More on “Spa-Day”

Even though Corrections Canada denies it, the fact is, I WANT there to have been a Spa Day just like I want to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

No ‘spa day’ for inmates: prison spokesperson

TORONTO – The Correctional Service of Canada is denying a report that women serving sentences at a federal prison in Kitchener enjoyed a spa day last month.

FROM SEP. 5, 2004: Giving prisoners a spa day was criminal: Toronto police chief

The report, published in the National Post on Saturday, said inmates at the Grand Valley Institution for Women enjoyed a “luxurious spa day” on Aug. 21, getting

manicures and pedicures as they listened to harp serenades and drank tea from

fine china. Diane Russon, a spokesperson with Correctional Service of Canada, said that’s not an accurate representation of what happened. There were two half-day workshops at the prison last month, during which volunteers taught the inmates basic hygiene skills, including nail-filing and skin care lessons, she said. “They were demonstrations,” Russon says. “They were not actually procedures that were performed for the women individually. It was done in a workshop, group-type setting.”

Russon said these annual activity days are aimed at helping the women with their self-esteem and teaching them how to establish good habits that will help them readjust when they leave prison. The National Post story also said two convicted murderers were “among those pampered”: Mary Taylor, who stabbed an undercover police officer to death, and Marcia Dooley, convicted of torturing and murdering her seven-year-old stepson. Russon said the two women were invited, along with all the other inmates, but did not attend. The report of the spa day angered Toronto police Chief Julian Fantino and the Police Association of Ontario. Both released statements saying convicted criminals shouldn’t be living in luxury while serving time. “I think the message it sends to police officers is that something has gone badly wrong,” says Mark Pugash, a spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service. “That people who have been convicted of society’s worst crimes are being treated in a way which is probably better than many people who’ve been perfectly

law-abiding taxpaying citizens.”

The story also prompted Fantino to request a meeting with Anne McLellan, the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, about overhauling the justice system. McLellan has said she wants answers about the conflicting reports on the event.

Written by CBC News Online staff


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