A group of inmates is suing the province over a riot at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre back in 2015.
In a statement of claim filed last month at Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench, the group says the May 2015 riot broke out after guards began antagonizing inmates on two blocks of the correctional centre’s remand unit. They allege they were denied exercise time and that guards were verbally abusive and unprofessional.
The inmates claim they were locked in their cells as angry rioters started fires by putting books inside ovens and toasters, then lighting up anything else they could find. The inmates say they were panicking as black smoke filled their cells, and that guards didn’t respond to their cries for help.
They then allege that after the riot, they were forced to hand over anything in their cells that might burn — including clothes and blankets. They say they then waited six days before they got to shower, or change out of soot-stained, wet clothing they had on at the time of the riot.
The inmates go on to claim they weren’t given proper medical treatment following the riot. They allege that they were denied access to doctors and were not adequately assessed for smoke inhalation or tested for other lung damage.
The inmates are alleging that their treatment constituted cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment, contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Along with their legal costs, they are asking for $10,000,000 in damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and assault and battery. In addition they are asking for the court to determine amounts for general and punitive damages.
The statement of claim filed by the inmates lists the province’s Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing as a defendant, along with the director and deputy director of operations of the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. Unnamed guards are also included as defendants.
The inmates’ statements of claim contain allegations which have not been proven in court. To date, the province has not yet filed a statement of defence.