Programs available to Hannah Leflar's killer in federal prison

May 19, 2017 - 12:51pm
Hannah Leflar, 16, was found stabbed to death in her north Regina home in January 2015.
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Hannah Leflar, 16, was found stabbed to death in her north Regina home in January 2015.

The sentencing hearing for the murderer of Hannah Leflar continued Friday with a detailed look at the federal prison system – where the teen will spend far more time if sentenced as an adult.

That’s what the Crown has been asking for.

Court heard from Trina Debler, who works for Correctional Service Canada (CSC) at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary at Prince Albert.

She testified in response to psychologist Dr. Terry Nicholiachuk who appeared for the defence earlier this week and stated no programming was available in the federal system.

Debler explained the program is multi-targeted and addresses both the crime and the circumstances of the particular inmate, such as if he had substance abuse issues.

According to Debler, an offender first goes through an introductory course that details what led to the crime and why it happened. That’s followed by modules designed to ensure the inmate doesn't reoffend

Debler added there are maintenance programs and depending on availability everything is offered from the time an inmate arrives so it is completed long before any parole hearings are due.

Crown counsel Chris White asked if the programs were available for those on suicide watch. Debler responded they can participate unless they are high-risk and are being monitored.

Previously in the hearing, court heard the teen has threatened suicide if he is sentenced as an adult.

These CSC programs are also available at the regional psychiatric centre in Saskatoon on top of the mental health supports already offered at that facility.

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer James Struthers, Debler testified typically inmates in segregation do not participate because the programming is group-driven and instead work on issues that will get them desegregated.

The teen pleaded guilty to stabbing Hannah Leflar to death in her parent's bedroom. He and another teen, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, plotted and planned the murder for several months.

Victim impact statements from Leflar's family will be read Friday afternoon.

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