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location: publications / books / Justice Behind the Walls / Sector 3 / Chapter 3 The Disciplinary Process at Kent / August and September 1994: Rumble in the Jungle -- The Mike Tyson Fight at Kent

Mr. Fox then gave his ruling:

There was evidence of slurred speech; Mr. Preddyís argument was that this was because he was woken up. However, there is a much closer association between slurred speech and being woken up in Mr. Preddyís mind than there is in mine. Officer Durand had said that this slurred speech might have been because of stress at appearing in court but, having observed Mr. Preddy at todayís hearing and seeing his demeanour and manner of speech, I do not think this would be an explanation of the slurred speech. There was evidence that Mr. Preddy was seen in the cell in which a party was going on holding a cup and pouring it out when told to do so. There was also the evidence of Nurse Fine who admitted that it was a possibility that the smell of brew was from Mr. Preddyís clothes and that his agitated state could be because of his being restrained in segregation. What I find most significant was your presence in a party room holding a cup and pouring it out. On all the evidence, therefore, I find you guilty.

On the issue of sentence, Mr. Preddy said he had been in segregation for the forty-one days since the incident, and, given that 30 days was the maximum sentence, surely this was punishment enough. In addition, he said he had lost over $700 in pay, because he was one of the few prisoners in Kent who had two jobs. He further maintained that he was due to be released within a month, and spending a long period in punitive segregation would not be helpful to his reintegration into society. He pointed out that there was a waiting list to return to the population, and it could be as much as two weeks before he was released in any event. Mr. Preddy also commented that it was a shock to him to be convicted, because he had no previous history of being involved with either drugs or brew.

Officer Wallin confirmed that Mr. Preddy had no previous convictions of serious charges and, while this was a serious incident, Mr. Preddy had locked up when told to do so. Mr. Fox ruled that the sentence would be a $50 fine (the maximum under the CCRA ) and 30 daysí segregation suspended for 60 days. The sentence was intended to take into account that Mr. Preddy had no previous convictions, that he had spent forty-one days in segregation and that he had lost a substantial amount of money flowing from his segregation.

When Mr. Preddy appeared before the Segregation Review Board later in September, he was cleared for release subject to bed space. He was assigned the number 12, which indicated that there were eleven men ahead of him. This meant he would likely spend the whole month before his release to the street in segregation. Thus, when Mr. Preddy appeared before the Segregation Review Board in mid-October, he had served almost two months in the hole. In an interview conducted the day before he was released from Kent Institution, he told me what happened at that review.

I went up in front of the Board and sitting on the Board that day was Jessie Sexsmith, the assistant warden. I started to address myself to Mr. Sexsmith and I said, "Forget the security of this institution. Iím not a threat to the security of this institution. Iíve been around here long enough for you people to know that. Forget my physical or mental well-being of being locked up for so long in segregation with another man twenty-three hours a day in a single cell. The only thing that this institution should be taking in account right now should be the welfare and well-being of the community. Iím a very bitter man to start with. I received a nine-year sentence back when I just turned nineteen years old. This is the first time Iíve been in the penitentiary system, and I spent 90 per cent of that sentence in Kent maximum security. Iím basically just a bag of nerves and a bag of problems that you donít want. You sit there and claim that Iím a danger to the community within your institution, and hereís a community that is filled with people that are the outcasts and offcasts of society. Youíre going to release me into the populace of British Columbia from segregation basically frothing at the mouth from being in segregation, made to be bitter and just thrown out into the society. I donít even consider it a release from segregation, I consider it just being tossed out onto the curb like the garbage on Tuesday for pick-up.

I informed them that I canít even get hold of my people on the phone down here because the phone system is once every ten days and itís either a hit or a miss and theyíre not prepared to give me any extra calls so that I can make arrangements to be picked up or make arrangements for a job or for anything. I guess it was about this time that I lost my civil tongue with the Seg Review Board and I told them all to basically go fuck themselves and that they donít have to answer to me, but they may have to answer to possibly an inquest if they release me in this condition onto society. They said they would review my case and get back to me. I was taken back to segregation and to my shock the next morning Iím being called from my cell and informed that Iím going back to the population. (Interview with Shawn Preddy, October 25, 1994, Kent Institution)

Shawn Preddyís return to the population was shortlived. Upon his release he was placed in a double-bunked cell in A Unit. Three days later, on October 19, he was taken back to segregation after a butter knife was discovered between his mattress and the wall of his cell. According to Mr. Preddy:

Either I was set up by one of the guards in the unit or I was set up by an inmate. Iíve been in this institution approximately eight years and I know many hiding spots in this institution where I can hide knives rather than leaving it next to my mattress, where itís almost certainly going to be discovered. (Preddy Interview, October 25, 1994)

He made a first appearance on the charge on October 25, and it was put over for a hearing two weeks hence. On October 27, Mr. Preddy was released from segregation to the street on statutory release. He had served all but three days of the last two and a half months of his sentence in segregation.

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