This is page numbers 6289 - 6352 of the Hansard for the 18th Assembly, 3rd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was assembly.

Topics

Committee Motion 238-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Needs-based Assessments for Inmates, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6321

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this committee recommends that the Department of Justice conduct needs-based assessments for all inmates;

and further, that the assessments be conducted in a manner that is timely relative to an inmate's release eligibility;

and furthermore, that the assessments take into account Gladue and other factors such as an inmate's disabilities;

and furthermore, that the department explore additional measures to encourage all inmates to participate in suitable programming, including offering new incentives.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 238-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Needs-based Assessments for Inmates, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6321

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Mr. Thompson. The motion is on the floor. The motion is in order. To the motion. Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 238-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Needs-based Assessments for Inmates, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6321

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. The background to this motion is that we wanted to expand the kind of information that was taken in for assessments so that it was not just the security risk that the inmate posed to the facility and the staff but also what were their own capacities and limitations. Gladue, for example, is the set of factors that courts take into account in sentencing inmates, that recognizes that they may have disabilities and they may have factors in their lives that have caused them trauma and difficulty which have really formed their character and need to be taken into account, and so we thought that broadening the assessments to take into account the Gladue factors and other important elements of an inmate's life would give them a better experience of the programming that is offered in the correctional facilities.

We recognize that the assessments of people on remand and the programming opportunity for people on remand are not always the same as they are for inmates, so the idea of offering incentives for programming is to have those people on remand engage in programming which may address some of their most fundamental issues and steer them away from a repeat visit to the correctional centre. That is the background on this motion. Thank you.

Committee Motion 238-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Needs-based Assessments for Inmates, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6321

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Ms. Green. To the motion.

Committee Motion 238-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Needs-based Assessments for Inmates, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6321

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 238-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Needs-based Assessments for Inmates, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6321

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 239-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Prioritization of Work Programs, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

August 21st, 2019

Page 6322

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this committee recommends that the Department of Justice prioritize work programs that are responsive to community needs, subject to necessary safety and security restrictions. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 239-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Prioritization of Work Programs, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you. The motion is on the floor. To the motion. Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 239-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Prioritization of Work Programs, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. In our public consultations, we heard community members speak positively of inmates doing work in their communities when they were incarcerated, that they were part of work programs and they did good volunteer work in the, or it was not necessarily volunteer, but good work in the community. It could be cutting lawns. It could be shovelling sidewalks. It could be stacking tables after a public event. The public consultation also indicated that people felt that was a very positive thing, to connect the community and the inmates together around a constructive activity, and they lamented that this program has really fallen off in recent years. We learned that the major reason that it has fallen off is that many more inmates are on remand rather than sentenced.

The corrections staff has said that they posed some security risk on remand that is not the same as when they have been sentenced, and so this component of programming has really been reduced in recent years. We heard clearly that people would like to see it come back, subject to necessary precautions. The background to this committee motion is to reflect what we heard, that the work programs were useful and that people would like to see them reinstated. Thank you.

Committee Motion 239-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Prioritization of Work Programs, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Ms. Green. To the motion.

Committee Motion 239-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Prioritization of Work Programs, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 239-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Prioritization of Work Programs, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 240-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Security Assessment Tools, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the security assessment tool used by the correctional service be objective, structured, and empirically defensible, and that a risk assessment tool that considers the unique realities of Indigenous inmates be developed and used. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 240-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Security Assessment Tools, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Mr. Thompson. The motion is on the floor. To the motion. Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 240-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Security Assessment Tools, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6322

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Security assessment tools are standard practice in correctional facilities, and the concern that this particular recommendation addresses is that the assessment tool be particularly inclusive of the realities of Indigenous inmates, that, particularly, corrections staff look for security assessment tools that are culturally more appropriate than a standard tool that may be developed and used on a Caucasian population. We recognize that there are different tools, and we are encouraging with this motion that corrections finds and tries tools that may be more appropriate to the NWT inmate population, which is overwhelmingly NWT Indigenous peoples. Thank you.