There are calls for an overhaul of security at the Calgary Remand Centre following a violent attack at the facility Friday morning.
Sources say an inmate was badly beaten by another inmate while both were in a cell on suicide watch.
Defence lawyer and former Crown prosecutor Balfour Der told Global News he isn’t at all surprised by the incident.
“It’s not the first time that’s happened in the remand centre. It’s a common thing I hear from my clients,” Der said.
Der estimates approximately 100 of his clients have been beaten while in the provincial facility over the past 25 years.
“A complaint that I hear quite often is they are put in situations… placed with other people who are dangerous or dangerous to them specifically,” Der continued.
Alberta Justice told Global News there will be an internal investigation into the case.
EMS said “breathing concerns” were the primary reason paramedics treated the inmate on the way to the hospital. Spokesperson Stuart Brideaux wasn’t aware of what else had happened to the man, but added he was not in cardiac arrest under EMS care.
Der says extra safety measures need to be put in place.
“Absolutely, I believe they have a responsibility to ensure the people inside are safe,” Der said.
He also questions how this kind of attack could happen to an inmate while on suicide watch.
“I thought that was the purpose behind suicide watch, that they are monitored more closely and not put in a position where they could be harmed.”
The suspect in the case is well-known to police and has a history of violent offences.
The victim remains in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Foothills hospital.
Calgary police are investigating.
The centre houses male and female inmates who are awaiting trial or waiting for transfers to other facilities, parolees whose parole has been suspended or revoked and detainees under the federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Sources say the entire incident was caught on CCTV surveillance video.
The suspect faces a possible charge of attempted murder, which would be upgraded if the victim doesn’t survive.
With a file from Erika Tucker