In­mate es­capes Sask. heal­ing lodge

National Post (National Edition) - - NEWS - dou­glas quan

An in­mate es­caped Fri­day af­ter­noon from a Saskatchewan heal­ing lodge that has been the fo­cus of con­tro­versy af­ter a high-pro­file con­victed child killer was trans­ferred there.

The Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice of Canada said in a news re­lease that Joely Lam­bourn, 45, who was serv­ing a 21/2-year sen­tence for dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death, was dis­cov­ered miss­ing at 12:25 p.m. dur­ing a head count at the Oki­maw Ohci Heal­ing Lodge in Maple Creek, Sask. RCMP were im­me­di­ately no­ti­fied and a war­rant was is­sued for her ar­rest.

Lam­bourn was serv­ing time af­ter be­ing con­victed of the May 2015 death of cy­clist Deric Kryvenchuk near Oko­toks, Alta. A judge de­ter­mined that Lam­bourn was dis­tracted while driv­ing — likely by her cell­phone — when she veered off the road and hit Kryvenchuk, 41.

She was a sus­pended driver at the time and had a his­tory of traf­fic vi­o­la­tions re­lated to speed­ing and careless driv­ing.

Heal­ing lodges for fe­male of­fend­ers, like the one in Maple Creek, are min­i­mum/ medium–se­cu­rity fa­cil­i­ties. A de­scrip­tion of the Oki­maw heal­ing lodge on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s web­site says pro­grams “ad­dress vo­ca­tional train­ing, fam­ily and chil­dren, Abo­rig­i­nal lan­guage, and na­ture” and “women learn how to live in­de­pen­dently by cook­ing, do­ing laun­dry, clean­ing, and do­ing out­door main­te­nance chores.”

Of­fend­ers are housed in a mix of sin­gle and fam­ily res­i­den­tial units that in­clude liv­ing rooms and kitch­enettes.

Ac­cord­ing to the cor­rec­tional ser­vice web­site, heal­ing lodges em­ploy Abo­rig­i­nal val­ues, tra­di­tions and be­liefs in de­vel­op­ing pro­grams for of­fend­ers. “The ap­proach to cor­rec­tions is holis­tic and spir­i­tual. Pro­grams in­clude guid­ance and sup­port from El­ders and Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties.”

The Oki­maw lodge came un­der scru­tiny in the past month af­ter it was learned that Terri-Lynne McClin­tic, who is serv­ing a life sen­tence for the first-de­gree mur­der in 2009 of eight-year-old Tori Stafford of Wood­stock, Ont., had been trans­ferred there from an On­tario prison.

The trans­fer sparked out­rage among Stafford’s fam­ily mem­bers and in the House of Com­mons. Fol­low­ing the pub­lic out­cry, McClin­tic was moved out of the heal­ing lodge this week to a prison in Ed­mon­ton. She was to be im­pris­oned in the medium se­cu­rity wing.

Fed­eral Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale also an­nounced there would be greater re­stric­tions on trans­fers to heal­ing lodges for those of­fend­ers serv­ing long sen­tences.

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