Baffin Correctional Centre introduces program for inmates to help other inmates

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Baffin Correctional Centre is making an “important operational shift” to allow inmates to assist fellow inmates when incidents arise, Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak said in the legislative assembly on Friday.

Peer councils made up of selected inmates have been introduced at Baffin Correctional Centre. They are responsible for helping other offenders work through issues arising within the jail. NNSL file photo

Peer councils comprising offenders have been created to better reflect the Inuit values of innuqqatigiitsiariq– respecting others and caring for people – and aajiiqatigiiniq– decision making through discussion and consensus, Ehaloak explained.

“The inmates chosen for these positions are expected to model good behavior, give peer support to other inmates, and work cooperatively with facility staff to maintain order on the unit,” Ehaloak said, adding that the rehabilitation and healing model is in its early stages. “When incidents arise within a unit, peer council members attend a restorative justice gathering with the unit staff and supervisor, in order to discuss alternatives to conventional, institutional measures. Peer council members also help provide mediation support for conflict resolution and help with program development.”

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