Warning: Some may find the details in this story disturbing
SASKATOON – A 21-year-old Métis inmate who was allegedly abused by guards at Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women in Prince Albert is being moved to Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.
Legal aid lawyer Kim Armstrong told Saskatoon Provincial Court Thursday that an arrangement has been made between Pine Grove and Saskatchewan Hospital to have Joline Jacques transferred for mental health treatment.
“I confirmed that is the plan and Saskatchewan Hospital is expecting her. I talked to Pine Grove supervisors and Saskatchewan Hospital and they are aware of what is happening.”
Armstrong said Jacques will be placed at the hospital for 30 days for “stabilization” and isn’t being admitted into the forensic unit for psychiatric assessment.
“She is having significant mental health issues and they will formulate a plan to stabilize her.”
Judge Brad Mitchell remanded Jacques to Saskatchewan Hospital and adjourned her criminal matters to Feb. 4, 2022.
“Awesome thank you,” said Jacques, who appeared by CCTV in Saskatoon Provincial Court from Pine Grove Correctional Centre.
She is charged with mischief, breach of release conditions, assaulting a peace officer, and obstructing a peace officer.
Jacques was allegedly held in solitary confinement 41 days, pepper sprayed, tear gassed, stripped naked, and forced by eight guards into a cold shower where she was left all night on cold cement until parts of her body turned blue.
Earlier this month Pine Grove inmate 26-year-old Sharise Sutherland spoke out against the alleged abuse of Jacques by guards.
“I see what she is going through,” Sutherland told SASKTODAY.ca on Dec. 18. “She has been in segregation [solitary confinement] 41 days and that’s not something they usually do here because there are only a particular number of days allowed.”
At the time of the alleged incidents, Jacques was waiting to be transferred to Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford for mental health treatment.
Indigenous right's advocates had called for the guards to be fired.
“Abuse of Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s provincial correctional system must be met with consequence,” said Kim Beaudin, vice-chief of Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP).
“Joline, like all inmates, deserves to be treated with dignity, and the correctional officers responsible must be fired. Time and time again, Canada’s provincial correctional centres fail to provide Indigenous peoples with basic human rights and safe custody."
A spokesperson from Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety said the Ministry wasn't able to comment on specific incidents, but added that the primary concern in any of the province’s correctional facilities is the safety and security of staff, offenders and the facility itself.
“While we are unable to speak to incidents involving specific inmates, when allegations like this are made, the ministry reviews the circumstances internally to ensure proper processes and policies are being followed,” said Noel Busse.