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Jail on lockdown as tensions inside continue to rise

A source inside the Thunder Bay District Jail said tensions inside the facility are similar to what was seen prior to the 2015 riot
Thunder Bay District Jail Summer

THUNDER BAY - The Thunder Bay District jail is on lockdown as tensions inside continue to rise to levels that are similar to the lead up to the 2015 riot, say a source inside the facility. 

According to the source inside the jail, two more assaults have taken place inside the facility, including one on Thursday and one again on Saturday.

This follows an assault that took place last weekend that resulted in an inmate being transported to hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries, and an assault that took place on Sept. 25 that left an inmate in critical condition.

The two most recent assaults involved inmates and no jail staff were injured. There is no word on the condition of the inmates following these incidents.

The source inside the District Jail said it has been under full lockdown since Friday afternoon due to a shortage of staff.

The source further described the tension inside the facility as being similar to that leading up to the 2015 riot, when 70 inmates took control of the top floor and held one correctional officer hostage. The riot lasted 12 hours and resulted in the top floor being destroyed.

The aging facility is designed to accommodate 147 inmates but often suffers from overcrowding. There are currently 209 inmates in the jail.

Union officials with Local 737 said the near daily assaults are a result of overcrowding.

The provincial government announced last year that it had approved funding for a new 325-bed facility to replace both the jail and the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre.


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