Aboriginal Inmate Upset Over Lack Of Programming

Thursday, July 08, 2004 at 13:42



An Aboriginal inmate at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre is speaking out against what he says is a lack of spiritual programming in the facility.


Keenan Ballantyne has been in and out of various institutions over the past 20 years.


A band member of a northern Saskatchewan First Nation, Ballantyne says he and others are currently frustrated by a lack of programming at the correctional facility — particularly in the area of First Nations spirituality.


Ballantyne says he feels it would be in the best interests of everyone at the jail if the inmates were allowed to hold traditional ceremonies meaningful to them.


Ballantyne says the Prince Albert Grand Council currently offers a program once a week to the inmates, but he’d still like to see more.


He says he and others have expressed their concerns to an ombudsman, but nothing significant has come of it.


He hopes prison officials will acknowledge their concerns and look for more ways programming could be offered in the coming months.