Inmates of the Hull prison in Gatineau loudly expressed their discontent on the night of Monday to Tuesday in reaction to the confinement imposed by public health.
Prisoners in wing AG-2 set paper on fire before hurling it, along with other objects, through the bars of their cells. The mini-uprising lasted about 15 minutes and no one was injured.
The detainees were thus reacting to the general confinement of the detention center imposed Monday afternoon by the public health directorate following an outbreak of COVID-19 in another sector of the establishment.
“(The pandemic) can lead to tensions. This reality is part of our work, ”said Mathieu Lavoie, national president of the Union des officers de la paix en services correctionnels du Québec.
Six inmates in the B-3 wing, reserved for the most dangerous criminals, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Six prisoners from the same area, however, refused to take the coronavirus test. Confirmed cases must remain in isolation until symptoms cease, a minimum of 10 days.
“When a virus like this enters inside the walls of a detention center, it can spread like wildfire given the proximity of the detainees, as well as the failure to respect the wearing of masks or physical distancing. We have to find the source and limit the spread by reducing contacts, ”says Lavoie.
No correctional officer has yet been diagnosed positive for COVID-19, but 18 of them will be tested shortly as a preventive measure.
Mathieu Lavoie also confirmed that the pandemic had accelerated early retirement and career changes.
About 130 of the union’s members had left the profession during the first six months of 2020, compared to some 150 throughout 2019.
Remember that the detention centers of Trois-Rivières and Quebec have also been affected by COVID-19.