Nova Scotia

Stabbing at N.S. women's prison leads to attempted murder charge

An inmate at a federal women's prison in Truro, N.S. is being charged with attempted murder following a stabbing in the facility over the weekend.

Incident happened Saturday at the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, N.S.

Truro police are still investigating after an inmate suffered injuries at the Nova Institution for Women over the weekend. (The Canadian Press)

An inmate at a federal women's prison in Truro, N.S., is being charged with attempted murder following an alleged stabbing inside the facility over the weekend.

According to a news release, the Truro Police Service responded to the Nova Institution for Women on Saturday around 5 p.m. and launched an investigation. Police are laying the attempted charge, as well as "other weapons related charges" against a 31-year-old inmate who is due to appear in Truro provincial court Monday.

The victim is a 39-year-old inmate who police say received multiple stab wounds and was taken to hospital to be treated and has since been released.

In a news release, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) said no staff members or other inmates were injured during the incident.

Truro police said RCMP have helped in the investigation but the case remains in the hands of the Truro police force.

Prisoner advocate concerned about restrictions

Emilie Coyle, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, said the incident sparked a tightening of restrictions on inmates, and she was looking for CSC to provide more information about the extent and duration of those measures.

"Any time we hear of an incident and a lockdown ... we're concerned that additional restrictive measures are being put in place that will further harm the people inside," Coyle said in an interview.

CSC said that besides the lockdown, an "exceptional search of one of the living units" was conducted. Visits scheduled for Monday are cancelled and "normal operations will resume when it is considered safe to do so."

The Nova Institution for Women has minimum to maximum levels of security for up to 70 federal inmates. (CBC)

Coyle said she had already been worried about the negative mental-health effects of pandemic-related measures being used in prisons to deter COVID-19 spread, like limiting interactions between prisoners and restricting recreational and community activities.

"Because the conditions of confinement, in our view, have led potentially to this incident occurring, it's really incumbent upon Correctional Services Canada to take care of it and to do that in a way that has care and support at its centre, rather than security responses, which is what we've been seeing during the pandemic."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taryn Grant

Reporter

Taryn Grant is a Halifax-based reporter and web writer for CBC Nova Scotia. You can email her with tips and feedback at taryn.grant@cbc.ca

now