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Changes result from parole officer's death

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 15/06) - Ongoing changes in the way parole officers conduct their duties will ultimately result in safer working conditions, says a spokesperson with Corrections Canada.

"We're looking at ways we can enhance not just the safety of the officers but the community at large," said Jeff Campbell of the Yellowknife Corrections office.

He was speaking about 69 recommendations outlined in a newly-released report by Corrections Canada and the National Parole Board last week.

"Parole officers can request some support if they've got safety concerns, especially for home visits," Campbell said of one of the key changes being implemented in the action plan.

Several changes have been implemented thus far in the plan.

When travelling to remote areas, parole officers are to notify area police as a precaution.

Parole officers also have access to cellular or satellite phones now.

Safety training and the implementation of a safety review committee have also been recommended.

Also, a flag can now be entered on the Offender Management System to identify offenders who have exhibited abusive, threatening, or other potentially dangerous behaviour towards staff or others.

The Board of Investigation report outlines the release and supervision of Eli Ulayuk, a necrophiliac who was on parole for murdering an Iglulik woman in 1988 when he killed parole officer Louise Pargeter.

"It was focused on Ulayuk's involvement with the murder, but the application of the lessons learned is much wider and affect the day-to-day work and safety measures in place for parole officers across the country," Campbell said.

Ulayuk pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the death of Pargeter. He killed her in his apartment during a routine visit on Oct. 6, 2004.