Gary Allen, faced with the prospect of serving his full sentence in
a provincial prison in administrative segregation, sought to transfer
to a federal penitentiary, something that can be arranged pursuant to
a federal-provincial transfer agreement. That request was reviewed by
the warden of Kent Institution. In a letter from Bob Lusk, warden of Kent
Institution, to Ron Williams, Director of the Fraser Regional Correctional
Centre, Mr. Lusk indicated that Kent was prepared to accept Allen under
certain circumstances. In the course of the letter Mr. Lusk expressed
concern that Gary Allen "not enter into a transfer to Kent Institution
under any illusions" and pointed out that "currently, all new intake is
being housed in segregation until general accommodation cell space can
be found for them. Cells are allotted on a first come, first serve basis.
Our current waiting list is eleven and it should be approximately six
weeks before a cell can be found for him." (Letter from Bob Lusk to Ron
Williams, January 6, 1994).
Dave Dick, the institutional preventinve security officer (IPSO) at
Kent, went to Fraser Regional Correctional Centre on January 12 to interview
Gary Allen. The subject matter of that interview is reflected in a detailed
memorandum Mr. Dick prepared for the deputy warden of Kent Institution,
dated January 13, 1994. It read:
1. Gary Allen requested an ESA [Exchange of Services
Agreement] transfer to Kent from the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre
where he is currently being housed in their segregation unit . . . The
warden has agreed to accept Allen provided he signed an understanding
he would participate in programs and that, should he require long-term
segregation at Kent, he could be returned to the provincial system.
2. I interviewed Allen yesterday morning at FRCC. He refused to sign the
understanding as presented, objecting to the wording which implied he
might be segregated for his own protection. He wanted that changed and
said he would sign if it stated segregation "for any reason." He emphasized
he had never requested protection and never would.
3. He made the point several times that he had never run from any confrontation
and would never go to staff with any problems. If someone had a problem
with him, he would deal with it on his own terms. He said this was the
way he was taught years ago when he entered the system and he was not
going to change now.
4. I gave him a list of our current inmates, asking if he had any particular
problems with anyone. He started to go through it, making comments on
one or two of them but very quickly gave the list back to me, saying he
had never done that before and would not start now. The brief comments
he did make confirmed one previously identified incompatible. . . [A prisoner
is then named.]. . . In addition, there are certain others which should
be regarded as likely sources of conflict. . . [A number of prisoners
are then named.]
5. Finally, there is a serious and previously unidentified incompatibility
with Hugh MacDonald who is currently in J unit GP segregation. Allen became
extremely agitated when seeing this name on the list, saying he had not
encountered him in many years but that he had "fucked him over badly"
when he was a new kid in the system. He noted that MacDonald was now much
older and he, Allen, was in his prime and "what goes around, comes around!"
Allen noted that MacDonald had killed two guards and suggested this was
a good reason for me to put them together on the same range and Allen
would "look after him for you."
6. When his suggestion was rejected out of hand he seemed to realize what
he had said and backtracked somewhat. He did not withdraw his threats,
however. He only wanted to keep the conversation private, "between you
7. Given this interview, I feel more strongly than ever that Allen represents
a serious risk to our institutional security and he is unlikely to ever
be released to our general population. He will be both a potential target
and aggressor and I would anticipate a violent incident within days, if
not hours, of his arrival in an open unit. In segregation he would be
manageable -- but even there we would constantly need to monitor who he
comes into contact with on his range.
8. I have told Allen my concerns and my recommendation that he not be
accepted at Kent. I have also told him he would likely not be released
to population though this would, of course, be reviewed on a regular basis.
Given our discussion, he is reconsidering his request for transfer but
has asked that a revised letter be given to him for signature.
Somewhat surprisingly in light of Mr. Dick's strong recommendation against
it, the warden of Kent confirmed with his provincial counterpart that
he was prepared to accept Mr. Allen.
At the preliminary inquiry of Hughie MacDonald -- in serious cases,
the first stage of the criminal trial process -- Jesse Sexsmith, who had
left Matsqui in late 1993 to become the deputy warden of Kent Institution,
was questioned by defence counsel as to how he interpreted the threats
made by Gary Allen against Mr. MacDonald as reported in Mr. Dick's memorandum.
Mr. Sexsmith responded:
I knew this fellow, Allen, well. He was a braggart
. . . He loved to sit and brag. He loved to sit and talk violent. He loved
to believe that he was the toughest guy on the block, and he consistently
spoke in terms like that. In my experience, my personal experience with
Allen, the experience of others on the management team . . . provided
us with a . . . considered opinion that the man was a braggart and that
it really didn't mean a lot . . . because there was no record that we
were aware of any incident. No-one had ever told me of previous incidents
or anything in particular . . . There was nothing on case management files.
There was nothing on our offender management system in terms of our computer
files for incidents. There was nothing there, or as I was told, there
was nothing there. (Proceedings at the Preliminary Inquiry of Hughie MacDonald,
November 17, 1995 at 58-59)
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