Correctional Investigator Releases Report on the Management of Chronic Self-Injury Among Federally Sentenced Women


For Immediate Release 

Ottawa, September 30, 2013 – Six years after the death of 19-year-old Ashley Smith, significant challenges remain in respect to the management and treatment of chronic self-injury among federally sentenced women, finds an investigative report issued today by the Correctional Investigator of Canada.

In releasing his report, the Correctional Investigator, Mr. Howard Sapers, drew attention to the fact that chronic self-injury among women offenders continues to be routinely met with control and security-focused responses – pepper spray, segregation, physical restraints, disciplinary (and sometimes criminal) charges and institutional transfers. The investigation raises ongoing concerns and questions about the capacity of the Correctional Service of Canada to safely and appropriately manage the most acute cases of mental illness and chronic self-injury.

The full report cited in this release and backgrounder is available at: .

As the ombudsman for federally sentenced offenders, the Office of the Correctional Investigator serves Canadians and contributes to safe, lawful and humane corrections through independent oversight of the Correctional Service of Canada by providing accessible, impartial and timely investigation of individual and systemic concerns.


For more information, please contact:

Ivan Zinger, J.D., Ph.D.  
Executive Director and General Counsel  
(613) 990-2690 

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