FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

John Howard Society Saskatchewan Applauds Precedent Setting Ruling

 

On Monday, a decision by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal affirmed that the rights of prisoners to due process must be maintained within the Province’s correctional facilities.

“If you are going to take away rights – you had better do it in a way that is procedurally fair,” says Nicholas Blenkinsop, counsel for Jamie Myles Mercredi. Mercredi opposed his placement at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre when placed a lower-risk unit that resulted in more cell time.

This sets a precedent in the Province, making it clear that procedural fairness applies to unit placement decisions, which are not referenced in the Correctional Services Act or Regulations.

“The decision says, ‘we aren’t going to tell you what the procedures need to be, but we looked at it – and there needs to be something in place,’ which I think is a very reasonable approach,” says Blenkinsop.

The John Howard Society of Saskatchewan advocates for safer communities and as a result more humane and just practices for those at risk or involved in the criminal justice system. The organization is grateful to see this decision.

“Procedural fairness as it relates to unit placement is an issue that affects every inmate in Saskatchewan,” says JHSS CEO, Shawn Fraser. “This is the first decision of its kind and will have an impact on how prisoners are placed going forward. We hope that it can be applied to other cases that deal with relative loss of liberties behind bars. It also helps the bigger picture: when we have peace and order in our prisons, everyone benefits.”
Media inquiries:

Blair Roberts
Communications and Administrations Officer
John Howard Society of Saskatchewan
306-520-8221
brobertssk.johnhoward.ca

Nicholas Blenkinsop
Legal counsel, CLASSIC Law
306-657-6107

The John Howard Society of Saskatchewan (JHSS) – Cornerstone Program wishes to thank SaskOutdoors and SaskLotteries for the $500.00 grant we received. This grant has allowed youth in Regina and area the opportunity to discover new and exciting ways to engage with nature.

JHSS researched many alternatives to give the youth opportunities to experience a safe, engaging day of teamwork, peer support and fun. Finding events that can be inclusive for all of the youth can be challenging, as many of our youth have issues that can make participating in dynamic events difficult to impossible. Regina Beach’s Aquatic Adventures was just the match! Some of the youth shared their thoughts on the day:

  • “With all my disabilities, I had fun and it was a new challenge for me.”
  • “Earth gives us so many beautiful things to create and see.”
  • “Spending time with people was nice.”
  • “Having fun and being inclusive.”
  • “Savoring the moments of summer.”

 

Thanks so much for the grant and the opportunity to give these kids a special day!