prisoners at the privately-run Superjail in Penetanguishene, Ontario,
attempted to escape using a battering ram. According to Ontario Provincial
Police, the prisoners, who were armed with homemade weapons and crude gas
masks, breached several layers of security. However, Central North
Correctional Centre (CNCC) officials, speaking to reporters later that day,
refused to confirm that a battering ram or weapons were used. According to
them, the disturbance was limited to a 175-man housing area and all of the
prisoners were back in there cells less than two hours after the
CNCC is run by U.S. private prison company Management and Training
Corporation. It was designed to help replace 20 older jails around the
province. The plan calls for two more superjails in Maplehurst and Lindsay
and envisions savings of $500 million a year.
The superjail has a total of 1,184 beds, 32 of which are designated for
women. Prisoners at CNCC consist of about 1,000 serving up top a day less
than two years and around 200 pretrial detainees. According to a
confidential provincial cabinet document leaked in 2000, the Ontario
government is planning to use the superjail as a private jail model
implemented to alleviate chronic overcrowding in Toronto jails. The
document stated that the government intended to review CNCC after five
years of operation to determine how much to expand this type of facility.
On January 10, 2003, CNCC officials agreed to cease including racial
designators on prisoners' identification cards. "The only thing that will
remain on the cards is the photo ID, last name, the first name and, of
course, his institutional number," said Doug Thompson, CNCC Administrator.
Source: Toronto Star.
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