Correctional officers want better safety measures

A woman who was carjacked by an escaped inmate says she might sue the province.

A woman who was carjacked by an escaped inmate says she might sue the province.  

The woman said the correctional officers escorting the inmate last week to a medical appointment in Calgary were not properly equipped.  

Convicted sex offender Michael Nadolnick freed himself, smacked a correctional officer out of the way and ran to the woman's pickup truck as she was pulling out of the parking lot.

Michael Peter Nadolnick, a convicted sex offender, allegedly escaped from custody last week briefly and tried to carjack a Calgary woman. (Karen Wade/CBC)

"A man just opened up the side door of my vehicle and jumped in. I didn't even see him coming," she said. After she refused his demand to drive him away, the two struggled for control of the truck.

"I was holding on to the steering wheel with one hand, pushing him with the other," she said.

The man had just shoved the woman out of her vehicle when correctional officers converged on the vehicle.

The prisoner was quickly recaptured and the woman was not hurt. But she is angry about the incident. CBC News is not revealing the woman's name.

"Why did they not have weapons when they are transporting a criminal?," she said.

Two other inmates have escaped while being transported by correctional officers this year in Alberta.

Last month a female correctional officer was taken to hospital with minor injuries after she was overpowered by a male inmate as she was returning him to Drumheller Institution after a day pass.

Prison officials said the inmate was not classified as dangerous, but the policy involving which inmates are allowed temporary day passes will be reviewed.

The union that represents the correctional officers says it’s time to reconsider the policy of not arming those employees.

Union spokesman Derrick Karbashewski said his colleagues do not even carry batons.

"That offender would have not put the public at risk, we would have been properly equipped to control that offender," he said.

Kevin Grabowsky, a spokesman for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, agreed. "This can't continue. It's very alarming."

But the province's solicitor general office says correctional officers have what they need and that escapes are rare.