Release findings of HMP doctor review, says NDP

Newfoundland and Labrador's NDP justice critic is calling for the release of a review of the doctor who provides psychiatric services to provincial correctional facilities.

“It points once again to the real problems that we have in psychiatric services in our correctional system,” said St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers, following a convicted robber's request last week for sentencing outside the province to avoid Dr. David Craig.

“I’ve received a number of complaints from inmates, and their families as well, about people in prisons here being taken off drugs that they were prescribed by their own physicians.”

On Friday, Camille Strickland-Murphy asked a judge to sentence her to two years plus a day in prison for a robbery she committed in April.

Her lawyer said Strickland-Murphy asked for a sentence that she would serve in a federal facility outside Newfoundland and Labrador because Craig has already altered her medication while she was in custody.

Rogers said it is unacceptable.

“I truly believe that we are in the realm of human rights abuses in the way some of our inmates are treated,” she said.

Rogers said a former prison guard, Ed Taylor, who was convicted for trying to smuggle drugs into prison, has had his prescription altered in prison despite a court order that his drugs not be changed.

The NDP justice critic called on the provincial government to take action.

“It would be very interesting to see what the peer review (of Dr. Craig) says I understand some of the issues of confidentiality with peer reviews, but I do believe that the basic recommendations of it can be released,” said Rogers.

In March 2011, the provincial justice minister ordered a peer review of Craig's work at the penitentiary. The government said it has received the peer review, but is still considering it.

Craig has not a returned a call from CBC News to his office on Friday.

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