Yellowknife residents blame crime on outsiders

Some people at a town hall meeting on crime in Yellowknife suggest out of town inmates released from the territorial jail are responsible.

Some Yellowknife residents blame people from other communities for crime in the Northwest Territories capital.

Yellowknife is home to the biggest jail in the territories and several people at a town hall meeting suggested crimes are being committed by inmates from other communities who are released from the North Slave Correctional Centre.

Police are investigating string of sexual assaults on the Frame Lake Trail and two unrelated assaults on women sleeping in their own beds. Many people in the city feel crime is on the rise.

 “Is there a way we can find funding to get people back to their families, back to their communities where they can find support and find help for themselves,” local resident Michele Leger says.

Corrections officials say offenders are given a taxi chit and airline or bus ticket home. They say most prisoners plan to go home when they get out of jail.

That's set out in a release plan that's developed for every inmate. But officials say it's up to the inmate to follow the plan.

“There is a release plan, and the case manager works with them about where they should be released and hopefully helps them so when they go back to the community they are going to be successful,” the acting director  of corrections, Midge Ravensdale, says.

“However there's no supervision if they're released at sentence satisfied.”

Ravensdale says in rare cases -- such as when authorities feel a person will go astray in the city when released -- newly-released inmates will be escorted onto their flight home. But she says officials have no legal authority to do that.


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