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Justin Jennings released from custody

Justin Jennings smiles as he is escorted from a St. John’s courtroom to the holding cells for a final time, to await the paperwork releasing him from custody.
Justin Jennings smiles in a file photo as he is escorted from a St. John’s courtroom to the holding cells for a final time, to await the paperwork releasing him from custody. - Tara Bradbury

Ex-inmate who spoke out about conditions inside HMP facing driving charge

A C.B.S. man who spoke out about conditions inside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary — and who received extra credit upon sentencing earlier this year for the treatment he endured in jail — has once again been released from custody.

Justin Jennings, 34, was arrested by the RNC early Monday morning and charged with driving while disqualified and breaching a court order.

He made a brief appearance in provincial court late Monday afternoon, and was remanded until Tuesday. The Crown had indicated it was opposing Jennings’ release, but Tuesday afternoon lawyers came to an agreement released Jennings on a $1,000 surety from a friend.

Jennings must abide by a number of strict conditions, including that he stay away from alcohol and anywhere that sells it, that he not leave the province, and that he not occupy the driver’s seat in a vehicle. He’s due to be back in court on the charges Oct. 23, however sources say more charges are expected to be laid.

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Jennings made headlines last spring when Judge James Walsh released him from custody with a sentence of time served on three assault charges, a dangerous driving charge and court order breaches, saying Jennings had suffered undue hardship at HMP.

Walsh made strong statements about the conditions Jennings had endured in the prison, saying the institution had failed to protect him and the inmates he assaulted when staff placed him in segregation excessively, inappropriately discontinued his medication and in other ways, despite his deteriorating mental health.
In video shown to the court during his sentencing hearing, Jennings appeared to attack the other inmates unprovoked.

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