THUNDER BAY – The incident at the Thunder Bay District Jail is now over. Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services spokesperson Brent Ross states, “The situation has been resolved at the Thunder Bay jail. Last night we had inmates take control of a unit in the jail and also take a correctional officer hostage. As a result of the excellent work by staff at the jail and staff from other correctional facilities that came to support, we were able to get the correctional officer released. He was assessed at hospital and is currently recovering at home. We are all relieved that negotiations were successful in having the correctional officer released and bringing the matter to a peaceful resolution. Our thoughts are with the correctional officer and his family, friends and colleagues.
As of this morning, the unit has been secured through the help of Corrections Crisis Negotiators and the Institutional Crisis Intervention Teams (ICIT). All non-compliant inmates have been secured in their cells and work is underway to complete a search of the entire facility. The jail remains on lockdown in order for a full search to take place. ICIT is providing security for the searches. Additional staff have been brought in from Algoma Remand/Treatment Centre, Fort Frances Jail and Kenora Jail.
I understand that some inmates were also injured and were taken to hospital. All but one inmate have since returned to custody. There has been physical damage to an area of the jail, including to cameras, cell doors and lights.
There are multiple investigations going on into the circumstances surrounding this incident. The police are conducting a criminal investigation and the ministry is conducting an internal investigation.
This was a shocking incident and a sad reminder that, every day, correctional officers risk their safety to keep our communities safe. The incident was confined to the jail itself. There were no inmate escapes and there was no threat to the safety of the outside community.
We commend all our staff involved in the response – all of our correctional officers, institution administrators, managers, sergeants, Crisis Negotiators, and members of the Institutional Crisis Intervention Teams.
We also thank and commend the police who secured and managed the response on the outside, and the local firefighters and paramedics who remained on scene throughout the incident, prepared to assist.”