ALBERTA

Saskatchewan Penitentiary Officials Say No Link Between Six Prison Escapes

11/05/2015 01:08 EST | Updated 11/05/2015 01:59 EST
Thomas Porter/The Canadian Press

PRINCE ALBERT, Alta. — A spokesman for Corrections Canada says despite a spike in the number of escapes from the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, Sask., there is no cause for concern.

So far this year there have been six escapes, compared to one escape in 2014 and none in 2013.

All were recaptured — most the same day and in one case, within a couple of weeks.

Spokesman Jeff Campbell says Corrections Canada has not found a connection between the cases.

He says he can't speculate for the reason behind the increase in numbers, though he notes all of them have been from the minimum-security unit.

Campbell says there are definitely consequences for inmates who "leave in an unauthorized manner.''

He says escapees could find themselves in higher-security levels following their recapture.

"Part of the reason behind having a facility like (minimum security) is to encourage the inmates to have a sense of responsibility,'' said Campbell. "They're getting ready to be released into the community in most cases. Therefore they take on more responsibility for themselves. They've been assessed as minimum security, so a low risk to public safety and can be maintained in that sort of environment.''

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