Another Pregnancy Issue at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre by Jamie Gilcig FEB 3, 2017

Another Pregnancy Issue at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre by Jamie Gilcig FEB 3, 2017

Cornwall Ontario – It’s amazing the games that politicians play with the lives of citizens.    After the Julie Bilotta case which has resulted in a $1.3 million dollar lawsuit on her behalf via Super Lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, yet another incident has occurred at the much maligned facility.

Clearly not enough was changed in the culture of the facility after Ms Bilotta’s breech birth in the facility.

Now a pregnant inmate has suffered a miscarriage in her jail cell after her cries for help were allegedly ignored.  She would eventually be transferred to hospital via prison van rather than an ambulance.  Her reason to be locked up?

Simple theft.

The province recently released a headline entitled:

Ontario Making Criminal Justice System Faster and Fairer

The Ontario Attorney General’s office, which is at the root of much overcrowding and injustice to prisoners in the province is essentially and simply going to be given more money to hire more lawyers and staff which in this writer’s opinion is not the solution.

A clean up at the AG is.

The government’s plan to reduce time-to-trial and improve the bail system will enhance public safety by speeding up the resolution of criminal cases and making more supports and supervision available to vulnerable, low-risk individuals who come in contact with the law.

Do you really need an inquiry to figure this one out?  Should Bilotta, this woman, or countless others be locked up in overcrowded facilities while Crown Attorneys dither away on the public dime?

The plan includes:

  • Appointing 13 more judges to the Ontario Court of Justice, as well as adding 32 assistant Crown attorneys, 16 duty counsel, and 26 court staff to ensure faster justice.

Yasir Naqvi, the Attorney General stated:

“Our criminal justice system must work to protect the interests of all people — victims, the public and the accused. Ontario is working with all levels of government, the judiciary and community partners to ensure that cases get to court faster, and that people waiting for their trials are not held in custody if they don’t have to be there. By improving these fundamental parts of our criminal justice system we will make our communities safer.”

Those are fine words from the AG, but do they have any meaning or punch behind them?   Will hiring more judges and crown attorneys really address issues such as staff ignoring prisoner complaints?    After the Bilotta cases how many OCDC staff were sanctioned or terminated?   How many of its management were condemned, removed, or penalized?

A huge part of the problem is the politicizing of the process of hiring judges and dishing out justice.    The costly delays, and of course the cost to the economy for the entire circus, which usually results in extreme hardships for those caught in the grasp of the system.

After the Bilotta case there should have been a massive clean up at the OCDC.   For another similar event  to happen again in the same facility clearly shows that it didn’t occur,  which in some ways make this incident worse than Bilotta’s.   Clearly people need to be held accountable.

Unlike the Bilotta case, this situation transpired over a 15 day period.    In spite of the Elizabeth Fry Society trying to assist why didn’t the OCDC take better care of this woman?   Why was she even held?

According to reports the fetal remains don’t even remain, most likely being disposed of by the Centre.

In 2017 do we really need to lock up pregnant offenders for non violent crime?   This writer thinks not.

I also think it’s time to hold people responsible for these and other incidents, from the AG’s offices right down to the OCDC facility.      After all, if society can’t conduct itself in a professional manner and observe its own laws why should we be locking up others for the same?

What do you think dear CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.

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