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Key recommendations from the jury at the Ashley Smith inquest

TORONTO - The jury at the Ashley Smith inquest found the self-harming teen's prison death was a homicide. It made 104 recommendations aimed at preventing similar tragedies. Among them, the jury recommended: — That female inmates with serious mental health issues and/or self-injurious behaviour serve their sentences in a federally operated treatment facility, not a security-focused prison-like environment. — That there is no requirement for frontline staff to seek authorization if they determine immediate intervention is required to save a life.

Fifty-five inmates bust out of Ecuador jail

Fifty-five inmates escaped from an overcrowded jail in Ecuador on Sunday but 20 were swiftly recaptured, authorities said. Interior Minister Jose Serrano said the jailbreak occurred with the "express participation" of guards at the facility in Quito, accusing a senior prison official of "negligence." The director of the prison and several officials had been "relieved of their duties," Serrano added. The detention center is designed for 300 inmates but in fact houses around 1,500 prisoners.

Turkey prisoners suffer 'inhumane' conditions

Inmates in several prisons in Turkey are living in appalling conditions, suffering beatings and strip-searches and given food containing insects, according to a parliamentary report issued Tuesday. The report by a prison subcommittee on what it described as inhumane conditions in three facilities also highlighted the particular hardships complained of by gay and transsexual prisoners. In the "worst" of three prisons singled out in the southern province of Antalya, 35 inmates were crammed into cells for 25 and frequently encountered rats and cockroaches.

Over 100 die in Zimbabwe jail 'death traps': rights group

More than 100 prisoners have died this year in Zimbabwean prisons which have been hit by food shortages due to a lack of funds, a rights group said Tuesday. "More than 100 prisoners have perished in Zimbabwe's prisons since January 2013 as the country's correctional centres turn into death traps," Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said in a statement. The group said justice and prison services officials had told a parliamentary committee that the prisoners died "owing to nutrition-related illnesses induced by food shortages and natural causes".

Zimbabwe prison death rate rises

Zimbabwe prison death rate rises HARARE, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The death rate in Zimbabwe's prisons has risen significantly in recent years as authorities battle to provide inmates with adequate food, parliament heard on Monday. Zimbabwe Prison Service Deputy Commissioner Agrey Machingauta told a parliamentary committee that the prison deaths had doubled to 100 per year in recent years due to inadequate food and the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

Canada jailing more ethnic minorities, says watchdog

Canadian jails are burgeoning with disproportionately more ethnic minorities who tend to be treated harsher by guards, the nation's prison ombudsman said Tuesday. This increasingly diverse inmate population in part reflects an increasingly diverse, multi-ethnic and pluralistic Canadian society, he said. But there are certain groups, notably aboriginals and blacks, that are "disproportionately over-represented" in federal penitentiaries and their numbers are "growing at alarming rates," correctional investigator Howard Sapers said in a statement.

Inmates control most Mexican prisons: rights body

Violence has increased in Mexico's prisons and the majority are controlled by inmates, the National Human Rights Commission said on Tuesday. The commission found in an annual report that 65 of the country's 101 most populated prisons were under the control of convicts in 2012, a 4.3 percent increase from 2011. The commission said the number of riots, fights, escapes and homicides increased last year, with 73 acts of violence that left 154 inmates dead and 103 wounded. Another 261 inmates escaped.

UK prison incident resolved with no injuries, officials say

LONDON (Reuters) - An incident involving 40 inmates at Maidstone Prison in Kent, in southeast England, was resolved with no injuries to staff or prisoners, officials said on Saturday. The incident, described as a "riot" by a senior member of the prison officers' trade union, was confined to the Thanet Wing of the prison, which houses about 180 inmates. The prison houses some 600 inmates in total. "An investigation is under way and the perpetrators will be dealt with appropriately by the prison," the Prison Service said.

Greenpeace activists hit out at detention conditions

Three of the Greenpeace activists held in Russia following a protest against Arctic drilling have given an insight into their detention conditions in comments published Sunday, with one complaining he was kept in isolation in a cold cell. "The solitude is weighing on me and I am miserable," Swiss activist Marco Weber, 28, said in a letter published by the SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche weeklies.

Another Ohio prisoner found dead, ninth suicide this year

By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio prison inmate was found dead this week with a vacuum cleaner cord wrapped around his neck, the ninth state prisoner to commit suicide this year, authorities said on Friday. Kimball Kenaga, 47, died Wednesday in the Ross Correctional Institution in southwest Ohio where he had served seven years of his sentence of 30 years to life for attempted murder, arson and burglary, prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.
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