Today, Kings North MLA John Lohr tabled a petition in the Legislature urging the Liberal government to take immediate action to ensure staff and inmates at the Waterville Youth Detention Centre are safe, now that a violent young offender has been transferred there.
“I continue to hear from Valley citizens concerned that Waterville staff are not prepared to handle this violent offender,” says Lohr. “The Liberal government needs to either move the offender back to an adult facility that’s properly equipped, or commit to improving safety so staff aren’t working in fear every day.”
Following the 2016 riot at Waterville—which the inmate in question instigated—an assessment conducted by the province made dozens of recommendations, including that guards carry tasers and pepper spray.
One month ago, when Lohr asked the Justice Minister if the department would implement all the safety recommendations before the young offender was moved back to Waterville, 16 per cent of the recommendations were still outstanding.
Lohr says if the Liberal government continues to drop the ball on this issue, there is a chance someone will end up getting hurt.
“All Nova Scotians have a right to feel safe while at work, yet the government is failing to take the right steps to keep staff and offenders at Waterville safe,” says Lohr. “My hope is that this petition encourages the government to finally turn their attention to this issue and make it a priority.”