Milner Ridge Porn Seen Inmates Was Due To Problem With Satellite Feed

CP  |  By Posted: 05/10/2012 6:47 pm Updated: 05/10/2012 8:23 pm

WINNIPEG - It appears a technical glitch is to blame for a display of explicit sex in a Manitoba jail that aroused concerns by the Opposition Progressive Conservatives.

Inmates at the Milner Ridge jail were able to watch clear-as-day commercials on an explicit channel that was otherwise blocked by their satellite TV service, Justice Minister Andrew Swan said Thursday.

"Apparently, on that blocked channel, there were periodic advertisements running from 30 to 90 seconds," Swan said.

"And immediately on becoming aware of this, the officials at Milner Ridge called the service provider and made immediate arrangements to make sure that didn't recur."

The jail officials only became aware of the problem during a Jan. 9 tour of the facility by Tory justice critic Kelvin Goertzen. About 10 inmates were watching hardcore programming in a common area, Goertzen said, and when a jail guard turned off the TV, they managed to turn it back on again briefly with a remote control.

Swan told a legislature committee this week inmates in provincial jails have access to only basic cable or satellite TV programming, funded by profits at each jail's canteen.

Swan also took a swipe at Goertzen for raising the issue so long after the fact.

"I don't know why somebody would wait for four months and suddenly spring this," Swan said.

Goertzen said he raised the issue immediately with the jail's superintendent, and followed up with Swan this week during the annual examination of the Justice Department's budget in the legislature.

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