Overcrowding factor in violent attack on correctional officer

Escalating culture of violence at Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre as jail reaches approximately 270 per cent capacity.

Toronto (28 May 2013) - Severe overcrowding is being cited as a contributing factor in a weekend violent incident at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) in London, Ontario.

Representatives from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) report that a correctional officer was stabbed in the head by an inmate. Rain Loftus, with OPSEU/NUPGE, said that the officer has received treatment and then released from hospital.

He told the media that "if this had to happen, good thing it was a quick trip to the hospital, got some stitches and out."

The most recent incident comes as the facility is gaining a reputation for violence. A serious overcrowding problem is being cited as contributing to the problem. Built to house 150 inmates, approximately 400 are currently being held there.

Loftus thinks that the overcrowding situation is creating "an escalating" culture of attacks.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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