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.
An investigation is underway into a “significant incident” at a federal prison in Ontario that threatens to bring Corrections Canada’s reputation into “disrepute,” the penitentiary service’s top official says, in an internal memo distributed to thousands of workers across the country. Cancrime obtained a copy of the memo from Don Head (inset), which does not provide specifics of the incident. Cancrime learned that police and Corrections Canada are investigating the allegation that an inmate from maximum-security Kingston Penitentiary was beaten by prison staff in retribution for an assault on a correctional officer.
Corrections Canada will ask police to investigate whether a hate crime was committed when a federal inmate appeared online in a video (see it after jump) making a racial slur while taunting other prisoners who assaulted him. Joshua Erdodi, an inmate at Joyceville Institution in Kingston, Ontario, was nearly beaten to death in a riot at the medium-security prison on April 24. He was stabbed in the head and neck and he was beaten with weight-lifting equipment by a group of black inmates.
(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.
The prison riot squad was called in to maximum-security Kingston Penitentiary tonight after an incident Corrections Canada calls a “minor disturbance.” Two inmates were attacked in the outside recreation yard by a small group of prisoners. They were treated for minor injuries at the prison’s healthcare centre, CSC says. The riot squad cleared the yard...
Prison staff reported racial tension among inmates at a penitentiary in Ontario the day before a mini riot that sent eight prisoners to hospital, Cancrime learned. One prisoner from medium-security Joyceville Institution suffered serious injuries and was in intensive care Sunday evening, according to the Correctional Service of Canada. Corrections could not explain what caused the incident, which it labeled a “major disturbance.”
There’s been a violent incident at maximum-security Millhaven Institution, a notorious penitentiary just west of Kingston, Ontario, that has left one inmate dead and two others in hospital. Corrections Canada has identified the dead convict as Jordan Trudeau, 29. Convicts at Millhaven have been confined to their cells in the wake of the disturbance, which marks the third time since October that guards at the prison have been forced to open fire to contain violence.
Canada’s federal prisons have a growing gang problem. More disenfranchised young men who live on a diet of drugs and violence on the street are importing that culture to penitentiary cellblocks, where they can dominate weaker convicts, continue to peddle drugs and kill whenever necessary. Confidential Corrections Canada documents that I obtained – including a gang profile of the inmate population at Joyceville Institution in Kingston, Ontario – reveal that more than 10% of the prison’s convicts are gang affiliated and a dozen are outlaw bikers.