Prison violence creates growing legal burden
Canada’s prison service faced 1,200 legal actions at the end of last March — a figure the federal prison ombudsman says is enough to keep an entire law firm busy. “It’s an awful lot . ... They are paying about $10 million in legal fees, which is quite high. It’s equivalent to a small to medium-sized law firm,” said Ivan Zinger, the correctional investigator of Canada. The figures, released by Correctional Service Canada to The Canadian Press, are a sign that the rising violence that Zinger documented between 2005 and last year — such as deaths, inmate-on-inmate assaults, and guards’ use of pepper spray — need to be further addressed, he said.