Justice Minister Darin King speaks to reporters about a review into psychiatric services in the province. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
The provincial government has released a report into psychiatric services in the province's correctional system, which exonerates prison psychiatrist Dr. David Craig.
Craig has been a source of controversy within the justice system for more than four years, with inmates and workers within the system talking about his conservative attitude towards psychiatric medication.
Multiple government reports have called into question Craig's practice, and in the spring of 2010, the government ordered a peer review into his service.
Dr. Philip Klassen, from Ontario, reviewed Craig's service and concluded that "Overall, Dr. Craig meets the standard of care, where that standard is comparable service provision in other provinces."
Klassen made five recommendations for improving psychiatric care in Newfoundland and Labrador prisons, specifically pointing to the fact that Craig currently works "within a professional vacuum" and by being part of a treatment team, he would be better able to serve inmates.
The peer review involved interviews with Dr. Craig, nurses within the prison system and Barry Fleming, the province's ombudsman who wrote a report calling into question Craig's treatment practices.
Based on the peer review document provided to reporters, it does not appear that Klassen interviewed any current or former inmates.
Justice Minister Darin King held a news conference to discuss the findings of the peer review.
He said the important thing about the report was that it was independent and objective.
"Today I am pleased to be releasing this review in its entirety. I accept Dr. Klassen's recommendations," King said.
"I recently met personally with Dr. Craig to discuss the review, and he said he would co-operate fully."