Prison workers brought kids along, endangering safety: watchdog

OTTAWA - A federal watchdog says a Saskatchewan prison repeatedly allowed employees to bring children to work, endangering their safety.

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Public sector integrity commissioner Joe Friday says about one-third of those who worked at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge -- a Correctional Service of Canada facility -- brought children to the penal institution at least 73 times since 2011, violating policy.

Friday tabled a report in Parliament today detailing the case brought forward by whistleblowers.

Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge is a multi-level security institution in Maple Creek, Sask., housing women taken from the general inmate population and provides an open, residential-style environment.

Of the 39 inmates at the lodge, 11 were sentenced or had been previously sentenced for crimes involving children and some inmates had specific conditions imposed on them to not be near children.

The commissioner's office says the Correctional Service collaborated fully throughout the investigation and took immediate measures to address the potentially dangerous situation.



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