Iqaluit prison attacked from within as 4 inmates wreak overnight havoc – North

Four inmates at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit damaged a sizeable portion of the interior of the prison overnight on Monday. They have been removed and are being held at the Iqaluit RCMP detachment.

Chris Stewart, acting director of corrections for the territory’s Department of Justice, told CBC the incident “resulted in extensive damage to the living spaces of the baffin correctional centre.”

According to information from the Department of Justice, inmates destroyed “85 per cent of the building’s medium security bed space and 33 per cent of the maximum security bed space.”

Chris Stewart, acting director of corrections for the Department of Justice, said everything is being done to ensure the safety of prison workers and inmates going forward. (CBC)

Stewart said there were no injuries.

“We know there could have been,” he said. “We’re really thankful to the staff that had the patience and were able to de-escalate the situation.”

Stewart said repairs to the damaged living spaces have been made, although other improvements are underway. He could not estimate the final cost of repairs.

Iqaluit RCMP say they are still investigating and it’s too early to say if anyone will be charged.

Prison notorious

The Baffin Correctional facility is notorious for the difficult living situation inmates there are exposed to. The facility itself is slated to be extensively renovated, rebuilt and renamed the Qikiqtani Correctional Healing Centre under a $76 million plan, beginning next summer.

The view from the bathroom in a six-person cell in the maximum security unit at Baffin Correctional Centre last October. Prisoners in this unit are the most violent inmates at the jail. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

The prison has been widely condemned as inadequte. Overcrowding at the facility has been cited as a major concern in the past. When the prison was built nearly 30 years ago it was designed as a minimum security facility for 41 inmates.  At…

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