Nunavut justice department 'overwhelmed:' auditor general

Discussion about how to address conditions at the Baffin Correctional Centre continues in Iqaluit today, as MLAs enter day three of reviewing the auditor general's damning report on Nunavut corrections.

'Do I have a fire going on? Do I have a riot? What kind of crisis do I have today?'

Nunavut legislators are on day 3 of reviewing the auditor general's damning report on corrections in the territory. (Elyse Skura/CBC)

A Nunavut legislative committee continues to review a damning report on Nunavut's correctional facilities, including the notorious Baffin Correctional Centre, where Auditor General Michael Ferguson says the condition are the worst he's seen.

"The department has just been overwhelmed," Ferguson said Wednesday. "It hasn't been able to cope with those types of issues," he said, referring to the overcrowding, mould and makeshift repairs at Nunavut's largest jail. 

The report found that in many instances, inmates don't have a case plan, which is supposed to identify each offender's needs and risks.

J. P. Deroy, Nunavut's director of corrections, says that's because staff are dealing with more pressing issues.

"Do I have a fire going on? Do I have a riot? What kind of crisis do I have today?" he said. "When I go to the bottom of the line, it's make sure people document their stuff properly. At the end, this is something that's left behind."

Deroy says staff know the inmates, even when they don't do their paperwork.

The justice department says it's working on a training program to help staff better manage inmate rehabilitation.

MLAs will meet with justice officials again today.

The CBC's Elyse Skura will be tweeting from the legislature.


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