Kings North MLA John Lohr is deeply concerned that the Liberal government is failing to take adequate steps to ensure the safety of staff and offenders at the Waterville Youth Detention Centre ahead of the arrival of a dangerous young offender.
In the House of Assembly, Lohr asked Justice Minister Mark Furey why the government has yet to improve working conditions for staff who don’t feel prepared to handle the 19-year-old violent offender.
The offender has reportedly stated he wanted to be the first person in Canada to murder a young offender staff worker.
“Staff have a right to work in a safe workplace” says Lohr. “No one should have to work in fear, but unfortunately that is the case now for the correctional officers who will be working with the returning young offender.”
Past reports on safety at the facility have identified issues regarding a lack of steel doors, Kevlar vests and self-defense tools, as well as problems with staffing levels.
“Before this young offender returns to Waterville, the Justice Minister should listen to safety concerns and implement the recommendations,” says Lohr.
Lohr says if the Justice Minister won’t take immediate steps to ensure staff are protected from the young offender, then government should appeal the judge’s decision to have the offender moved to Waterville from an adult facility.