seem to be boiling over. But it seems as though the Minister is content to sit on her hands while correctional workers face more and more danger.”

He added, “To make matters worse the Minister is not following departmental rules. There is a policy in place that clearly states the types of major incidents that need to be reported by government. But for some reason in the past year there have been many instances where the policy has not been followed. The question is, ‘Why not?’”

Two particular incidents mentioned in the Herald story indicate departmental rules were not followed correctly. A Feb. 9, 2014 assault against a female correctional officer is not listed on the government site nor is a Feb. 5, 2014 brawl that saw five correctional officers assaulted. According the Department of Justice web site, an assault involving 4 or more people and assaults involving hospitalization are to be reported to the public and media in a prompt manner.