Rate of prison escapes increases 45% in 3-year span

RazorwireCorrections Canada doesn’t seem concerned by a 45-per-cent increase in the rate of escapes from penitentiaries over the past three years. The rate in the 2015-16 fiscal year was 1.23 escapes per 1,000 inmates, up from 0.85 three years earlier, according to a departmental plan for 2017-18 recently tabled in parliament (read it in full after the jump). The prison service says that “in spite of the increase in the rate of escapes during the last three years, the results are still meeting CSC’s target.”  It demonstrates that, if you set your expectations suitably low, any achievement is acceptable. This isn’t the only non-success at the $2.5 billion a year penitentiary service. In this three-year period, the rate of “non-natural and undetermined offender deaths in custody” rose by 60 per cent.

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Infamous Kingston Pen throwing open gates to public, again

KPWhen the Conservative government shuttered 178-year-old Kingston Penitentiary, Canada’s oldest prison, in the fall of 2013,  it was briefly opened for two rounds of public tours. Tickets, at $20 each with proceeds to charity, were snapped up quickly and the website selling them crashed under demand. Many people were left disappointed. Unfulfilled curiosity for what lies beyond the 10-metre high, truck-thick stone walls will be satisfied this summer, with the announcement that public tours will resume in late June 2016 and run until the end of October. The tours are possible because the 20-acre complex is mostly empty and disused. While tours may offer a fascinating view of prison conditions, did you know you could have owned a piece of the pen, for a pittance?

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Escape plot foiled at Joyceville federal prison

Joyceville Institution(UPDATED JULY 14) It’s not surprising that convicts at Joyceville Institution, a decaying medium-security federal prison in Ontario that is racked by gang violence and tension, want to get away from the place. It is a brutal, crowded and decrepit facility built on a ridge overlooking the scenic Rideau Canal waterway on the northeastern outskirts of Kingston. Staff there recently discovered an escape plot, sources tell me, just the latest in a series of problems at the 52-year-old penitentiary.

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Convict roundup puts final fugitive behind bars

I was remiss in not posting sooner that the motley crew above, all federal convicts who escaped in 2009 from the same federal prison in Kingston, are now all back behind bars. The last remaining fugitive from Frontenac Institution, Kenneth McBain (centre), was caught January 27 in Toronto by the Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Unit (ROPE), a cross-province team of officers – Ontario’s version of the famed U.S. Marshals. The ROPE squad hunts federal parole violators and escapees.

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Car-chase convict escapee a violent domestic abuser

A federal convict who escaped from minimum-security Beaver Creek penitentiary, near Gravenhurst, Ontario, and then led police in the Toronto area on a wild chase, is a savage domestic abuser who appears to aspire to kill women, Cancrime research shows. Robert John Saunders, 57, was recaptured today after a 200-kilometre chase that ended in a crash.

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And then there were three – escaped cons

The tally of violent cons to escape a minimum-security federal prison in Kingston has risen to three this year with the disappearance yesterday of Kevin Douglas Rice (above left). Rice was last seen at Frontenac Institution, a pen with no fences and no armed guards, at 8:15 a.m., November 26. Staff realized he was gone during a head count at 11:30 a.m. Other escapees this year are Kenneth McBain (centre), who bolted July 6 and is still on the loose and Andrew Wood (right), who was caught days after his escape in June.

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Escapee Evjen too dangerous to release

The National Parole Board has ordered serial bank robber Shawn Evjen (inset) detained in prison until the very last day of his prison sentence, June, 15, 2010, because he’s a dangerous crook who is a “very high” risk to commit new, violent crimes (full document after the jump). It’s anyone guess if he’ll be in prison on that day. Evjen escaped from medium-security Bowden Institution in Alberta on Sept. 14. He was caught in Edmonton on Sept. 30 during a routine traffic stop near that city’s big shopping mall. Two days later, the parole board reviewed his case and issued the detention order.

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Convict to keeper: 'I love you Erin'

On a darkened rural road about 30 kilometres north of Kingston, Ontario, late on the evening of June 18, escaped murderer Andrew Wood (inset) was being handcuffed and hauled to a police car by a bevy of cops who had tailed his girlfriend to the secluded meeting spot, despite her devious efforts to shake them. As Wood was being separated from the petite woman with the thick mane of dark hair, he called out: “I love you Erin.”

This was no average girlfriend. It was Erin Danto, 35, a full-time psychologist working for the Correctional Service of Canada at Frontenac Institution in Kingston. She too was handcuffed and hauled away by police. Yesterday, just 32 days after the dramatic capture, Danto pleaded guilty to helping Wood, 42, escape from prison June 13 and she pleaded guilty to breach of trust, in part because of her romance with Wood.

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Killer escapee won't admit romance with psychologist

Murderer Andrew Wood (inset), who escaped a minimum-security federal prison in Kingston, Ontario, June 13 and was caught in a car five days later with his pretty, female prison psychologist, has pleaded guilty to escaping, but more significantly, he has not admitted to having a “love affair” with the psychologist, Erin Danto, as police allege.

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Another violent con waltzes away from prison

The handsome, happy dude pictured here is the latest escapee with a record of violent crimes to flee a minimum-security prison in Kingston, Ontario – penitentiary capital of Canada. Kenneth McBain, 46, disappeared today from Frontenac Institution, the same prison that murderer Andrew Wood fled last month, only to be caught five days later on a secluded backroad in a car with a Corrections Canada psychologist who works at Frontenac, Erin Danto.

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