The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is investigating a fire and hunger strike at Sudbury District Jail.
While few details were released, a spokesperson confirmed that a fire was lit in the jail Monday, and that six inmates refused to eat their dinner on Tuesday.
“There was an incident at the Sudbury Jail on Monday and the ministry is currently investigating that,” Greg Flood, a ministry spokesperson, said. “It’s my understanding that six inmates did not accept the dinner provided, but have accepted breakfasts and lunch (on Wednesday).
“The ministry continues to monitor the situation.”
Flood was unable to comment further on the cause of the fire or the hunger strike.
“I can’t get into specifics. Obviously, the investigation is ongoing,” he said, adding that the ministry has to be aware of security issues.
A friend of an inmate at the jail, who did not want her name used, said the incident started when a prison guard “antagonized” some of the inmates.
“(Inmates) started a little fire with newspapers and toilet paper,” she said, adding that the fire was started in a community area of the jail.
The friend went on to say that the inmates were moved into a different area of the jail and were unhappy with the conditions there.
“The inmates started complaining. The toilets were (clogged), they couldn’t flush them. They were soiled. (Inmates) had no running water,” she said, adding that prisoners began a riot, which led them to be stripped of everything but their boxers.
“I was told they were stripped of their clothes,” and had their mattresses taken away, she said, explaining that the hunger strike started soon after.
The friend also said the windows were left open during this time.
“They froze. I don’t care who you are. They’re still human beings,” she said.
While Flood said that the six inmates have started eating, the friend, who visited jail on Wednesday, said they have not, and refuse to do so until they get an apology for how they were treated.