OTTAWA — The number of inmate disturbances in federal prisons has risen significantly on the Conservative watch, according to government figures that suggest last year’s 357 incidents marked a 12-year high.

Since the Conservatives took office there have been 840 inmate disturbances, according to figures reported in Public Accounts. During the previous six years under the Liberals, there were 482. The total cost of damages, however, has gone down. Inmate disturbances cost the government more than $1.2 million over the last six years, compared to $2.8 million during the previous six. That said, nearly half the damages recorded before the Tories took office were reported in 2001-02, the same year two major riots broke out at Drumheller and Edmonton Institutions. Also, since the government began tracking “intentional fires” two years ago, there have been 26.

Although the Correctional Service of Canada says the figures may be skewed since the government…

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