‘I don’t want anything to happen to my brother’: Sister describes mistreatment at Calgary Correctional Centre as COVID-19 outbreak rages

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“On top of all of the existing precautions, Alberta Health Services instituted additional infection prevention and control measures at the Calgary Correctional Centre,” the province said in a statement Friday.

“To help protect staff and inmates at the facility, the extra measures include centre-wide inmate and staff testing, twice-daily symptom screening of inmates by staff, symptom screening of staff before each shift, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, enhanced PPE protection for staff and inmates and continuous health teaching and mental health supports for both inmates and staff.”

Tom Engel, an Edmonton criminal defence lawyer and president of the Canadian Prison Law Association, said he was angered by reported conditions at the Calgary Correctional Centre, saying both AHS and the Justice and Solicitor General had ignored warnings from prison advocates like himself for months that policies were insufficient to protect inmates.

He cited a July Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruling finding provincial guidelines had “yet to be fully implemented” in the Edmonton Remand Centre as proof the province knew more needed to be done in their correctional centres, and disputed the province’s stance that they have taken adequate measures.

“They’re not telling the truth, which is pretty disconcerting,” Engel said. “They’re entirely responsible by their negligence for this outbreak, which is one of the worst in Canada.”

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