Prison self-injury triples: ombudsman
OTTAWA - A federal ombudsman says the number of self-injury incidents in federal penitentiaries has more than tripled since teenager Ashley Smith choked to death in a prison cell in 2007.
A report from the Correctional Investigator of Canada says in 2012-13, there were 901 incidents of recorded prison self-injury involving 264 offenders.
The study says self injury, including cutting, head-banging and self-strangulation, involves inordinate numbers of aboriginal women inmates.
Aboriginal women accounted for nearly 45 per cent of all self-injury incidents involving female prisoners.
Of 264 federal offenders who hurt themselves last year, 17 individuals â€” including nine women â€” accounted for 40 per cent of incidents.
The report recommends the prison system end the practice of putting at-risk inmates in solitary confinement and transfer the most troubled cases to external community psychiatric facilities.