September 20, 2017
‘This case has raised a lot of questions that need to be addressed’
Yukon’s minister of justice announced Tuesday that she will be ordering an inspection of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre in a “matter of days or weeks” following the conclusion of Michael Nehass’s legal case.
“This case has raised a lot of questions that need to be addressed,” Tracy-Anne McPhee said in a phone interview Sept. 19.
“Most importantly in my view is what (were) the past and current processes for assisting inmates with mental health issues and how can those processes and services be improved…. So in my view, we’re now at the point in this matter and others where it’s appropriate for me to direct such an inspection.”
Under the Yukon’s Corrections Act, a minister of justice can order the inspection of a correctional centre when he or she finds it appropriate. The inspector, who is allowed to enter any part of the centre at any time and may “examine any thing or any record” save for inmate medical records, must produce a report for the deputy minister, who must then respond within 90 days and “indicate any proposed action to be taken as a result of the report.”
McPhee said that she hasn’t “quite formulated all of the points” she’ll be asking the inspector to report on, but that “we’ll be looking at the specifics of (the Nehass) case” along with any possible “general” issues. The department is currently looking for a “person with appropriate expertise and that is independent of the facility” to conduct the inspection, she added.