Police arrest 2nd escapee from Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon

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Police say both two inmates who escaped from the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon are back in custody.

Matthew Shaundel Michel, 24, and Kendal Lee Campeau, 29, escaped from the facility in the 2500 block of Central Avenue at around 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday.

Saskatoon police said both were considered violent.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan RCMP search for prisoner who escaped in the Yorkton area

A notifynow alert message was sent by Saskatoon Emergency Management Organization over two hours after the inmates escaped.

Campeau was arrested five hours after his escape at a home in the 500 block of Douglas Crescent by members of the force’s guns and gangs unit. Police said the timely, accurate and detailed tips they received helped in locating and arresting Campeau.

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In 2010, Campeau pleaded guilty to charges for storming a guard station at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre with other inmates armed with homemade knives, taking three correctional workers hostage.

READ MORE: 2 escapees from Saskatchewan Penitentiary caught in Saskatoon

Saskatchewan RCMP said Michel travelled in a stolen vehicle from the Warman area to the Humboldt area, where officers tried to stop it, but the driver fled westbound on Highway 5.

According to the Mounties, the vehicle ran out of gas near Sunset Estates, east of Saskatoon, and officers found Michel on the roof of a home.

Michel gave himself up after first threatening to harm himself, RCMP said.

The Regional Psychiatric Centre is currently reviewing how the inmates orchestrated the escape and changes could be looming.

“We are in the process of reviewing all of the information that we have available,” Tim Krause, the assistant warden of management service, said.

“All of the reports that we were able to get from various staff, and also all of the camera footage and such that is available for us to try and put together what exactly happened.”

Although he is in favour of change, James Bloomfield, the regional president for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO), doesn’t expect this escape to bring about any adjustments to the current system.

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“I truly do hope that this is the catalyst to move these issues forward that have been on the plate for years,” Bloomfield said.

“I do not have a lot of confidence that this will be met with ‘OK, we’re going to fix this.’”

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Although it may be the first escape in recent years that the RPC has experienced, Bloomfield isn’t surprised that an incident of this magnitude occurred.

“We’ve been expecting something like this for quite some time now, as officers we have,” he said.

“We’re very concerned with the way the Correctional Service of Canada houses our maximum-security inmates that have mental health issues. In this situation, we had two inmates that were both maximum security in a medium-security environment.”

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It certainly isn’t ideal but maximum security prisoners are often housed in the medium-security Regional Psychiatric Centre, according to Bloomfield.

“To have a classification level of maximum security is not rare to have at that site. Having them open and running around with the medium-security inmates in constant. That is what we’ve been complaining about to Correctional Service of Canada,” he said.

“The facility is rated and designed for medium security and it’s definitely not designed for housing maximum-security inmates in the open areas.”

—With files from The Canadian Press and Brenden Purdy

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