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Gang altercation at Saskatoon Correctional Centre ignites renewed plea for help

An investigation is underway after a report of a sudden death at Saskatoon Correctional Centre on Saturday.
A continued rise in gang violence and altercations has SGEU renewing its plea for help just weeks after it was initially put out. File / Global News

Several gang members were involved in an altercation at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre on Thursday, igniting a renewed plea for help in dealing with gang violence.

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) said more resources and better strategies are needed.

“Only a few staff members were present and could not prevent the altercation from happening,” said a statement from SGEU on Friday.

READ MORE: Inside and Out: ‘Harder crimes, easier time,’ ex-gang member says

“Extra correction officers had to be called in to break up the factions.”

“We are hearing from our members the way these gangs are being housed and transported around the jail is just not working,” said SGEU president Bob Bymoen.

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“Our members are very concerned, not only for their own safety but for the inmates also.”

The initial call for help was put out just weeks ago, following a lockdown on Aug. 26 after four inmates were injured in two separate fights.

READ MORE: Rising violence at Sask. correctional centres concerning for SGEU

Another inmate charged in the death of Tiki Laverdiere was seriously injured in a stabbing on Aug. 22.

SGEU said more rival gang violence and an inability to keep these factions apart is resulting in increased clashes between gangs, creating “a very volatile situation.”

“This situation is only going to get worse unless things change,” Bymoen said.

“We need to see a different strategy in dealing with these rival gangs, whether that is isolating them more, providing more high-security areas, providing more staff to prevent altercations, or changing their programming so these factions are kept apart at all times.”

WATCH: Lockdown, gangs and violence at Saskatoon Correctional Centre

Rising violence at Sask. correctional centres concerning for SGEU
Rising violence at Sask. correctional centres concerning for SGEU
taylor.braat@globalnews.ca
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