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: Posts in “Violence and Safety”

Claim for Elgan-Middlesex Detention Centre, London, ON – 4 – Health and Testimonials

To Johnson, Smith, and the thousands of people they represent

Mountain View

















Good news!

Lawyer Egan will speak on this case with CAFE on Thursday, November 19th, 2015. Meanwhile, allow me to wrap up this Statement of Claim.



Despite of all the violence resulted from overcrowding and bullying,

  1. There is no unit dedicated for the sick or injured at EMDC;
  2. When prisoners needed health care at night, between 11pm and 7am, they had no access to any, during 2010 – 2013.


So let’s say they saw a health professional, when they come back…


  1. e) Patients were typically not cared the way instructed by medical staffs.
  2. i) Patients with special physical or mental need were housed with others without regards to the special care they required.


  1. Again, even if they (prisoners, families and media) complain, EMDC staffs did nothing to try to improve this.


The Plaintiffs’ stories


Glenn Johnson

August 31st, 2012

Plaintiff Glenn Johnson fell in his cell block and suffered from a mild concussion. As a result, he was moved to a smaller cell to recover. However, his cellmate got another inmate onto his bed and moved Mr. Johnson to the floor. When Johnson protested, his cellmate wounded his head and mouth.


  1. Mr. Johnson didn’t get any stitches or treatment.


October 28th, 2012

  1. Mr. Johnson was beaten by a group of inmates when he refused to fight them.


Other assaults included:

  1. attacked by three inmates and stabbed by a pencil;
    soaked by urine;
    sexual harassment,
    sexual threats involving family, etc.


More examples of lack of medical treatments (59e)

  1. In August, Mr. Johnson received no ringworm treatment and
  2. In October, no antibiotics when he had a sore, itchy and infectious lump in his arm.


Example of lack of special diet (59i) and lack of actions following up complaints (70)

Despite of the knowledge of the Plaintiff’s dietary restrictions, Mr. Johnson was given food he could not eat on several occasions. As a response, the guards gave him juice, fruit cup and or nothing for a couple days in a row.


Michael Smith

July 10th, 2012

During his short stay at EMDC from July 9th to 12th of 2012, inmates dragged Plaintiff Michael Smith to the washroom and wounded his cheek. As a result, Mr. Smith was disfigured and continues to suffer from psychological trauma from the wound which required 13 stitches and plastic surgery.





  1. Besides fear and physical injuries, the Plaintiff class members also suffer in terms of trust, emotional expressivity, mental health such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, education, getting a job and getting paid, ability to deal with authority, enjoying life, etc.


  1. Class members had developed psychological defence mechanisms in order to survive the abuse at EMDC, including denial, repression, dissociation and guilt.



The Statement of Claim was produced by the McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP
Kevin Egan, Russell Raikes, and Michael Saelhof; Lawyers for the Plaintiffs

Claim for Elgan-Middlesex Detention Centre, London, ON – 3 – Violence

This is a continued excerpt of the Statement of Claim against the London jail, a class action lawsuit waiting for certification in February, 2015.


Servers: inmates who were usually large and violent

Guards ask inmates to obey larger prisoners.

k) Guards advised inmates to follow the spoken, written, and posted rules set by “servers”, inmates who were usually large and violent.


Encouraged by Guards

Guards turning a blind eye to abuse by servers and guards.

35. The current layout of the cell blocks prevents guard observation. Furthermore, guards routinely closed the doors to their stations to avoid knowing occurrences in the cell blocks.

37. f) Guards encouraged inmates to assault other inmates, particularly sex offenders; 37. e) Guards inflicted excessive physical assaults on inmates,


Discouraged to complain

Complaints against other prisoners and guards were dismissed

37. b) Guards discouraged inmates who were physically assaulted from complaining

37. g) prisoner complaints of physical assaults or intimidation by guards were inmates were dismissed.


Nothing was done.

Nothing was done after reporting.

37. d) for which there was no follow-up investigations by supervisory staff

45. Despite of knowing the sort of violence committed against prisoners by these servers, the staffs did nothing to protect prisoners.

Claim for Elgan-Middlesex Detention Centre, London, ON – 2 – Overcrowding

Previously, I started an excerpt of Lawyer Egan’s Statement of Claim against Ontario jail conditions. This post will continue to summarize that Claim by focusing on the issue of overcrowding.



10. The staffs’ action and inaction resulted in an unsanitary, unsafe and overcrowded EMDC during the Claim Period, which violates the inmates’ basic human rights under Section 7 and 12 of our Charter.

11. As well, they have fostered an atmosphere of violence, brutality and intimidation.



13. In the 1970’s, the EMDC was designed to hold about 150 inmates.

14. Little has changed since then despite of alternations.

15. However, the number of prisoners regularly exceeded 400 during the Claim Period.



Original design:

One cell block, ten cells for ten single inmates, plus two rooms for recreations.


Later modifications:

add concrete slab to ten cells, so now twenty inmates per ten cells. During the claim Period, these cells routinely housed more than two prisoners.


16. That means a cell block that was originally designed for 10 prisoners often housed more than 40 prisoners between 2010 and 2013.


17. Later modifications: the two rooms were converted to “welfare cells” which were supposed to hold two prisoners, but often held as many as five, despite of the out-dated ventilation and plumbing system designed for only ten prisoners in one single cell block.


19. Overcrowding at EMDC resulted in unhygienic conditions such as,

a) sleeping beside toilet b) that were frequently left unclean or broken so it overflow.

c) cells were not cleaned d) where black mold and bed bugs were common


21. The staff didn’t do anything despite of this knowledge.


Claim for Elgan-Middlesex Detention Centre, London, ON – 1 – Setting

Previously, I have written about Lawyer Egan’s case against Ontario on October 23rd, 2014 under Ontario may be sued for violence in London Detection Centre.


From Egan’s office, McKenzieLake’s website, under Practice Area, Class Actions Law, by selecting Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre Class Action under Current Actions, I found a summary of the case and a series of related documents. This and my upcoming posts will be the key points from the first one.



The following is taken from Court file #2291/13, which is a Statement of Claim between Plaintiffs Glenn Johnson and Michael Smith, and Defendant Her Majesty, the Queen, in right of Ontario on December 9th, 2013.



Characters and Place

  1. Plaintiff G. Johnson of London was in EMDC from May 3rd, 2012 to December 30, 2012 before going to another institution.


  1. Plaintiff M. Smith of Tillsonburg was in EMDC from July 9th, 2012 to July 12th, 2012.


  1. Johnson and Smith sue on their own behalf as well as every single person who were imprisoned at EMDC between January 1, 2010 and August 25, 2013 for whatever reasons.


  1. The Queen is sued because technically she operates EMDC… on paper.

8. So when it says “the Queen”, it means the staffs who work at EMDC, guards, medical staff and whoever were responsible for the custody of the inmates during the Claim Period.


  1. The Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) is a correctional institution on Exeter Road in London, Ontario.


The Claim


4. The Plaintiffs cliam


b) a declaration that
i) The conditions at EMDC and the practices of Ontario while caring for the inmates during 2010 and 2013 deprived them of the right to life, liberty and security as guaranteed by Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

ii) The conditions at the EMDC and the practices of the custodians of the inmates constituted cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment contrary to Section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


The Plaintiffs claim:

d) Total damage for negligence, failed to fulfill guardianship, assault and battery add up to three hundred million dollars.

f) An additional twenty-five million dollars in order to warn future practices.



Ontario may be sued for violence in London Detection Centre

 To Masai/Fred, the gentleman at Union who promotes prison libraries

September, 2011
A coroner’s jury ruled that Randy Drysdale died as a result of homicide by at least two inmates at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) in London, Ontario. [1]

2013 Halloween
Adam Kargus was murdered by inmates A.M. George with B.S. Mielke and D.C. Cake. That led to the charges of two correctional officers and a supervisor, L. Lonsbary, G. Langford and S. Jurkus, with failure to provide life necessities.

September 3rd, 2014
In addition to the aforementioned members of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), three more employees were let go from their EMDC positions. Since OPSEU went on strike for health and safety reasons in response, EMDC was locked down except for meals, medicine and court transfers.

Currently, lawyer Kevin Egan is filing a class-action lawsuit against the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for their negligence leading to the violence at the EMDC. [2] According to the London Free Press, the 450-capacity EMDC was originally built to house 150 inmates. [3] The January and September lockdown were but a tip of the iceberg. [5] To date, at least 400 of the estimated 40,000 inmates involved from 2010 to 2013 have submitted their case to Egan. [2] This certification application will be heard in February, 2015. [4]

Background information
In the 9 detention centres in Ontario, 4843 inmates are either serving less than two months, waiting for trial, sentencing, or transfer to a correctional facility. [6] Men represent over 90% of this inmate population. [7]


Authored by Roni
Men’s Issues Awareness (MIA) at Guelph 2012 – present
Men’s Health research                                  2013





[1] Carruthers D & Richmond R (2011, September 15). Inquest rules death homicide, slams conditions at EMDC. The London Free Press.

[2] OPSEU, Province reach deal over EMDC (2014, September 9). CHEX Television.

[3] Richmond R (2014, January 9). London lawyer Kevin Egan hopes new Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre citizens advisory board can get to truth. The London Free Press.

[4] Brennan RJ (2014, September 22). Lawsuit targets ‘unbelievable’ violence at London jail. The Star.


Paperny AM (2014, September 8). Ontario’s short-staffed jails face chronic lockdowns, staff, inmates say. Global News.

Campbell W (2013, July 28). Ontario jails holding more inmates than designed for. The Canadian Press.

Brennan RJ (2014, September 22). Lawsuit targets ‘unbelievable’ violence at London jail. The Star.

[6] List of Detention Centres for adult offenders in terms of Correctional Facilities (Last modified on October 3, 2014). Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

[7] Robinson et al., Reed & Roberts, Cong and AuCoin (1998, 1999, 2008). As cited in Profile of provincially sentenced women in Ontario. Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ontario.