Dec. 20, 2018
NSGEU responds to death inquiry at Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility (CNSCF a.k.a. Burnside)
The outcome of the review into death of an inmate has raised concerns for NSGEU correctional staff who work at the CNSCF in Burnside.
“One thing has to be made absolutely clear, Correctional Officers are not to blame for ‘missed rounds’ the night of Mr. Evans’ death” says MacLean.
“Our members have been contacting my office,” says Jason MacLean, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU). “They are hearing through the media and seeing in the Department of Justice’s own release that staff missed their rounds that evening and are implicated in some way because of this.”
The government’s release states that “staff were absent from the day room responding to another incident,” and that it was “contrary to policy and procedure.” https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20181219001
“If proper staffing levels weren’t maintained to meet “policy and procedure”, who’s fault is that?” asked MacLean. “Our members can’t be in two places at once and the NSGEU has been raising staffing levels issues for a long time.” says MacLean.
An important question that seems to have dropped off the radar is why this man was in the Burnside facility to begin with? says MacLean. “When this review was initiated, Justice Minister Furey said it was going to consider whether a developmentally disabled man should have been there at all.” https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/justice-jail-burnside-death-mark-furey-joshua-evans-1.4823613
“Correctional Facilities should not be warehouses for people with mental illnesses or developmental issues,” says MacLean. “What cannot and should not be lost is all of this is that there is grieving family who has lost a son. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mr. Evan’s friends and family.”