Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones met with staff at London’s troubled Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre on Thursday, in the wake of the death a month ago of an inmate after spending one night in the jail.
The death prompted a large protest that included members of the Hells Angels.
Jones didn’t tell family members of the 19 people who have died at the jail since 2009, or the media, that she would be visiting the Exeter Road facility. There have been protests almost nightly since July 6, when Brandon (Bam Bam) Marchant, 32, died after being taken off life-support.
“The daily protests over the past number of weeks have been challenging for staff at the facility, and I want to thank them for their professionalism and ongoing commitment to community safety,” Jones wrote in an emailed statement to CBC News.
Ministry officials have been “engaging with local justice partners to ensure the continued safety of both staff and inmates, while respecting the right of Ontarians to peacefully protest,” Jones said, without elaborating on the identities of the local justice partners.
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