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The last two allegations against Mr. Thomas were that on February 12, 1991 he yelled with other inmates "we don’t care, bring the gas, bring the army," and on February 13, 1991 he threw his food tray and garbage onto the tier. Mr. Thomas’ response was to this effect:

With respect to the matter of February 12, 1991, this involved the Protective Custody segregated prisoners flooding our tier below them by plugging up their toilets and causing ours to overflow into our cells at approximately 5 p.m. We, the administrative segregation prisoners, bagged up our belongings and cleaned up our cells. At 1 a.m., the Protective Custody prisoners did this again. We were all very upset because we had three inches of water on our floors and, consequently, in protest, we, as a group, turned up our stereos in order to make noise to try and get back at the Protective Custody prisoners. Mr. Cassin was the keeper that night and he came onto the tier and told us to shut up or we would be gassed and chained to our beds. This fuss carried on most of the night. We did yell back as a group to Officer Cassin that we did not care and he could bring the gas or bring the army because we were very upset about what had happened.

As a general response to all of the allegations, Mr. Thomas wrote,

You can see that the longer I’m kept in solitary confinement, the greater the deterioration in my behaviour as a result and yet you propose to continue to maintain me in solitary confinement or to send me to a Special Handling Unit . . . I do not understand how you think I will be a risk to the good order of the institution if returned to the population. You primarily refer to the escape but you know that my role in it was opportunistic and unpremeditated. You then refer to a number of matters that occurred since I have been in solitary confinement and you know well that lengthy periods in solitary confinement cause deterioration in behaviour...

I submit that the length of time that you have kept me in solitary confinement has contributed to my anxiety and frustration and caused me to become more impatient. This has been exacerbated by your holding over my head the threat of a Special Handling Unit transfer package and not providing me with the package itself until I had served eight months in solitary.

On March 18, Warden Scisson affirmed his recommendation for Mr. Thomas’ transfer to the Special Handling Unit.

You have been exhibiting a pattern of problematic behaviour throughout your current incarceration including what is clearly an escalation of violent behaviour. You chose to continue to participate in a violent helicopter escape from Kent Institution and have chosen to assault other inmates. You have received numerous charges for substance abuse-related activities and have damaged government property. Your contention that the longer you remain in segregation "the greater the apparent deterioration in my behaviour as a result" is not a valid excuse for your behaviour. I contend that you have a choice in how you behave and your choices have thus far been unpredictable, impulsive, increasingly violent and without insight. I believe you seriously minimize and rationalize your actions and that you would escape again if given the opportunity. (Notification of Review and Recommendation Relative to Transfer, March 18, 1991)

Mr Thomas filed a petition for habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on March 29. On April 22, before that petition could be heard, he was released from segregation.

Less than four months later, Mr. Thomas found himself back in the hole. On August 6, he was placed in segregation pending an investigation into the assault of another prisoner, and the warden again recommended that he be transferred to the Special Handling Unit. On August 26, he filed a second application for habeas corpus, claiming that he was not involved in the assault and, further, that he was not provided with any evidence on which the institution was basing its allegations against him. In support of his petition, Mr. Thomas included an affidavit signed by the prisoner who had been assaulted swearing that Mr. Thomas was in no way responsible for and had not contributed to the assault.

On December 23, Regional Headquarters denied Kent Institution’s recommendation for Mr. Thomas’ transfer to the Special Handling Unit. However, Mr. Thomas spent his second consecutive Christmas and New Year in segregation and was not notified until January 6, 1992, by memo from the deputy warden, that the Special Handling Unit package had been declined. That same day -- two weeks after the Regional Headquarters decision and five months after his second period of segregation had begun -- he was seen by the Segregation Review Board and released to the general population.

When I interviewed David Thomas in the spring of 1992, he said he had no difficulty in understanding why he had been kept in segregation until police completed their investigation of his role in the escape. However, once it became clear that he had joined in at the very last minute, he became increasingly angry at being kept in the hole. He believed that keeping him in segregation and recommending his transfer to the Special Handling Unit was the institution’s way of making him pay for the embarrassment the escape had caused the CSC and for his defiant comment that he’d "do it again." His anger was fuelled by the conditions in the segregation unit and by what he saw as the arbitrary treatment of prisoners there. Constant bright light and extreme cold in the cells and unfair policies regarding showers and exercise were some of the issues he identified. Most of the incidents the warden relied upon in the transfer package were, he said, a form of group protest through which he and some fellow prisoners had tried to attract the attention of both the administration and the public.

Why is this happening? You know, nobody ever came from outside this joint wanting to see why this had taken place. We’re not animals. We’re not fools. We’re not going to set the whole house on fire for no good reason. (Interview with David Thomas, Kent Institution, March 1992)

Although Mr. Thomas acknowledged that there were many guards who responded to prisoners’ requests in a humane manner, there were far too many who treated them with disdain.

I used to wonder to myself what kind of man does it take to walk past my cell ten times a day and look in there, you know, and not feel something like, "What can I do to help this guy?" They think we’re sub-human because we’re in a box. (Thomas interview, March 1992)

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