Metchosin mayor calls for tougher security as escaped prisoners remain at large
Sarah Reid, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, July 9, 2019 6:41PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 9, 2019 6:43PM PDT
The mayor of Metchosin is calling for tighter security at a West Shore prison after two dangerous offenders escaped Monday.
"When you look at the nature of these two individuals and their crimes and their history, it's definitely a concern to us," said Mayor John Ranns of the two offenders who escaped from William Head Institution, a minimum-security prison, on Sunday.
"The type of prisoner they have is not the type we expect to be held there."
Ranns says he supports the facility and its programs, but wants to see more security added if the facility plans to continue housing offenders who have been convicted of violent crimes.
"It appears now that the type of prisoner that's there should be in a medium-security prison."
The community is concerned about the prison housing offenders who have a distant parole date or aren’t transitioning back into society. However, assistant warden Anthony Baldo said he wants to see offenders who are serving a life sentence spend more time at the facility.
"I don’t want an offender who's doing a life sentence for just six months before a parole date. I want a year or two to work with that person and allow them to get acclimated back into the community."
The minimum-security prison only has a fence that surrounds the perimeter, one that Correctional Service Canada wanted to lower from 12 feet to four feet in 2017.
The mayor pushed back and Correctional Service Canada settled at eight feet.
The facility is the first of its kind in Canada, and is modeled on a residential area. It features five different neighborhoods and expects inmates to live with little monitoring.
Federal rules prevent firearms from being kept on site and are only to be used by the institution head.