Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for June 6, 2013

Incident sees jail locked down, RCMP summoned

The Whitehorse Correctional Centre was in lockdown last night after an inmate in segregation climbed into the ceiling of his unit and had to be talked down by corrections officials.

By Ashley Joannou on June 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

The Whitehorse Correctional Centre was in lockdown last night after an inmate in segregation climbed into the ceiling of his unit and had to be talked down by corrections officials.

At around 5 p.m., during his alloted exercise time in the segregation unit’s common area, the unnamed inmate became agitated.

He managed to rip a phone off the wall, using it to smash some windows and break a lock into a shaft which carries plumbing and electrical, Sherri-Lynn MacLellan, a Department of Justice spokesperson, said early this afternoon.

The inmate, whose name is not being released, was able to climb into the broken electrical and plumbing shaft and make his way into the celling.

The correctional centre’s layout is such that multiple segregation cells surround a common area, which includes a phone, MacLellan said.

Inmates in segregation use the common area one at a time, during their exercise period.

MacLellan did not know the exact size of the pipe in question, but said it was large enough to fit one person.

The incident was resolved by 8 p.m. after staff at the correctional centre were able to talk the man out of the ceiling and escort him back to a cell.

MacLellan said the public was never in any jeopardy.

“There was no risk of the inmate escaping from the WCC or the segregation unit. The units are completely sealed so there was no way for him to get to the other units or on to the roof.”

The RCMP were called as a precaution, she said. Several police vehicles surrounded the Range Road facility Wednesday evening.

MacLellan said there was one other inmate in the segregation unit at the time. He was moved to another cell for his protection during the incident.

The WCC includes four male living units as well as one female living unit along with male and female segregation units.

While staff were focused on the inmate in the ceiling, the correctional centre went into lockdown, meaning inmates stayed in their own individual cells.

The exception was the unit next to segregation, MacLellan said.

When a flash-bang was used by correctional staff during the initial altercation before the inmate climbed into the ceiling, some of the smoke made its way to the next unit over.

Those inmates were held in the outdoor exercise yard until the lockdown was over, MacLellan said.

An internal review of what happened in currently underway.

“It went as well as it could have,” MacLellan said, adding that the department is pleased no one got hurt.

Officials are not commenting on what may have motivated the inmate nor whether charges will be laid against him.

MacLellan would also not say why the person was at the WCC or how long he had been there.

The WCC opened in early 2012. At a cost of more than $70 million, it replaced an older jail which had opened in 1967.

The male facility includes seven single-occupancy segregation cells.

In total, the centre is designed to hold 190 inmates.

CommentsAdd a comment

mike madder

Jun 7, 2013 at 8:38 am

Well ....... looks like your heading south and because of your escape attempt that means Kent - you’ve spent all these years trying to avoid a return trip to the Pen. And now you’ve sealed your own fate. You’ve been given so many breaks and gifts from the Yukon Justice and each time you’ve gone out of your way to destroy any hope that people had in you to change and at least make a effort to better yourself. If you thought Kent sucked last time you were there, you are really gonna hate it now. I’d like to wish you well on your Penitentiary life but I just can’t seem to care anymore. But because I believe you have to hear this, YOU HAVE LET EVERYONE DOWN you are on your own from here champ.

Add a comment

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your full name and email address are required before your comment will be posted.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Comment preview