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The charges to which the women pleaded guilty included attempted prison breach, assault with a weapon, assault, possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace, and threatening serious bodily harm. The report observes that Union of Solicitor General Employees argued that the events under investigation began with a planned, deliberate attempt at escape by six prisoners and that it involved an attempted murder. However, Madam Justice Arbour found that although the evidence suggested the events of April 22 were not entirely spontaneous, it did not support the conclusion that there was much planning beyond a short caucusing between inmates a few minutes before they came to blows with correctional officers. Furthermore, she rejected union submissions that the assaults perpetrated by the inmates revealed an intent to kill, adding that no inmate was ever charged with attempted murder.

In her report, Madam Justice Arbour addressed each stage of "The Events," including the strip search by the male Institutional Emergency Response Team (IERT), the body cavity searches carried out after the women were segregated, the transfer to the male Regional Treatment Centre, and the subsequent long-term segregation of the women. She also addressed the manner in which the CSC carried out its internal investigation and edited its report, noting in particular the inaccurate and misleading description of the IERT intervention. Her findings in each of these areas were integral elements of her conclusion that the CSC’s culture did not respect the Rule of Law. In this chapter I will concentrate on her findings in relation to segregation and strip-searching: segregation because of its direct relevance to my research and the strip search because it presages events at Kent Institution two years after the publication of the report.

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