Laval Institution Slated to Close Relocating Leclerc Prisoners

30 May, 2012

The medium-security Leclerc Institution in Laval, is home to many rival gang members and organized crime figures and relocating them is a “recipe for disaster”, says the prison guards’ union.

The federal government’s decision to close down the facility along with the Kingston Penitentiary will lead to significant disruptions and create security nightmares, the union warned.

“How are they going to plan and manage those transfers? We don’t know,” said Union of Canadian Correctional Officers national president Pierre Mallette.

“We know nothing, This is a hastened decision.”

He said Leclerc is considered a ‘high medium-security’ facility, where many high-profile organized crime fig- ures, including Hells Angels bikers, are serving their sentences.

The facility has separate wings for rival gangs to ensure they don’t come into contact. But the union said other medium-security facilities in Quebec have open areas where populations mix.

“That is a recipe for disaster,” Mallette said.

Moreover, the climate is already tense at the Leclerc facility following the shutdown several weeks ago by federal authorities of the prison’s pool that was built and maintained by the inmates since 1984. The decision was made for security reasons, but prison guards fear backlash from prisoners left with too much time on their hands. The union says it has ‘no information whatsoever’ about possible job losses and noted, despite the government’s efforts to relocate workers, many will not want to move to a different city.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, one of the three unions that represent workers at Leclerc, said 31 people there were given notices that their jobs affected’ and could be eliminated.

Jonathan Huet, Assistant Warden at Leclerc Institution, declined to comment on the closure or provide details about relocation and job losses.   Since it opened its doors in 1961, the Leclerc facility has housed a series of notorious Quebec criminals.

Source: Postmedia News 

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