Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay jail on lockdown after hostage-taking

Inmates took control of part of the Thunder Bay District Jail on Monday night in a standoff that resulted in injuries to a corrections officer and three inmates, according to Thunder Bay police.

Inmates took corrections officer hostage, police say

Four people were injured during a hostage-taking incident at the Thunder Bay District Jail that began on Monday night and was resolved early Tuesday morning, according to police. (Jody Porter/CBC)

The Thunder Bay jail remained on lockdown midday Tuesday, following a standoff Monday night that saw a corrections officer and several inmates sent to hospital, according to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Cameras, cell doors and lights inside the jail were damaged, Ministry spokesperson Greg Flood said in a statement.

"As of this morning, the unit has been secured through the help of Corrections Crisis Negotiators and the Institutional Crisis Intervention Teams (ICIT)," the statement said.

"All non-compliant inmates have been secured in their cells and work is underway to complete a search of the entire facility. ... Additional staff have been brought in from Algoma Remand/Treatment Centre, Fort Frances Jail and Kenora Jail," according to the statement.

Police were called to the jail just after 8 p.m. about a disturbance involving inmates and a corrections officer being taken hostage.

The corrections officer was released during the course of negotiations with officials from the Ministry and the incident was resolved by 7:35 a.m. on Tuesday, police said.

Injured officer 'resting at home'

Three inmates "were injured while other inmates had control of a section of the jail," a police news release said. "The prisoners were treated and released from hospital earlier this morning."

The corrections worker was also assessed in hospital and released. Flood said, adding the officer is now resting at home.

"We are all relieved that negotiations were successful in having the correctional officer released and bringing the matter to a peaceful resolution," he said. "Our thoughts are with the correctional officer and his family, friends and colleagues."

An official with the union representing corrections officers at the jail said there was no warning last night's incident was going to happen.

"When I talked to officers yesterday, it was a normal day at the jail. In fact, they said it was a good day at the jail.  It was quiet.  There was no issues at the jail at all," said Greg Arnold, a provincial bailiff at the jail who sits on the province's employee relations committee for corrections officers.

"Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it's a set-up, so I suspect this was planned," he added. 

The Thunder Bay District Jail is an adult male remand institution providing maximum security detention for those awaiting transfer to longer-term institutions or those who are still in the court process and not yet sentenced.