Ashley Smith’s abuse at the hands of Correctional Service Canada’s staff should make Canadians question their confidence in CSC’s ability to humanely treat and rehabilitate anyone. People should consider the prison staff’s dehumanizing treatment of a teenage girl. We can now see how long the odds are that a prisoner under CSC’s care will be “rehabilitated”.
It didn’t appear like this was the first time CSC staff manhandled an inmate to administer drugs – they didn’t just rush out to buy hazmat suits and gas masks only to restrain Ashley Smith. How many other people have been on the receiving end of CSC’s unique hospitality? How widespread is this type of abuse? Any other victims must be heard at a full commission of inquiry into the CSC and its treatment of prisoners.
The next time you hear anyone argue that we should get tough on crime by sending our youth to jail think about Ashley Smith. Think of how frightened she was. Think of her asking, “How can it get worse?” Think of her grave.