09/30/2013 12:21 EDT | Updated 11/30/2013 05:12 EST

Self-injury incidents soar at women's prisons

The number of self-injury incidents in federal prisons has increased dramatically over the past five years, according to a report released Monday by the Office of the Correctional Investigator, and women account for a disproportionate amount of that jump.

The report looks at how the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) responds to such incidents, including the use of force, discipline and criminal charges to prevent or manage chronic self-injury among federally sentenced women.

This comes since the death of 19-year-old Ashley Smith, who killed herself in the presence of prison staff. Her death is the subject of a coroner's inquiry in Ontario.


The report found that rather than health care professionals at the prison being the first to respond, it was the security staff.

n a statement, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said, "We believe that prisons are not the appropriate place to treat those with serious mental illness."

Blaney's statement also said that the 

But Sapers said despite government investment and increased training, he's having to make the same recommendations over and over.