SOC229 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Regional Reception Centre, Complete Control, Mock Trial

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Thursday, January 7, 2016
Lecture 2
The Kingston penitentiary Riot of 1971
Objectives
Recount of events at Kingston
Focus on conceptual issues
Utilize examples to substantiate
Definitional issues
Riot – prolonged time period, complete control of prison
Disturbance- limited to no control over prison population, few people involved
Incident- isolated, even fewer inmates, no control over prison population. (which create
disturbances)
Administrative response – send ringleaders to special handling unit (inmates are sent to
SHU) (Highest security level) (Either for their own protection or from others)
Institutional charge: When
Background of Canada’s Penitentiary System
Time of confederation 1867 divisive powers provincial and federal
Federal government responsible for longer sentences
Developed penitentiary system (2+years_
1. Long term criminals, violent offenders
2. Cascading from max to min (good behaviour can make them go to max facility,
these days you’re seeing women classified as… )
3. Initial classification conducted at mill haven
Characteristics if penitentiary
Greater security concerns
Fewer privileges, constrained movement
Riots typically occur more than in provincial facilities
Environment is repressive
What is unique about Kingston?
Most violent
Prisoners took over entire prison area even though they weren’t large in number
Sections are cordoned off – riots typically contained, but they were able to manage to get
access
Kingston prisoners however controlled several areas: central block, dome, cell blocks
Role of inmate informants
50 of 550 gave police statements – 10% gave detail, they wanted at their parole review to
get acknowledgement. (One said ill be happy to give
most denied seeing anything
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10% gave detailed information – RISK
- Favourable parole – “id be happy to testify, but only if I get parole”
- Altruistic reasons – “ I don’t want to….”
Consequences of Cooperation
13 men faces trial for riot
Testify during day- return to be attacked
Day parolee created a “rat list” after watching trials ( list of people who gave witnesses)
50 statements with names released and turned over to the accused by defense attorney
Correctional Response
Removed inmates from general population for their protection
Renovated a protective wing to house men
Led to surprising in-direct result of riot
- Creation of protective custody institutions e.g. Kingston
- Eliminate traditional separate wing
: Key: Inmate had to access to undesirables, attacking and killing them
The beginning of the Riot & Billie Knight
(Morning) April 14th rumors began of riot & hostage takeover
Prison authorities not notified – unusual
- Reward, dislike riot themselves
Keep in mind – weapons and tear gas stored away in case of a riot or disturbance
Guards typically unarmed because outnumbered
8:30 – 10: 30 pm
Guards over powered by line of inmates leaving gymnasium (20 to 1)
Six inmates rotated in and out
Leader of unsuspected six is Billie knight
14 Inmates kept moving towards cell on 2nd floor (2H)
Guard on 2H told not to resist
Gaining control
Entire inmate population released into dome by riot leader
Cellblocks opened through control centre
Threatened to move or hurt
Guards attacked but minor assaults (punches) – Some guards resisted some fought back.
Leadership
Knight (talks big, doesn’t carry through) assumes leadership and direct inmates in dome
He notes he is in control of guard hostages (5)
- Not be hurt (guards or the undesirables, he was the only on who stood up for them)
- Negotiation with authorities for demands
Gives permission to “wreck the place”
- Millions in damage/ years in renovations
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