Friday, November 9, 2012

Rae calls for public inquiry into Ashley Smith’s prison death

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae is calling for a public inquiry to get to the root of the tragedy that befell Ashley Smith, the troubled teen who choked to death in her prison cell as guards stood watch.
And he wants the inquiry to go beyond the particulars of Ms. Smith’s death to expose the general inability of the prison system to cope with mentally ill offenders.

Mr. Rae made the call Thursday after concluding the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper won’t on its own reveal everything it knows about the Smith case.

He expressed frustration that the Conservative government has not responded to his repeated questions as to whether more videos exist documenting the mistreatment of Ms. Smith and other mentally ill offenders.

Since the release last week of two disturbing videos showing Ms. Smith being restrained with duct tape and injected with powerful anti-psychotic drugs against her will, the government has said it has ordered corrections officials to co-operate fully with a coroner’s inquest into Ms. Smith’s death.

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