An inmate at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario is now in his second week of a hunger strike. Other inmates at the facility say that the hunger striker (Harley Guindon of Oshawa) is the last of approximately thirty prisoners who stopped eating last week to protest what they say are unsanitary conditions and poor medical treatment at the facility.
Alleged Conditions at the Correctional Centre
In a telephone interview with DurhamRegion.com, Mr. Guindon said that he is not ready to end his strike yet. He claims that the correctional facility has a number of health and safety issues including “rusty cell vents” that blow “air that is not sanitary” and an air intake vent that has not worked in years.
The president of OPSEU Local 368, representing 700 members including correctional workers says that he supports the prisoners’ complaints about sanitation and medical care, but disagrees about their method of protest.
The union president said that air quality at the facility has “always been a concern” for both inmates and staff. Mold has been a common issue due to lack of ventilation. The local raised its own concerns with management years ago and advocated for two additional cleaners to be hired, as there is currently only four cleaners for the whole facility, which takes up ten acres.
Medical care at the facility has also been a cause for concern for the local, and the union agrees with inmates about what they consider to be a lack of medical staff at the facility. The correctional centre has cut one of their doctors from the staff, and the facility now has only one physician for more than 1000 inmates.
Jail Conditions Across Ontario
Prison conditions across Ontario have been in the news recently, with the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) travelling around the province and meeting with inmates and municipal leaders, and the Ontario Ombudsman also conducting an independent investigation.
We will continue to monitor developments with both the OHRC and the Ombudsman investigations and will blog about prison conditions as more information becomes available.
At Affleck & Barrison our firm and its predecessors have been representing clients charged with criminal offences and protecting their rights since 1992. Our Oshawa criminal lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and are experienced at defending a wide range of charges. Call us at 905-404-1947 or contact us online for a free consultation. Whatever the nature of your offence, we can help.