Conway Ottenheimer Tours Her Majesty’s

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Conway Ottenheimer Tours Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP)
Conway Ottenheimer yesterday had the opportunity to again tour the near 150-year-old HMP facility on the heels of recent media reports of the difficult working conditions for staff and the housing conditions for inmates.
Friday, July 29, 2022

(July 29, 2022) – Helen Conway Ottenheimer, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Justice and MHA for Harbour Main, yesterday had the opportunity to again tour the near 150-year-old HMP facility on the heels of recent media reports of the difficult working conditions for staff and the housing conditions for inmates.

Conway Ottenheimer first wishes to thank the staff for taking considerable time to show her the conditions firsthand, and for a very frank and sincere discussion.

“The conditions in which we expect staff to operate, and for inmates to live in, is extremely concerning for this day and age. The recent heatwave has compounded these issues, requiring even more Band-Aid solutions for this crumbling facility,” says Conway Ottenheimer.

“Just recently we’ve seen our courts reduce sentences because of the harsh conditions in the prison itself. The Minister needs to act immediately on improving conditions in the prison by all means necessary until the new facility is completed.”

The new facility won’t start construction until 2023 and is scheduled to be completed in 2026 - in all likelihood a minimum of 4 more years of worsening conditions.

“Outside of physical improvements to basic needs such as ventilation improvements, increased/rotating access to open fresh air spaces, alternatives to incarceration can be implemented for non-violent inmates. Community-based supervision and community-based services like bail supervision, adult diversion programs, and house arrest arrangements for non-violent offenders are options that can be expanded upon. Without immediate changes, I fear for the well-being and safety of the facility’s staff and inmates who will have to wait many years before any real improvements,” says Conway Ottenheimer.

Conway Ottenheimer will be meeting with the inmates’ committee in mid-August to hear from them directly about their concerns.

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