Rimouski prison has lost a set of cell access keys, a situation that has sparked outrage among prison officials, who now fear for their safety.
A set of keys apparently disappeared on August 31, according to prison sources who alerted our Investigations Office. The situation is all the more worrying since one of the keys would give access to the cells used to house prisoners in crisis, aggressive, suicidal and imprisoned.
“It doesn’t make sense,” reacts one of our sources, who speaks on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
In such circumstances, current security measures would have advised a rapid search of detainees, cells, movement areas and any place frequented by detainees, according to Philippe Bensimon, a criminologist expert who has worked for some twenty years in the Correctional Service. from Canada.
“The disappearance of a key is a serious incident,” Bensimon states without hesitation. “We must control all movements, including those of personnel. “No one enters and no one leaves the prison,” insists the expert.
One of the objectives of this complete search is to guarantee the physical integrity of the staff and inmates. After which, these types of incidents “automatically” give rise to an internal investigation, he continues.
However, none of this would have been done.
“It is very worrying that a widespread search has not been carried out after the disappearance,” said the president of the union of public order officers in penitentiary services (SAPSCQ), Mathieu Lavoie.
Mathieu Lavoie, President of SAPSCQ Photo provided by SAPSQ-CSN
“Our security is of no importance to the management,” adds another of our sources.
The ministry wants to be reassuring
Questioned by our Investigations Bureau, the Ministry of Public Security recognizes that the keychain is still missing. However, prison management is reassuring.
“(The keys) do not in any case allow access to the outside of the establishment or to strategic places,” insisted public relations manager Louise Quintin, who does not believe that these keys are in the possession of one of the detainees. However, she could not confirm it.
The ministry adds that certain searches and excavations were carried out, without specifying their nature. Other excavations are also planned, says the spokesperson, who however has not given more details about their extent or when they should be carried out.
The SAPSCQ president highlights that several prison administrators are increasingly reluctant to carry out widespread searches for fear of violating prisoners’ rights.
Mathieu Lavoie also warns that if the keychain remains untraceable, the ministry could be forced to change all the locks in question, a process that could take a few months.