04/14/2015 02:51 EDT | Updated 06/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Manitoba Kids Kept In Jail Longer Due To Lack Of Foster Care Spots, Says Children's Advocate

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WINNIPEG - Manitoba's children's advocate says kids in the care of social services are being kept in jail long after they should be released because there is nowhere else to put them.

Darlene MacDonald says she has received calls from judges who want to release youths from police custody, but can't because they don't have anywhere to go.

She says judges have said they don't want to see youth put up in hotels, so the children remain in jail until Child and Family Services can find somewhere for them to stay.

MacDonald says she recently visited Manitoba's youth detention centre and was distressed by the stories of children there.

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, says he has raised the issue with the attorney general and the family services minister, but nothing is being done.

He says vulnerable kids are caught up in the justice system unnecessarily rather than being in a loving, nurturing home.


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