Tag Archives: Canada

Canada: Prison doctor touts advantages of keeping mom, baby together in jail

From the article: “Keeping incarcerated mothers and babies together in jail has multiple physical and social health benefits for the pair, a prison doctor testified Monday.”

Read more here.
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Canada: Inmate dies of drug overdose, inquest hears

From the article: “Baxter suspects the drugs that killed Fawcett were smuggled into Niagara Detention Centre, hidden in the one place where guards “are not allowed to search.” He said people sometimes use small plastic containers to hold drugs, and hide them in their rectum.”

Read more here.

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Canada: Edmonton prison guards could face discipline

From the article: “Guards who participated in a five-day illegal strike at the Edmonton Remand Centre have been told they could face discipline despite what the union believed were assurances from the province that no striker would be reprimanded.”

I still don’t know how you can have a strike at a correctional facility…

Read the article here.

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Canada: Don Jail homicide: inmate describes horrible beating

Where were the staff in this incident?

From the article: “Phillip had once had the prestigious job of “corridor man” on the range, which required him to perform chores but conferred certain perqs, court has heard. But he was transferred out of the range several months before his death, only returning Jan. 1. He immediately tried to reassert his authority, the prosecution has said.”

Read the details of this incident, which took place in multiple locations on the unit for an extended amount of time and included the victim’s cries for help, none of which prompted a staff response, here.

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Canada: Prison probes allegations guard traded ‘sex for drugs’

From the article: “The Ontario women’s prison under the microscope for the 2007 fatal self-strangulation of troubled teen Ashley Smith is grappling with new allegations that a male guard was smuggling drugs in exchange for sexual favours from at least one female inmate.”

Read more here.

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Canada: Prisons watchdog: Some lessons ‘ignored’ since Ashley Smith death

Surveillance footage has recently been released of staff treatment of a mentally ill girl who was housed in a Canadian prison.  The video shows the girl with a hood over her head, duct taped into a suicide blanket, and then duct-taped into a chair.  The girl later committed suicide by hanging herself.

The federal Correctional Investigator, Howard Sapers, said that he was concerned since first seeing the videos five years ago, as well as overall concern regarding how the corrections system handles the mentally ill.  He states that “basic promises, such as allowing mental health professionals to review serious incidents or insuring that mentally ill inmates don’t spend long periods of time in segregation, are not being fulfilled.”

Read more here.
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B.C. coroner’s jury makes 5 proposals to avoid more inmate murders

A Canadian inquest that looked into the recent murder of an inmate by his serial killer cellie made the following recommendations after listening to two days of testimony:

  • Prisons across the country should consider housing multiple murderers in their own cells and allow dangerous offenders to jump the queue for their own sleeping quarters
  • “all information” regarding inmates be made available to a broader group of staff before a transfer is approved
  • mandatory single accommodation should be considered in the case of multiple murderers
  • measures implemented at Mountain Institute following its own internal investigation into the death be carried out on a national level, such as requiring wardens to report on progress of high-profile inmates transferred from “special handling units.”
  • Corrections should review its policy regarding flashlight intensity and explore alternate technologies to detect inmates’ body heat

Read more here.

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Canada: Prison officials thought man who killed his cell mate was reforming

According to the article, staff said that the inmate “had been compliant with rules and regulations and hadn’t been charged for any violent behaviour during the nine months prior, during which he was living with other inmates, but had his own cell.  McGray had been kept mostly segregated during his incarceration since about 2000.”

His cellmate had reportedly expressed reservations about bunking with him, but either did not complete the paperwork or did not have enough time, as McGray killed him a week after they became bunkies.
Security classification…never easy.
Read more here.
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Canada: Rise in prison gangs fuelling violence, drug trade

From the article: “Corrections Canada has seen a 44 per cent jump in gang members in federal prisons in the last five years, to 2,040 in 2012 from 1,421 in 2007, according to the documents obtained under access to information.”

Similar to American prison security threat groups (aka gangs), Canadian gangs use their power to engage in criminal activities, such as the contraband and drug trade and extortion of weaker inmates.

“Some measures taken to combat the gang problem include more training, more intelligence officers, more collaboration with police and justice partners and a prohibition of gang colours and paraphernalia.”

Read more here.

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Record-high prison numbers sparking violence

From the article: “Canada’s prison population has reached an all-time high , with more inmates sharing cells designed for one, a situation that has raised tensions and led to growing violence, Canada’s correctional investigator says.

Howard Sapers, an ombudsman for inmates, presented the latest figures during a weekend national symposium on prison overcrowding in Ottawa that drew about 80 of Canada’s top criminologists, lawyers and prison experts.”

I have long found it ironic/humorous that Canadians raise the issue of double-bunking as a serious safety issue in prisons, when American prisons have been double or even triple-bunking for decades.

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