Another murder charge in death during riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary
By The Canadian Press
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A fourth inmate has been charged with murder in the death of a fellow prisoner during a riot that caused $3.5 million in damage at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert.
Jason Bird was pronounced dead in hospital after staff found the 43-year-old unresponsive in the prison’s medium-security unit on Dec. 14, 2016, following a major disturbance.
At least eight inmates, including one 31-year-old man who was badly hurt in an attack, were hospitalized for injuries.
Klaine Joseph Campeau, who is 25, is charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder.
Three other inmates were similarly charged earlier this week.
Fourteen other people were charged soon after the disturbance with various counts related to participating in a riot.
A Correctional Service Canada report released in March said a walkout by prisoners working in the kitchen could have been the catalyst for the riot at the penitentiary, which has minimum-, medium- and maximum-security units.
The final report said a number of issues were already brewing before the violence erupted.
The National Board of Investigation found that prisoners were discontent over issues that included work- and food-related concerns and changes in prison management.
The report said after the kitchen walkouts, other inmates refused to go to work and prisoners on some cell ranges refused to lock up, which escalated the riot.
Inmates set fires, broke windows, smashed walls and blocked doors with fridges, washers and dryers.
The report said inmates in one area destroyed government property, barricaded range barriers, covered their faces and armed themselves with weapons and shields.
The violence lasted for about six hours before it was quelled by an emergency response team.