Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ashley Smith


"If I die then I will never have to worry about upsetting my Mom again.
I will call my Mom before bed and have one more chat. Somehow I have to let her know that none of this is her fault. I don’t know why I’m like I am but I know she didn’t do it to me. "

How did a New Brunswick teenager arrested for throwing crab apples at a postal worker wind up spending six years in prison, the last 11 and a half months in solitary confinement, the last month without a mattress or a blanket, before committing suicide at age 19 one month before she was eligible for release?

After five investigations, the transferring out of the warden and deputy warden, the firing of four guards and criminal charges laid against another four, and a recommendation that TASERS™ no longer be used against mentally unstable inmates, the ombudsman for Canada's federal prison system yesterday released The Ashley Smith Report, aimed at preventing similar deaths.

4 comments:

CathiefromCanada said...

What a horrific story this is. I just read about it today in the Globe and I was appalled that our system could have let her down so badly.

Jennifer Smith said...

That is truly horrifying.

And yet, I keep hearing the whiny little voice of some CPC shill like... I dunno... Petite Pierre, trying to explain how this was all just the actions of a mentally deranged young woman who nevertheless was paying the lawful consequences for an unprovoked attack on a government employee, and how it's time we stopped mollycoddling these delinquents and forced them to suck it up and accept responsibility for their actions.

Right?

Alison said...

Yeah, and The Youth Offenders Act, having passed 2nd reading and currently slogging its way through the senate, is the cure.

Starting on page 14 of the ombudsman's report, here are all the things Ashley did to deserve her fate :
-disruptive, disrespectful, non-compliant with school rules, and talked excessively in class
-played chicken with cars on the street
-stalked a school employee
-disrespectful and vulgar towards staff and classmates but remained unmoved when targeted with reprimand.
-refusing to hand over a hair brush
-suicide attempts
-breach of probation, common assault, trespassing and causing a disturbance.
-left her yard without permission and threw some apples at a postal worker
-pulling a fire alarm
-refused to be strip searched
-overheard telling another youth that she was going to inflict self-harm
-refused to hand over a pencil
-made a noose in her cell, told another youth that she was suicidal
-tied the elastic band from her pants around her neck and was hiding behind her cell door to obstruct staff supervision checks
-refusing directives to hand over clothing
-tying material tightly around her neck.
-refused to wear footwear
-overheard telling another youth that she may assault a staff member
-constructed a noose and tied it to a ceiling vent in her cell.
-over one-hundred and fifty self-harm related incidents in a span of three years.
-smeared feces covering the cell window which obstructed supervision checks
-yelling names, and throwing items around in her cell.
-walking around in her cell naked
-covering the cell window and camera with food, toilet paper, and blankets
-assaulting a Correctional officer
-damage to a mattress, a pillow and a pillow case
-influenced her peers on the female unit into making “bad choices”.
-tampering with or destroying fire sprinklers
-biting and spitting
-damaging of institutional property, in most cases, handcuffs.
-slashing her left forearm with a razor blade,
-standing on her bed with two cups filled with an unidentified liquid substance
-refused to comply with a mandatory strip search

I don't think I missed any out.

and here are the disciplinry responses :
-taser
-pepper spray
-solitary confinement
-being wrapped from head-to-toe in bandages
-being placed in an adult facility

witness said...

Hi,
We want to write a few words about the murder of the defenceless man
from our country who was murdered by strangulation, suffoccation and
broken neck at the airport in Vancouver.
He was murdered by murderers, bandits, monsters, beasts, terrorists,
tormentors, torturers, oppressors, psychopaths, mentally sick, druggies,
tampon smokers, fetishists, discriminators, racists, retards, morons,
poo-pooheads, brainwashed, manure, dung, maniacs, idiots, imbeciles,
donkeys, garbage, trash, shit, rats, assholes, dicks, dirty swines, corrupted
swines, dogs, coyotes, pimps; producers, smugglers and dealers of drugs;
pederasts, pedophiles.
The same as above-mentioned terrorized, tortured, tormented
and murdered the Aboriginal-Native People, Chinese, Japanese and other
immigrants and this is happening at present day.

Bye
Think! These murderers burned holes in his body and burned his eye.
This murder was on the base of hate, discrimination and racism.
This murder was premeditated, etc...

Sincerely,
People

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