09/29/2016 12:08 EDT | Updated 09/29/2016 12:09 EDT

Saskatchewan Investigates Why So Many Inmates Are Escaping From Jail

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Open door to prison cell

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice is looking into the high number of escapes from jails in the province this year.

So far, there have been eight escapes from secure youth custody and five from adult jail.

The latest occurred Wednesday morning, when Michael Montgrand, 26, escaped from custody during a hearing at Turnor Lake provincial court.

RCMP have not said how Montgrand escaped or what charges he was facing but have cautioned the public against approaching him, saying he is considered dangerous.

Department spokesman Drew Wilby says their responsibility is to figure out why the escapes are happening and "respond accordingly.''

He says the investigations don't just look at each incident, but collectively as a whole to see what changes need to be made.

Inmate escaped over the weekend

Police are also still looking for Travis Clay Funk, 34. who escaped from the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre on the weekend.

Officials said Funk was in the exercise yard at the time, and an investigation is underway into whether he received outside help.

"We look at each one as an isolated incident, but from there we look at systemic challenges that may be in place,'' Wilby said.

"Is the policy and procedures in place strong enough? If they are being followed, and if they are not, should we strengthen them?''

While some of the escapes have been while youths were on escorted leave, others have been from jails.

"We will look at infrastructure needs and what those requirements might be going forward to make sure that we have the right infrastructure in place to keep those offenders in the walls of our facilities,'' Wilby said.


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