Correctional Service Canada (CSC) has confirmed the death of an inmate in a riot at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary near Prince Albert, Sask.
Emergency services were called to the facility Wednesday afternoon. The riot started in the medium security unit around 1 p.m. The maximum security unit was locked down at 3:30 p.m. as a precaution.
Once the riot was under control, corrections staff reportedly found three inmates suffering wounds appearing to have been inflicted by their fellow prisoners. All three were taken to hospital.
43-year-old Jason Leonard Bird was pronounced dead. Another inmate was returned to the prison Wednesday night. CSC spokesperson Jeff Campbell said Thursday afternoon that the third inmate remains in hospital in serious condition.
Bird was serving a sentence of two years, seven months and 18 days for break-and-enter convictions. He arrived at the penitentiary Feb. 26.
CSC reported that a further six inmates were hurt when corrections officers opened fire during efforts to quell the riot. Five of the six inmates injured in the gunfire were taken to hospital. One of those prisoners returned to the prison Thursday night. The sixth man was treated on-site. CSC reported that none of the shot inmates suffered life-threatening injuries.
Campbell said that all-told, the riot involved 185 inmates. He said rioters smashed windows and started fires.
James Bloomfield with the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers told 650 CKOM’s John Gormley that he’s heard there has been serious damage to the facility.
“We have some areas that are uninhabitable at the moment, and we’re going to be working through exactly what we can and can’t operate within the institution,” he said.
According to Bloomfield, no corrections staff were injured.
RCMP and the coroner are investigating Bird’s death. CSC will also conduct its own review of the incident.