An internal investigation into the mistaken release of an offender from the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility on Nov. 7, has determined that policies and procedures were not followed.
“This is a case where mistakes were clearly made and there are no excuses,” said Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “It’s unacceptable and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again. All staff involved are being held accountable and will be appropriately disciplined.”
Offenders in the facility have photos taken when admitted, and are fitted with a bracelet that includes the photo and other identifying information. The bracelets are to be worn at all times. When an offender is discharged, they are to be identified by the bracelet and then by a photo and signature on file.
It was found correctional staff did not follow policies and procedures. The requirement to wear ID was not enforced, and therefore it was not checked before the offender left the dayroom. Before being released, photographs and signatures were not verified.
Corrective action is being taken with all staff, front-line and supervisory.
Halifax Regional Police have determined offenders conspired to enable one offender to impersonate the other and be discharged. Criminal Code charges have been laid against both offenders.
The investigation report is available at http://novascotia.ca/just/global_docs/Mistaken-release-from-CNSCF-Nov-7.pdf .