Central Alberta

Inmates go on hunger strike at Drumheller Institution

DRUMHELLER – Inmates at the Drumheller Institution went on a hunger strike following restrictions and lockdowns due to a number of reported COVID-19 cases among the inmate population.

It was reported by the Calgary Herald on Friday, January 15 “more than 30 inmates” are participating in the hunger strike, which began on Saturday, January 9, to protest the ongoing lockdown.

“Last week, one inmate from Drumheller Institution declared they were on a hunger strike,” said a spokesperson for Correctional Service Canada (CSC). “We worked with the inmate and found a resolution to the issues which led them to begin a hunger strike. There are no inmates currently on hunger strike at Drumheller Institution.”

A total of 39 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 since the first cases were reported on December 24; as of Monday, January 18, all reported cases have recovered and there are no active cases at Drumheller Institution.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, in-person visits have been suspended for both the minimum and medium security facilities at the Drumheller Institution.

“Drumheller Institution continues to operate under modified routine as a means to protect staff and inmates from COVID-19 infection. As part of the infection prevention and control measures currently in place, inmates of one unit at the institution are presently being isolated,” the spokesperson stated. They added, “Normal routine will be re-established at the institution once managers, following public health advice, determine it is safe to do so.”

By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / The Drumheller Mail