EMDC crisis needs action now (editorial)
London Community News
Guards and inmates alike are reporting dangerous conditions verging on a state of riot at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) and its time for local leaders at all levels of government to step in to resolve this explosive situation before more people are seriously injured or killed.
Officials with the provincial ministry responsible for the facility aren’t denying that, at the very least, the climate within the EMDC is tense and precarious.
Yet an attitude of indifference prevails when the people responsible for the EMDC are asked about problems with violence, sanitation and overcrowding at the facility.
Right now the safety of the facility’s guards and the inmates they are charged with overseeing are at risk and no MP, MPP or city councillor can plead ignorance about the dire state of affairs at the EMDC.
Although the facility falls under provincial jurisdiction, our federal and municipal representatives need to begin putting pressure on the Ontario Community Safety and Correctional Services Ministry to start taking the problems at the EMDC seriously.
And if they don’t begin to apply that pressure, then the consequences of this continuing inaction falls on their heads too.
There has to be a way to put an end to the near-weekly complaints of assaults, fires, unreasonable punishments and inhuman living conditions pouring out of the EMDC, whether by moving some of the inmate population to other facilities or hiring more guards.
Yes, those options cost money and everyone knows the purse strings at all levels of government are cinched pretty tight right now.
But doing nothing will likely cost the province just as much when it is faced with coroner’s inquests and a mounting pile of lawsuits.
On behalf of all the human beings at the EMDC who are there by choice or not, we call on our elected officials to take action, before it’s too late.