Deadly Saskatchewan Penitentiary riot to cost $3.6 million, officials estimate
It’s a jaw-dropping amount of money that taxpayers will be on the hook for.
Correctional Service Canada has confirmed to Global News that the total cost of the damages caused during a deadly riot last December at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary is an estimated $3.6 million.
Officials are warning that the verification of these costs still need to be complete and reconciled but that the $3.6 million worth of damages was the latest projection as of June 12 – for both repaired and required upgrades.
On Dec. 14, 2016, 185 medium security inmates serving time at the Prince Albert facility went on a violent rampage during a routine lockup and completely trashed parts of the prison. Authorities told Global News at the time, the riot was sparked over food and started when inmates refused to lockup.
“The inmates refused to negotiate,” Jeff Bloomfield, with the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, said the day after the riot.
“They started to smash all of the bed frames, windows, lighting – piling everything they could in front of the doorways and started to barricade themselves into their area.”
When the emergency response team gained access, firearms were discharged bringing the riot to an end. Each inmate was secured in their cell but staff dealt with fires on the unit into the night.
The destruction was so vast, prisoners were sent to other institutions because areas were uninhabitable.
To put things into perspective, vandals during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot caused $4 million in damages to that city’s downtown core.
This riot was just one part of the prison and Canadians will be left footing the multi-million dollar bill.
Additionally, there were a total of eight inmates injured during the upheaval including three who were stabbed by other prisoners.
Jason Bird, 43, would die of his injures inflicted by other inmates. According to RCMP on Thursday, no charges have been laid in connection to his murder but the investigation is still ongoing.
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