Imprisoned serial rapist Selva Subbiah(inset) is an outrageous manipulator, in addition to his well-established record as a pernicious predator who has exploited and assaulted women and young girls, but his latest ploy fell flat. The Federal Court rejected Subbiah’s claim of negligence and breach of privacy against Corrections Canada and the Parole Board of Canada. Though the court didn’t say it, Subbiah’s claim was a laughably transparent attempt to extort money from the government after Subbiah was stabbed in May 2009 during a dispute with other convicts at Kingston Penitentiary. Remarkably, Subbiah claimed that he was attacked because his monstrous criminal past was exposed when Cancrime posted online a copy of a December 2008 parole decision. [Read more...]
Triple killer Daljit Singh Dulay (inset), who murdered his sister, her husband and another man, in a bid to restore his traditional Indian family’s honour, has won the right to leave prison with no supervision. At a hearing this month, the Parole Board of Canada decided to give Dulay unescorted passes (full record of hearing after jump) that will permit him to leave prison for short periods. He will be able to visit family at their homes in the Lower Mainland in British Columbia, unless the Border Services Agency decides to deport him. He’s subject to a deportation order imposed in 1993 but authorities could choose not to act on it immediately. Dulay is incarcerated at a minimum-security prison in B.C.
A labour tribunal decision has exposed an ugly feud between Alfred Legere (inset), former warden of Nova women’s prison in Truro, Nova Scotia, and top bosses at Corrections Canada, in a case related to the controversial death of Ashley Smith, a teenage prisoner who choked herself to death in October 2007 at Grand Valley Institution, a federal prison for women in Kitchener, Ontario. Smith’s death is now the subject of a highly publicized inquest that has revealed dramatic CSC failures in the handling of a difficult inmate with serious mental health problems. Legere, who already has testified at the inquest, claims, in internal grievances he has filed, that he has been subjected to harassment, gross mismanagement and he has been scapegoated by CSC over the Smith case. Legere claims that a transfer to another prison was, in fact, a double demotion that amounted to disguised punishment. The details of Legere’s battle with his bosses appear to have been kept quiet, until now. The fight isn’t over so more details may yet emerge.
The CSC Pipes & Drums performed “Amazing Grace” from an upper tier catwalk overlooking the main dome of Kingston Penitentiary during the private decommissioning ceremony held at the prison on October 24 (video after jump). VIPs, including former staff, family of staff who died at KP, and Corrections brass were on hand for the formal event marking the end of the facility’s life as a functioning penitentiary, 178 years after it opened in 1835 at Hatter’s Bay. No decision has been made about the fate of the vast property, which comprises more than 40 buildings within the 20-acre walled compound on the shore of Lake Ontario.
The Harper government has done a good job of silencing critics from within, bureaucratics and caucus members who disagree with the government’s often regressive and ideologically-driven policies on crime and justice. But the Cons face a formidable new foe who can’t be silenced or dismissed as a crackpot. Six months after retirement, a long-serving and universally admired architect of federal crime and justice measures, Mary Campbell (inset), has unleashed withering criticism of the Tories, calling their so called tough-on-crime measures a series of “slogans and failed policies” that reflect a “deep, visceral nastiness” and “do nothing to reduce or address crime.”
Eifion Wyn (Wayne) Roberts (inset), an Alberta farmer who shot to death an oil patch worker, a father of four, has been granted full parole, after 15 years behind bars. The decision to release Roberts was made yesterday by the Parole Board of Canada. Roberts shot Patrick Kent on October 3, 1998, on Roberts’ farm near Bowden, 100 kilometres north of Calgary in a killing described in court as “execution style.” Witnesses to the shooting said that Roberts was holding a handgun and shouting at Kent during a confrontation. He fired several shots and Kent fell to the ground. According to the witnesses, Roberts stepped closer to the fallen man and fired several more shots into his body. An autopsy showed that one bullet traveled through Kent’s right wrist, then entered and exited through his abdomen; one entered his left temple; and three entered the back of his head. The three in the back of the head were lethal injuries. With prompt medical attention, Kent might have survived the first two.
A notorious bank robber with a 30-year record of nearly 200 violent crimes that led to the rare imposition of a life sentence may have escaped from a federal prison in British Columbia. West Shore RCMP have issued a release indicating that they’re at William Head Institution, a minimum-security facility on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The Mounties say that Michiel Gordon Hollinger, 61, is unaccounted for. “Police are currently assisting the institution in locating an inmate inside their facility,” the RCMP says, in a release. “It is unknown at this time whether this inmate has left the grounds of the facility.” Hollinger may be relatively unknown in B.C., but he’s notorious in Ontario, where he committed many of his violent robberies. He wrote a book about his exploits, boasting that he’d rather be “wanted than had.” Back then, he was known as Mitchell McArthur, before he changed his name.
(UPDATE: At 12:50 PDT, RCMP issued an update, revealing that Hollinger was found on the grounds of the institution by an RCMP dog unit)
(SECOND UPDATE): On October 8 the RCMP charged McArthur (Hollinger) with escaping lawful custody.
It’s hard to tell who has it right when it comes to “explicit” entertainment that is accessible to roughly 15,000 convicts in more than 50 federal penitentiaries across Canada. Frederik Boisvert, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney was quoted today in a Postmedia News story as saying that his former boss, Vic Toews, instructed Corrections Canada “to eliminate sexually explicit television programming.” Said Boisvert: “We have been assured that prisoners cannot access this material.” This unequivocal claim appears to be contradicted by a procurement notice posted in May this year on a website that advertises government contracts that are open to bidders. The notice, for a $1.7-million contract to provide cable TV service to nine federal penitentiaries in British Columbia, noted that the service could not feature “sexually explicit” adult channels, but some basic channels could contain “explicit content.”
Say “prison weapon,” and most people think of handcrafted knives – known in convict parlance as ’shanks’ and ’shivs.’ They’re the most plentiful illegal weapons found inside jails and prisons because they are easily crafted and concealed. Often, they are crude – sharpened butter knives or spoons that have been flattened and honed to a point, for instance. But some convicts combine equal portions ingenuity, resourcefulness and desperation to produce truly remarkable prison weaponry. Frighteningly deadly and destructive arms turn up every so often and fortunately, most such weapons are ferreted out by prison staff before they’re put to use. Such was the case in 1972 at medium-security Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, Ontario, where staff discovered that a convict or convicts had crafted a deadly, working shotgun (pic after the jump) using common bits of hardware.
What is Canada’s federal prison system worth? It’s a sprawling network of 75 properties that cover more than 6,000 hectares (that’s roughly the size of 10,000 Canadian football fields) across the country and includes 56 institutions. The figures come from an internal 2008 Corrections Canada document (after the jump) that was made public some time ago by the Information Transparency Project, a group based in Kingston, Ontario. The group says it obtained the document through Access to Information law. Though the doc is five years old, it contains a fascinating figure, the estimated replacement cost for the entire prison system. The price tag is a whopping $5 billion. That’s enough cash to build more than 450 typical elementary schools.