Nfld. & Labrador

Owen Brophy appointed as superintendent of prisons

Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Justice and Public Safety has appointed former assistant superintendent Owen Brophy as the head of the province's prisons.
Owen Brophy will take over from Graham Rogerson as head of the province's prisons. (CBC )

Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Justice and Public Safety has appointed former assistant superintendent Owen Brophy as the head of the province's prisons.

Brophy is taking over from Graham Rogerson, who retired in late November.

"Owen has worked at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) for 33 years and has intimate, first-hand knowledge of the system," Minister Judy Manning said in a press release.

"The strong relationships he has forged with community groups will be another asset in his new role."

Kelly Rowsell will move from assistant superintendent for the Bishops Falls Correctional Centre to replace Brophy on a temporary basis as assistant superintendent of HMP.

Court application dismissed

Brophy was named in a charter application that claimed he and other prison officials knew that an attack was planned on an inmate inside HMP, but failed to stop it from happening.

The application, which was made by two defence lawyers representing men accused in the attack, alleged that prison officials' knowledge of the incident compromised the fairness of the trial.

However, Judge Colin Flynn dismissed the application last week in provincial court.

"In retrospect, and with what we colloquially call hindsight other measures might have prevented this incident," Flynn wrote.

"But to suggest that the decisions made by correctional staff is the type of conduct which is egregious and seriously compromises trial fairness and/or the integrity of the justice system and is thus misconduct on the part of penitentiary authorities as the Applicants have alleged has no air of reality to it." 

It was also stated in the application that then-justice minister Darin King decided not to discipline management, and that government considered it to be a learning experience.

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