Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada, Anne Kelly, in July, during the presentation of the results of the review of the decision to transfer Paul Bernardo to a medium security facility.
Kelly told MPs that inmate transfers are common in the prison system and that incarcerated people are allowed to request to be moved.
A review of the decision to transfer Paul Bernardo revealed in July found that officials followed appropriate policies and that the inmate had long met the criteria to be reclassified as a medium security prisoner, but that he had not was moved only after he had proven that he could fully integrate with other inmates.
I can understand, again, that this particular transfer evokes strong emotions. And rightly so.
A quote from Anne Kelly, Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada
Paul Bernardo, designated a dangerous offender, is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Kristen French, 15, and Leslie Mahaffy, 14, early in the 1990s near St. Catharines, Ontario.
He was also convicted of manslaughter for the death in December 1990, by Tammy Homolka, the 15-year-old sister of his then-wife, Karla Homolka.
Karla Homolka, in 2005
The latter pleaded guilty to manslaughter for her role in the deaths of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. She was released in 2005.
Paul Bernardo also admitted to sexually assaulting 14 other women.
His next parole hearing is scheduled for February 2024, the lawyer for the French and Mahaffy families told The Canadian Press last month.
Many Canadians, outraged by his transfer from a maximum security facility, wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Some said they remember the fear Bernardo caused and are still haunted by the details of his crimes more than 30 years later.
Many Canadians have written to Justin Trudeau's office to deplore the transfer of Paul Bernardo to an institution medium security.
Kelly told the committee on Monday that at this time there is absolutely no question of transferring Bernardo to a lower security level.
She added that inmates classified as high risk to public safety cannot be transferred to a minimum security facility. That includes Bernardo.
He committed absolutely horrible crimes, Ms. Kelly admitted. The other thing I would say is that Paul Bernardo spent 30 consecutive years in maximum security.
The commissioner reiterated MPs that Paul Bernardo is detained in the same area as in a maximum security prison and that the main difference between the two establishments is that, in a medium security prison, the movements of prisoners are not as closely monitored as those of maximum security inmates.