Canadian CO's use of force rises with overcrowding
The use of tear gas, pepper spray, guns and physical restraint is on the rise in Canada’s prisons to defuse violence
By Kathleen Harris
OTTAWA, Canada — The use of tear gas, pepper spray, guns and physical restraint is on the rise in Canada’s prisons to defuse violence — an upward trend linked to a more aggressive, gang-affiliated inmate population and overcrowded conditions.
Documents obtained by CBC News Network's Power & Politics under Access to Information show security incidents where use of force was applied against federal offenders have increased by 37 per cent in the last five years — to 1,339 in 2011-12 from 975 incidents in 2007-08.
Records also reveal an increased use of tear gas and pepper spray to stop acts of violence or self-harm; use of tear gas nearly tripled to 292 times from 96 five years ago, while use of pepper spray more than doubled to 400 last year from 186 five years ago.