Canadian inmates back behind bars after daring escape

Two Canadian inmates have been rearrested after  a movie-style helicopter escape. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Two Canadian inmates have been rearrested after a movie-style helicopter escape. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Canadian inmates back behind bars after daring escape

Two Canadian prisoners have been re-arrested after a Hollywood-style escape involving a commandeered helicopter. Two men posing as tourists reportedly hijacked a helicopter from a tour company, ordered the pilot to fly over a detention center near Montreal, and pulled two inmates into the aircraft using cables or ropes before flying away. Read more.

More international prison news:

Women abused in Iraqi jails

An Iraqi journalist who was investigating the abuse of female prisoners found herself in a Tikrit women’s jail facing the same kind of treatment. The Guardian  reports that Sabah Hassan Hussein was arrested on trumped-up charges and spent 12 months facing physical, sexual and psychological abuse. The journalist says she finally cracked when she was told that her 20-year-old daughter would be raped if she did not confess. Read more about her ordeal and the difficulties faced by other female prisoners and wives of prisoners in Iraq.

Sniffer” may reduce illegal cellphone use in prisons

An American company has developed a device which it says may detect illegal cellphones used by inmates. Engineers from Maryland-based Intelligent Automation Inc, say they can located an in-use cellphone to within about 60 cm by installing four small antennas at the corners of a prison building. Read more.

Jail where Indian gang-rape accused committed suicide seriously overcrowded

Tihar jail where Dehli gang-rape accused Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide recently  has 12 000 inmates, twice its official capacity. The Hindu newspaper says prisoner-on-prisoner violence is common in such overcrowded settings, as staff can’t adequately monitor prisoners. The paper also says psychologists who have studied prison violence say sex offenders are on the lowest level in the hierarchy of inmates and that they are often victims of violence by fellow-inmates. Read more.

The Hindustan Times reports that Singh was depressed about his situation and that the guard who was supposed to watch over him and the inmates in about 20 other cells bunked his shift on the night when Singh allegedly hanged himself. Read more.

More inmates to take Italian government to court over prison conditions

A prison in the northern region of Lombardy apparently had only one educator for 420 inmates, and the only psychologist could dedicate just six minutes of his time to each prisoner every year, a former inmate told Inter Press Service. In January, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the overcrowding faced by seven inmates in two Italian prisons constituted a violation of their basic rights. The court ordered the Italian government to pay the applicants 100 000 euros in damages. Now other inmates are queuing up to take the government to the ECHR. Read more. 

 California’s claims to have reduced  inmate suicides contested

California’s state government says it has spent millions of dollars building mental hospitals, buying suicide-resistant beds, hiring psychiatrists and training staff, the Sacramento Bee reports. However, inmate advocates say conditions inside the jails are still inadequate, contributing to high suicide rates. A report on suicide rates filed in a federal court recently concluded that the numbers remain high because the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has refused to implement reforms proposed as long ago as 1999. Read more.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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