THUNDER BAY — The Ministry of the Solicitor General has released additional information about what the ministry calls "an inmate disturbance" at the Thunder Bay Jail this week.
City police on Wednesday initially confirmed that members of the TBPS primary response branch were dispatched to the jail Monday afternoon to investigate an assault.
They said a 33-year-old inmate was taken to hospital with injuries consistent with a stabbing.
But a ministry spokesperson subsequently revealed that a second inmate was also injured and taken to hospital.
He said both victims have since been returned to the jail.
The ministry will not provide further details while it conducts an internal investigation into the circumstances of the disturbance.
But a spokesperson for correctional officers called it "a very violent incident," and said "these happen far too much, especially at the Thunder Bay Jail."
Bill Hayes, president of OPSEU local 737, added "It seems like every few months we're dealing with something like this, and a lot of it doesn't even make it to the media. This one did, due to the seriousness of it."
Hayes blames the violence on overcrowding and understaffing in the jail, which had 140 inmates on Wednesday and 150 last week, while the union believes its appropriate operating capacity is only 110.
"If we can keep the inmate population at a decent level, we can give them programming. We can keep them busy. When overcrowding happens we can't move them anywhere...things just escalate, tensions get high. You can feel it everywhere."
He added that in these situations "Staff and inmates suffer alike. We're all in this together."
The jail will be replaced by a new correctional complex under construction off Highway 61, but the $1.2 billion dollar facility isn't scheduled to open until late 2026.