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Mr. Boileau had staggered out of the room where he had fallen, bleeding extensively from the nose. Maria Parton, another of the case management officers, explained that when she went into the washroom looking for paper towels to stem the flow of blood, she remembered that you could stop blood flow by pinching the nose. She tried to apply this technique, but Mr. Boileau, who by this time was sitting on the floor, recoiled in pain. This was the point at which I had first seen Mr. Boileau after hearing the commotion. Several other security staff came into the building and sat down by Mr. Boileau, trying to comfort him. He was still bleeding profusely and was clearly in a state of shock. A nurse was called and eventually he was placed in a wheelchair and taken to the prison hospital. The staff there called for an ambulance, and he was taken to the MSA Hospital in Abbotsford. He was treated for a fractured nose and cuts to his cheek and the bridge of his nose.

The discussion in the second round of the debriefing centred on the helplessness felt by a number of staff. The female clerks and receptionist talked about their vulnerability. "What would have happened," they asked, "had Mr. McLaren gone after one of us?" The receptionist, who was employed as a temporary worker through an agency and had no special training for the job, talked about her concerns as the person who often had to tell prisoners that they could not see their case management officer, either because the officer did not want to see the prisoner or because the officer was unavailable. There had been another incident the year previous in which a prisoner came over the desk at the entrance; although the receptionist at the time had escaped injury, the assault of Mr. Boileau clearly revived concerns about staff vulnerability.

I was impressed by the fact that debriefing had become a regular procedure for staff who experienced incidents that could give rise to post-traumatic stress. The opportunity for the staff to revisit their experiences and hear others express their feelings had a reassuring impact. The solicitude for staff welfare must, however, be contrasted with the response to those prisoners who observed, from their cells, Mr. Boileau being wheeled out, bleeding, and were alleged to have made remarks suggesting they derived pleasure from the fact that an officer had been assaulted. These comments were met with the immediate response of placing the men in segregation.

The comments made by the prisoners were clearly insensitive. As an example, one of the prisoners was heard to say, "It looks good on you." In trying to understand such callousness, it should be remembered that more than a few of the prisoners I interviewed at Matsqui had bitter memories of being the subject of what they viewed as unprovoked assaults by prison officers and police officers; seeing a staff member suffer the same fate may have revived some of these memories. Post-traumatic stress works both ways. Yet the response of the institutional authorities was not to involve the prisoners in debriefing but to place them in segregation. While this might be justified on the basis of trying to prevent the spread of anti-authoritarian sentiment among the prison population at a critical moment, the more understandable explanation is that the staff were genuinely incensed at the insensitivity demonstrated by the prisoners. The decision to segregate these prisoners was not so much a principled decision based upon the need to prevent further violence but rather a visceral reaction based upon anger.

In the course of the debriefing, I heard that one of the prisoners taken to segregation after the assault was Dave Humphries. I was surprised to hear this, because I had interviewed Mr. Humphries the previous week, and he had emphasized that he was impressed with how many staff had demonstrated real compassion for his situation and had gone out of their way to help him. Moreover, he had just been granted a day parole to Sumas Centre, which was due to go into effect the following week. Why would someone who spoke so respectfully about staff and was on the verge of leaving the institution commit an act that likely to jeopardize any chance of release? On my way up to segregation to interview Mr. Humphries again, I was stopped by another prisoner who told me that the remark the staff had attributed to Mr. Humphries -- "It looks good on you" -- had actually been made by him and that he was prepared to go to the warden and tell him that, because it was not fair that Mr. Humphries had been "scooped" for something he had not done.

When I interviewed Mr. Humphries, he seemed genuinely shocked to find himself placed in segregation on the eve of being paroled. He explained that on Monday afternoon he had been told by another prisoner that a staff member had been assaulted and that there was going to be a lockdown. Mr. Humphries went to his cell before this occurred. This was his normal pattern, because he did not like to have the doors closed on him -- he preferred to do it himself. He watched a television program, and then at about 5:00 p.m. his door flew open and a bunch of officers came in, told him to stand up, pushed him against the wall, had him spread his legs, and handcuffed him behind his back. He asked why and was told he would learn that soon enough. On the way down to segregation he asked again why he was being taken to the hole. He was told that "diarrhoea of the mouth is just as bad" and that he would be notified of the reasons for his being in segregation in due course. At around 10:00 p.m. he was given a segregation review notice, which stated that he had been heard making a derogatory remark after a staff member had been hurt.

On my way down from the segregation unit on Tuesday I spoke briefly with Mike Csoka, the correctional supervisor for the segregation unit. Mr. Csoka stated that he had some reservations about Dave Humphries' involvement and that he, too, had heard another prisoner was volunteering he was the culprit. Mike Csoka thought this was believable, since the other prisoner was the type of person who would make that kind of comment. I then met with Darryl Ghostkeeper, the chairman of the Inmate Committee (elected by the prison population, with a mandate o represent the interests of prisoners in dealing with CSC management), who told me that he had already had a meeting with the warden and had raised the Committee's concern that Mr. Humphries was being unfairly kept in segregation. He had also raised with the warden the fact that Mr. Badari, one of the other prisoners taken to segregation, alleged that the guards who took him to segregation used unnecessary force and after he was handcuffed had smashed him into one of the barriers.

I went to the correctional operations room in search of Acting Deputy Warden Doug Richmond, and on my way met Warden Brock heading in the same direction for an end-of-the-day briefing. He invited me to attend. At the meeting the warden brought up the Inmate Committee's concern that unreasonable force had been used against prisoner Badari in taking him to segregation, and reported that he had requested a senior staff member from the Regional Psychiatric Centre be sent over to conduct an internal investigation into the allegation. Mr. Richmond, in reviewing the information received during the day, commented that although he had been told that the prisoner who made the derogatory remark was not Mr. Humphries, the staff member who had reported it, the hobby officer, was quite clear in her mind that following the derogatory statement someone had laughed out loud, that it was a deep laugh, and that it was Mr. Humphries'. Before leaving the institution I went to the walkway outside the case management building and looked up to the third floor, the floor where Dave Humphries' cell was located. I had difficulty seeing how anyone standing on the walkway could identify who had made a statement or laughed on the third floor, particularly at a time when emotions were heated.


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