The tunnel forces the transfer of dozens of detainees

Tunnel forces transfer of dozens of inmates


Two detention facilities on the island of Montreal have begun transferring dozens of inmates to another prison due to the closure of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel, which is creating a stir.< /strong>

After the popular grumbling of road users using the tunnel who will be stuck in traffic for the next four years, the shock wave is now being felt among the prisoners and relatives as well as defense lawyers. 

According to our information, detainees at the Rivière-des-Prairies Detention Facility (RDP) learned last week that they were going to be transferred to the Sorel Detention Facility.

The reason is simple: they must all appear at the Longueuil courthouse in the coming weeks, and we want to avoid the prison vans arriving late by crossing the river in traffic jams.

The same situation prevails for inmates at the Montreal Detention Facility (Bordeaux).

Curiously, “during COVID-19, correctional services refused almost all transfer requests, even those motivated by humanitarian reasons,” said Me Kim Bouchard, specialist in prison law, during a telephone interview. 

However, the transfers taking place these days have various negative consequences. According to Me Bouchard, it will not be as easy to visit a loved one incarcerated in Sorel for families who do not have means of transportation, which will increase isolation. 

In addition, distances will complicate communications between lawyers and their clients for the preparation of their defence.

Lawyer Kim Bouchard, specializing in prison law.

Life in danger

The announcement of the transfer also created anxiety for one of the detainees whose identity we are protecting for security reasons.

“There are guys at the Sorel prison who are after me. If they transfer me there, I'm dead, “said this detainee to our Investigation Office. 

Despite having alerted RDP staff to the situation, this detainee learned Friday noon that he was going to be transferred: “Prepare your bags”, a guard reportedly told him. 

His mother also confided to us that people from the underworld often watch the place where she lives, because they would like to locate her son as soon as he leaves prison: “An investigator from the Sûreté du Québec has already told me that I will have peace the day he is killed.” 

In this regard, Mr. Bouchard affirms “that a detention center has the responsibility to ensure the safety of a detainee in danger, even more if he is aware of the presence of antagonists.” 

At the time of this writing, the Ministry of Public Security had not responded to our questions.

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