Nova Scotia

Burnside jail assaults nearly double for first 6 months of 2014

The number of assaults at Nova Scotia's largest jail nearly doubled in the first six months of last year compared to the same period the year before.

There were 105 assaults in the first six months of 2014, compared to 57 the year before

Incident reports highlight cases where feces was thrown, guards were spat on and brawls included the use of handmade weapons at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside. (The Canadian Press)

The number of assaults at Nova Scotia's largest jail nearly doubled in the first six months of last year compared to the same period the year before.

Records released to The Canadian Press under freedom of information say inmates injured guards and fought each other as frustration sometimes escalated into outbreaks of violence.

Incident reports highlight cases where feces was thrown, guards were spat on and brawls included the use of handmade weapons at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside.

In the first six months of last year, there were 105 assaults, about a third of them against staff.

In 2013 during the same period, there were 57 such incidents, including six attacks on staff.

The violence sometimes starts with something as simple as prisoners upset over broken telephones.

Sean Kelly, the province's director of correctional services, says violence will decrease with the completion of a new prison expected to open this winter.

Jail superintendent Paulette MacKinnon says the prison has sufficient staff and they are encouraged to report all incidents, including minor ones.

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