Convicts at medium-security Collins Bay penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario, have refused to report to their prison jobs in a protest over double bunking, Cancrime learned. The practice forces two prisoners to live in a cell designed for one. Corrections Canada has dramatically increased its use of double bunking as it scrambles to accommodate a surging inmate population – the result of the Conservative government’s tough-on-crime policies. But it appears that senior prison bosses are secretly (internal memo after jump) building a documentary trail designed to rationalize their use of double bunking, which is contrary to UN standards on the treatment of prisoners.
An internal memo – of which Cancrime obtained a copy – forwarded last month to all of the top bosses in Corrections (the executive committee members) says the practice leads to only “minor negative outcomes.” CSC manager Nancy Stableforth explains in the memo that she conducted a review of literature on double bunking in New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia and found that “double bunking has not resulted in an unmanageable problem in these jurisdictions.”