Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

The Government of Nfld L. paid $1 million to lawyers for 10 correctional officers

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Ten correctional officers had been accused of manslaughter and negligence following the death of an inmate at Her Majesty's Penitentiary, Saint John, in 2019. The charges were ultimately dropped.

  • Patrick Butler (View profile)Patrick Butler

The Newfoundland and Labrador government had to pay more than $1 million to lawyers for 10 correctional officers who were accused of causing the death of an Inuk inmate in 2019.

After the death of Jonathan Henoche, who died in a solitary confinement cell after an altercation with officers, the province refused to pay the legal fees of the 10 employees.

Their union intervened, however, and an arbitrator ultimately ruled in February 2021 that the government had an obligation to pay legal fees under their collective agreement.

The total bill of $1,023,621.49, obtained under the Access to Information Act, had never been made public.

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Three agents working at the Penitentiary of Her Majesty, in Saint-Jean, had been accused of involuntary manslaughter following the death of Jonathan Henoche. Seven others were charged with criminal negligence causing death. All charges were ultimately dismissed.

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Jonathan Henoche died in prison on November 6, 2019. He was charged with first degree murder of 'an 88 year old woman.

The 10 officers are currently suing the provincial government, the Royal Constabulary and the chief medical examiner. They allege that the investigation into Jonathan Henoche's death was flawed and caused damage to their mental health, reputations and finances.

Jonathan Henoche's family is also suing the provincial government. She claims the 33-year-old was mistreated while in custody.

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