Highest amount of Sask. prisoner escapes in five years

By Sarah Mills
September 28, 2016 - 1:29pm

They haven't been as high-profile as a bid for freedom with spoons back in 2008, but there have been a number of recent escapes from Saskatchewan jails.

This year, the province has recorded eight escapes from secure youth custody and five from adult jail.

It's the highest number since 2011. On average there are about two a year.

"We are seeing a bit of an increase this year and it is a question of why that is," said Drew Wilby, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice.

"Our role and responsibility is to look at, make those determinations, and respond accordingly.”

Calling the escapes "one too many," Wilby explained the investigations don't just look at each incident, but collectively as a whole to see what changes need to be made.

"We look at each one as an isolated incident, but from there we look at systemic challenges that may be in place," Wilby said.

"Is the policy and procedures in place strong enough? If they are being followed, and if they are not, should we strengthen them?"

While some of the escapes have been while youths were on escorted leave, others have been from jails.

"We will look at infrastructure needs and what those requirements might be going forward to make sure that we have the right infrastructure in place to keep those offenders in the walls of our facilities," Wilby said.

The investigations into this summer's escapes are ongoing.

—With files from Lisa Schick.

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