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Brawl in Venezuela jail leaves 6 dead

Caracas, Oct 22 (EFE).- Six inmates were killed and two more were injured Tuesday in a brawl at a prison in the southwestern Venezuelan state of Amazonas, Gov. Liborio Guarulla said. The prisoners, divided into gangs, fought for internal control of the penal center, Guarulla told reporters in Puerto Ayacucho, the state capital. The governor recalled a similar incident last year that left eight inmates dead, and said that "owning guns is permanent" in that lockup.

Don't bother with costly recommendations, prisons boss tells inquest jurors

TORONTO - Significant gaps remain in dealing with mentally ill prisoners, Canada's top correctional official admitted on Wednesday even as he urged jurors to avoid making costly recommendations to address the problem. Don Head, commissioner of Correctional Service of Canada, told the Ashley Smith inquest that expensive suggestions would be rejected. "There is no free pocket money that we can go to to implement some of those things," he said.

Ongoing isolation for 'dejected' Ashley Smith illegal, inquest hears

TORONTO - A teenage inmate appeared desolate and in deep distress about a month before she choked herself to death in her segregation cell, a prisoners advocate testified on Tuesday. Kim Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, said she visited with Ashley Smith — through her cell door — on Sept. 24, 2007. "I would describe her as looking pretty hopeless and dejected," Pate said. "I was concerned she might be at risk to herself."

Guatemalan policeman cleared of prison murder in Austrian trial

VIENNA (Reuters) - A former police official in Guatemala was cleared of abetting the murder of seven prisoners on Thursday at a trial in Austria, which has granted him political asylum. The case centered on whether Javier Figueroa, 42, took part in summary executions of inmates in 2006 when Guatemalan security forces stormed the Pavon jail, which prisoners had controlled for years.

S.Africa to supervise troubled privately-run prison

South Africa has placed a prison run by a private British security firm under state supervision following two hostage takings in a year, officials said on Thursday. "The contractor has lost effective control of the facility," Prisons Commissioner Nontsikelelo Jolingana said in a statement after inspecting the Mangaung Correctional Centre near the central city of Bloemfontein.

Conditions at G4S-run UK prison 'very concerning': report

LONDON (Reuters) - A British prison run by security company G4S is failing to provide prisoners basic healthcare and sanitation, and scored below sufficient in all four areas assessed by the independent prisons watchdog. Britain in July placed under review all of G4S's government contracts and it faces a possible Serious Fraud Office investigation after an audit showed that it charged for tagging criminals who were either dead, in prison, or had never been tagged in the first place.

Woman employee held hostage for 12 hours in S. Africa jail

A female prison employee, reportedly standing in as a guard after wardens were fired for striking, was taken hostage in a maximum-security jail in South Africa, the prison operators said Thursday. Four inmates armed with improvised weapons grabbed the woman as she watched over some 70 prisoners in an exercise yard and dragged her into a cell, according to South African daily The Times. The woman, an administrative assistant, had been roped in to guard prisoners after more than 300 wardens were sacked for an illegal strike two weeks ago, according to the paper.

'I don't know how they would live in there,' Kingston Penitentiary visitor says

KINGSTON, Ont. - Eager visitors lined up Wednesday as the historic Kingston Penitentiary threw open its doors to the general public for the first time in decades. About two dozen people entered its imposing bluestone limestone walls — the first tour group allowed inside since the last prisoners were moved out last week. Among the first in line was Laurie Lindop, of nearby Gananoque, who knows people who worked inside the pen and remembers when the institution was hit by the riot of 1971. The unusual experience left her "drained."

Prison system must change its approach to self-harming prisoners: ombudsman

OTTAWA - The number of self-injury incidents in federal penitentiaries has more than tripled since teenager Ashley Smith choked to death in a prison cell in 2007, a federal ombudsman says. A report from the Correctional Investigator of Canada calls on the federal prison service to treat chronic self-injury first and foremost as a mental health concern, not a security or control issue. There were 901 incidents of recorded prison self-injury involving 264 offenders in 2012-13, said investigator Howard Sapers.

Hunger-striking jailed Pussy Riot member moved to hospital

Jailed hunger-striking Pussy Riot punk band member, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who is refusing food in protest over what she has called murder threats and "slave labour conditions," was on Sunday moved to a hospital, an official said. An officer on duty at the hospital No 21 in the village of Barashevo in the Mordovia region said that Tolokonnikova, who entered her seventh day of hunger strike on Sunday, was moved earlier in the day.
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