NEWS
12/14/2016 19:38 EST | Updated 12/15/2017 00:12 EST

Lockdown in place at Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, Sask.

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — A lockdown was put in place Wednesday at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary following what Corrections Canada was calling "a major disturbance."

The lockdown was first instituted in the medium-security unit at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, and then expanded to the maximum-security unit at 3:30 p.m. as a precautionary measure.

Visits to the prison in Prince Albert, Sask., were suspended.

"It's still locked down," Jeff Campbell, spokesman for the Correctional Service of Canada, said late Wednesday.

"It's been the scene of a major disturbance, so as I say, we're locked down in the interests, of course, of safety and security at the institution for the staff and inmates and the general public as well."

He said to his knowledge, the involved prisoners had been confined to their cells but he did not know whether the situation continued to be fluid or was controlled.

"A lockdown takes place when there's a clear and substantial danger to safety and security at an institution," Campbell said.

"Normal operations are suspended for the moment but they're going to be resumed as soon as it's considered safe to do that."

He said he did not know whether any injuries had been sustained by either prisoners or guards during the incident.

The prison has been the scene of a number of escapes in recent years. This year, convicted murder Roger Joseph Gillet got out but was recaptured quickly.

In 2015, there were six escapes, though all were recaptured within a couple of weeks.