Archive for April, 2009

N.S. jail riot began during search for missing keys: justice minister

The Canadian Press
April 9, 2009

HALIFAX, N.S. — Nova Scotia’s justice minister says a riot at the province’s largest jail occurred during a search for a set of missing keys.

Cecil Clarke said Thursday the search began on Tuesday during a lockdown and continued Wednesday when the disturbance erupted.

A section of the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Centre was extensively damaged after 59 inmates, who refused to return to their cells, started fires and ransacked a common living unit.

A union official said he was led to believe that guards had to used gas to eventually quell the disturbance, but Clarke said that wasn’t the case and only pepper spray was used.

Clarke said the keys, which would have been used for a classroom or utility room, were still missing.

Meanwhile, 16 prisoners remained under lockdown, with three of those placed in the jail’s segregation unit.

Clarke said it will take a number of days to clean up the damage caused by the riot.

Inmates broke windows and started two fires, one in a garbage can and a more serious blaze in a book shelve in the jail’s common area where inmates can watch television and congregate.

Jim Gosse, president of Local 480 of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, said he wasn’t sure how the fires could have been set because activities such as smoking by inmates and staff are prohibited inside all provincial jails.

He said while the smuggling of contraband material into jails could happen at any time, it may well be easier at the facility, which he says is understaffed in its admission and discharge area.

“With the volume of offenders moving through the admission and discharge area of the facility we simply don’t have enough staff to ensure a proper safe environment,” said Gosse.

The Justice Department said Wednesday that it was working to fill a number of positions at the jail.

Two correctional officers and a supervisor have been added to the admissions and discharge area, and some part-time workers are being elevated to full time.

Opened in 2001 in an industrial park, the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility is designed to house 224 male and 48 female offenders in single cells.

But prisoners are often placed two to a cell because of overcrowding, prompting complaints from both inmates and guards about conditions there.

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Mounties’ homes and detachment vandalized, 2 teens arrested

Friday, April 3, 2009
CBC News [Manitoba]

Two teenagers have been arrested after the homes of two RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officers were spray-painted and the new police detachment on the Bloodvein First Nation was broken into, vandalized and items stolen.

The teens, 14 and 15 years old, are facing break and enter and mischief charges, according to RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Line Karpish.

The officers’ homes were spray-painted in the early hours of April 1 on the reserve, 250 kilometres north of Winnipeg, while the officers were on duty answering a call.

When they returned to the detachment, which is still under construction, they found it had been broken into and damaged. Several tools belonging to a contractor were also stolen.

With the cooperation of members of the community and the Bloodvein citizen patrol, officers identified suspects and arrested them around 5:45 p.m. on April 1. Most of the stolen property has been recovered, said Karpish.

The teens, who are both from the community, are being held in custody in Bloodvein while an investigation continues into a separate break and enter and theft incident as well as mischief to another Bloodvein residence that same night.

Estimates of the damages to the residences and the detachment were not available, said Karpish.

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Police car torched in Montreal

Rue Frontenac, March 31, 2009 [Quebec]

A patrol car from the Montreal Police traffic division was set on fire at the hands of a criminal on Monday night at a community police station in the south-west part of the city.

The event took place at the traffic division community police station at 1625 rue De l’Église (Church Street).

“The flames arose suddenly from the car”, said agent Daniel Lacoursière of the Montreal Police. The police quickly put out the fire with an extinguisher.

No one was injured but the vehicle was severely damaged.

The attack is considered suspicious and will be investigated by the criminal arson section of the Montreal Police. There is no suspect at the moment.

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