Nfld. & Labrador

Addiction, mental health treatment for inmate not effective

A recent parole case may suggest treatment for drug addiction and mental health issues in Canada's federal prisons may not be all it's cracked up to be.
Camille Strickland-Murphy is escorted through provincial court on Thursday. (CBC)

A parole case in St. John's may suggest that treatment for drug addiction and mental health issues in Canada's federal prisons is not be all it ought to be.

The case of Camille Strickland-Murphy, who was hoping to avail of federal programs during her time in prison, may illustrate the need for improvement to the programs offered.

Camille Strickland-Murphy, seen during a 2012 court appearance, asked for federal time in province to better deal with her addiction problems. (CBC)
Strickland-Murphy, who had held a knife to a woman's throat while robbing her near a Churchill Square bank machine in April 2012, asked the court for a longer sentence to avail of the programs in federal prisons.

But Strickland-Murphy was back in provincial court last week, charged with attempted robbery of a pharmacy where she demanded money and drugs. 

While she utilized the programs while incarcerated, and was released after serving 15 months of her two-year sentence, Strickland-Murphy appears to have shifted back into her old habits. 

Corrections Canada recommended she be put on night curfew, but the parole board reviewing her case dismissed the idea.

A few months into her release, Strickland appears to have broken just about every one of the conditions of her parole.

Strickland-Murphy is believed to have been drinking alcohol and doing drugs, as well as hanging out with people she was told to stay away from and apparently failing to show up for her parole appointments.

Whether the recommended curfew would have made a difference in the case is unclear.