PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – Police have charged four youths following a disturbance at a Saskatchewan youth facility in which teens tried to barricade themselves in a room.
The four boys, between 14 and 17, were taken into custody Sunday night at the Prince Albert Youth Residence.
They are charged with assault with a weapon, assault of a peace officer and taking part in a riot.
Eleven teens have had to be moved from their unit after windows were broken and walls damaged.
The area affected houses youths who are under secure custody conditions or those waiting to be sentenced.
Noel Busse of the Justice Ministry says the goal is to have the area open again sometime this week.
“The unit sustained some damage, broken glass, so the residents … are being relocated until a full assessment and repairs can be made,” said Busse, who is a communications consultant with the ministry.
There are other facilities in Regina, North Battleford, Saskatoon, near Fort Qu’Appelle and near Yorkton.
The ministry’s website says the secure unit is for offenders who present “a significant risk to the safety of the community and should have his or her access to the community restricted or removed for a period of time.”
A different area is for youths in open custody. They live at the facility “for the duration of their sentence, but can leave to go to school and can leave on passes and things like that,” Busse said.
Teens in that unit have been able to remain at the residence.
Police are still investigating. Busse could not provide details of what started the conflict.
“We’re … performing an internal review of the situation … Corrections and policing staff will take a look at what happened and see if anything can be learned from it.”
© The Canadian Press, 2014