Since yesterday morning, the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre has been on lockdown due to inmates not being properly screened for tuberculosis. AM980 is reporting that there is a strict policy for TB screening that hasn’t been followed since December.
The policy is that inmates have to be tested when they arrive at the center, but this hasn’t happened in two months due to a refrigerator malfunction that holds the testing agent.
Staff at the EMDC are refusing to work due to the lack of TB testing, but AM980 is also reporting that the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service say, following an investigation, there are no grounds to refuse work for this reason.
The inmates in lockdown means they spend 24 hours a day in their cells and no visits from family or lawyers. With such close quarters, the risk for tuberculosis increases for the inmates.
As of now, there have been no confirmed or reported cases of tuberculosis at the detention centre.
This is the third lockdown since September 2014. The first lockdown, which lasted 6 days, was a result of the 5 correctional officers and manger that were dismissed after the death of an inmate. The second lockdown in November that lasted 6 days was caused by firings, prisoners’ unrest and refusals to work.