Burnside jail fight involved six inmates, no serious injuries

Published on July 29, 2014
The Central Nova Correctional Facility in Burnside.

DARTMOUTH - The provincial Department of Justice has confirmed six inmates were involved in a fight at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside last Thursday, but no one was admitted to hospital.

On Monday, department spokesman Andrew Preeper said the incident happened at 8 p.m. but did not know what led to the fight.

In an email, Preeper said staff intervened quickly and one inmate was taken to the emergency room to be checked over but was not admitted.

Preeper said the fight was reported to the Halifax Regional Police “as is routine” but the department did not notify the public because it didn’t meet the criteria of an offender being admitted to hospital or endangering public safety.

The Burnside facility has made headlines in recent months after multiple stabbings and violent assaults between inmates and guards.

Joan Jessome, the head of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU) that represents the correctional officers, has said the staffing levels at the jail are too low. She could not be reached for comment on Monday.

“Working understaffed in a corrections facility is very dangerous,” Jessome told Metro in June. “The job is dangerous and when you work short staffed we have a concern.”

In an email, Preeper said the department was “not aware of any staffing issues” related to last Thursday’s fight.