TORONTO, March 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The union representing Ontario's
front-line correctional officers says that criminal charges laid
against officers at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) are
"gravely troubling" considering the recent history of violence in this
The charges are in relation to the murder of 29-year-old Adam Harvey
Kargus, an inmate at the facility, on Nov. 1 of last year. Another
inmate was charged in his death.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that his union has been
sounding the alarm about problems at EMDC since mid-2012.
"We are saddened by this death and send our condolences to the family of
the victim," Thomas said. "While we cannot comment on the specifics of
these new charges as they are before the courts, we find it gravely
troubling that front-line officers are now involved."
Thomas said that the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional
Services must face the fact that this facility is overcrowded, has an
outdated design and lacks the proper staffing, staff training and
security equipment to deal with the day-to-day problems inside.
"For over 18 months we have said that tragedies would occur at EMDC
unless the problems that have been identified by front-line officers
were fixed," Thomas said. "From the beginning, the Ministry resisted
making changes. Now, lives have been lost and the very people who
raised the concerns are being criminally charged. This is
heart-breaking on all levels. We can only hope that the Ministry will
make some substantial, useful changes before another tragic incident
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas 416-443-8888
Dan Sidsworth 905-691-7955