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I began my observations of the disciplinary court at Kent Institution on January 25, 1994. Dean Fox, a lawyer specializing in civil litigation, had been the Independent Chairperson at Kent since 1987. In the 1970s, before he went to law school, Mr. Fox worked for a brief period at Mission Institution as a living unit officer. Because of his involvement in an extended civil trial in January 1994, he had taken a three-month leave of absence, and Independent Chairpersons from other institutions sat in for him during this period. For the first two months of my observations, Rory Walters, the acting Chairperson from Matsqui, also conducted the hearings at Kent. When Keith Routley resumed his position as Independent Chairperson at Matsqui, he and Mr. Walters rotated as Independent Chairperson at Kent until Dean Fox’s return to the institution in April 1994.

The hearings at Kent were held in a boardroom off the corridor leading to the segregation unit. The Chairperson sat at the head of a large rectangular table, with the accused prisoner seated at the other end. The court clerk and the institutional advisor sat along one side of the table with the institutional advisor closest to the prisoner. Witnesses sat on the other side of the table. Usually the officer stood by the door, acting as the sheriff. The designated institutional advisor to the disciplinary court at Kent, as at Matsqui, was the co-ordinator of correctional operations.

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