LONDON, ON, July 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Five days of escalating inmate
tensions inside the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre is putting the
health and safety of correction officers at risk, says the union that
represents staff at the facility.
"The presence of small fires, flooding, sharp-edge weapons and damaged
cell doors has combined to put the safety and security of our members
at significant risk," said Dan Sidsworth, who represents provincial
correctional officers with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union
including more than 260 correctional officers and staff who work at the
London provincial jail.
"The situation could be safely diffused if management begins a 'slow
release' of prisoners whereby small rotating groups of inmates are
allowed to leave their cells to shower and groom before returning to
their cells," Sidsworth added.
Since the inmate unrest started five days ago, the detention centre has
called in tactical units known as Institutional Crisis Intervention
teams to bring order and control to the situation. Four inmates have
been transferred to other correctional facilities.
"Thankfully none of our correctional officers have been harmed but
conditions inside EMDC are close to the boiling point and senior
management must work harder to ensure that this trouble does not
escalate into a full-blown riot," said Sidsworth.
Anger and tensions inside the cell blocks at EMDC started late last week
when inmates began to demonstrate against overcrowded conditions and
cut-backs in programming.
For further information:
OPSEU Community Safety & Correctional Services