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“300 ‘Sit Down’ in Prison Yard,” Toronto Star. July 13, 1948. Page 01.

Work Or Starve Order Given 300 at Guelph – ‘Rebels’ Defy Tear Gas

Special To The Star
Guelph, July 13 – Prison officials said today they were prepared to ‘starve out’ 300 prisoners at Guelph Reformatory who are staging a hunger and sit-down strike in the exercise yard. The prisoners remained throughout the night in the yard with every available guard on duty.

Officials declared the situation is tense, but said they did not think it would break into a riot. Armed guards circle the exercise yard where the men met after the noon-day meal yesterday. Tear gas used to attempt to rout them had little effect and it was decided that it would not be used again, but that the policy of ‘No work, no food’ would be adopted.

A. R. Virgin, director of reform institutions, said in Toronto today that this already has had some effect on a number of the men who had asked to rejoin the majority of the prisoners inside. Almost 500 had no part in the strike, officials stated.

Armed Guards Leave Posts
From outward appearances everything at the reformatory was peaceful and normal. About a dozen men working in two and threes were cutting grass and trimming shrubs along the main driveway.

At the back of the building on a playing field another dozen or so were playing ball. About 50 inmate spectators at the game were sitting in the tiers of seats that line the field.

Only 50 men could be seen working in the fields at 10.30 a.m. today. There were 20 in a hayfield, 20 doing landscape gardening and 10 cultivating fields. An occasional shout could be heard from inside the exercise walls. Guards who earlier had been patrolling the walls with shotguns had left their posts.

The 300 in the yard looked to passing air passengers as if they were being prepared for barbecuing. Sprawling in a courtyard surrounding by three-storey stone walls, the prisoners steaming in their dark clothing as a mid-morning sun began beating down.

Less than one in 50 of the prisoners who were lying in disorganized clumps bothered to look up as planes passed overhead. Over 100 stood or lounged against one end of the shaded south wall as if it were a corner pool hall.

None of the 300 gathered in any sort of group, none were walking or strolling. A few seemed to have taken off their jackets to bathe in the sun beating into the abre dusty stone box of the square court. The hottest looking spot on the landscape was the steaming ‘pit’ where the 300 prisoners were put to ‘cool off.’

Slept on Ground
Col. Hedley Basher, once a Toronto policeman and former governor of the Toronto Jail and jail farm, is superintendent at Guelph reformatory. He would not make any statement on the strike, referring inquiries to the reforms branch at Toronto.

The prisoners in the exercise yard, which is surrounded by the cell block, slept on the ground, officials here said. Conditions for outdoor sleeping were described as ideal. There was plenty of space, officials said, because the yard will accommodate between 700 and 800.

Guards were kept on duty throughout the night. A bus load of close to 30 go home to Guelph every night, but their trip back was cancelled last night.

Complain of Food, Heat
There was considerable shouting when the strike first started after the noon meal. Leaders urged prisoners to refuse to go to the fields and they were able to get more than 300 volunteers.

The inmates were said to have been pained about the food and balked at having to go to the fields in the hot weather. They have to walk through the exercise yard after the meal to go to work.

Mr. Virgin said a few leaders incited the men to remain in the yard. Tear gas was used. While it caused the men discomfort, use of it in the open was not effective in getting them to leave.

Officials then took an adamant stand that the men would have to work to get their food. Those who asked to give in were refused permission to leave the exercise yard.

‘They must be taught obedience and they are going to take their punishment,’ Mr. Virgin declared.

Claims Food Good
Mr. Virgin laid blame for the trouble on ‘newspapers and radio stations’ which published and broadcast new of disturbances at Burwash and Mercer reformatory. ‘They have radios in their cell blocks,’ said Mr. Virgin. He added newspapers were not a general issue but prisoners have access to them at times.

‘As for complaints about food, the food served is exceptionally good,’ Mr. Virgin declared. ‘For breakfast this morning the men had pancakes, cooked cereal, bread and jam and tea. For lunch they would receive shepherd’s pie, potatoes, and gravy, soup, boiled cabbage, butterscotch pudding, tea and bread.

‘The diet is exceptionally good. I have always observed how well the food is prepared on every occasion I have been there,’ he added.

Mr. Virgin said there would be a thorough inquiry. As yet no one had been sent to investigate.

‘These men have rebelled for no apparent reason and they will take their punishment before they will be allowed to go back to work,’ he said.

The firm attitude taken by officials of the department of reform institutions is reported to be in contrast to the stand taken at Burwash after last October’s riot. In that disturbance, the prisoners took over and were in control for days. Then they were given an opportunity of telling their grievances to Prof. Jaffary of the University of Toronto. No disciplinary action was taken.

Image Caption: From the air, Guelph ‘rebels’ can be seen lounging on blankets, left, and standing in shade of prison wall, right

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“Three Outbreaks in Less Than Three Weeks Is Record of These Ontario Institutions,” Toronto Star. July 13, 1948. Page 02.

6 Outbreaks in 3 Years in Three Reformatories

Six serious outbreaks of trouble have occured in the past three years at three of the reform institutions administered by the Ontario government. Two incidents were at Burwash, three at the Ontario reformatory at Guelph, and one last month at Mercer reformatory for women in Toronto.

Following are the dates:

July 18, 1945 – Three guards injured at Guelph during outbreak of trouble among inmates. Hon. George Dunbar, minister of reform institutions, blamed it on small potatoes served inmates.

July 12, 1946 – Donald Parks, 18-year-old orphan, killed by guards attempting to escape from Guelph.

Oct. 2, 1947 – Riot of 124 inmates at Camp No. 1 Burwash. Five prisoners escaped.

March 10, 1948 – Dr. Stuart Jaffary, school of social science, University of Toronto, reported on investigation he made into Burwash riot. He made 13 recommendations for improving conditions, and said that responsibolity for the Octobver riot ‘is clearly on the administration and not n the inmates.’

June 25, 1948 – 100 girls at Mercer reformatory stage riot by throwing dishes and using chair legs to hit Toronto police officers called to quell disturbance. Trouble continued for several days.

June 28, 1948 – Riot at Camp No. 2 at Burwash. Tear gas used. Hunger strike by inmates.

July 12, 1948. – Trouble at Guelph reformatory. Tear gas used. 311 inmates kept under close guard in yard.

Image captions (from top left to right):

Mercer, June 25 – 100 Girls Riot, Protest Treatment;
Burwash, June 28 – Tear Gas Used on Hunger Strikers;
Guelph, July 12 – Tear Gas Used, Over 300 Refuse to Work;
For the Third Time In Three Years, Guelph Reformatory, seen from the air, has Trouble

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“Warns Burwash Powder Keg, Trouble Deep-Seated – ‘Food Badly Served’  – Says Dunbar Should Go See For Himself,” Toronto Star. July 5, 1948. Page 21.

‘Burwarsh is a powder keg and it is going to blow up any day if conditions are not improved. They are even worse than they were before the trouble last October,’ said a prisoner just released. He said he was in both riots and claimed that the prisoners have banded together and are waiting their chance to stage an even bigger demonstration than the other two.

Dunbar Should Visit
‘Mr. Dunbar (Hon. George Dunbar, minister of reform institutions) should go up himself and talk to the prisoners and he would get an earful of what is going on,’ said the ex-inmate. ‘They told us he was coming up during the last trouble but he has never been there.

‘Food is the principal cause of the trouble,’ he claimed. ‘It’s not so much what is served, but how it is served. It is rank and cold. The same food could be cooked up in a style that would satisfy the men, but the attitude is take it or leave it.’

He declared that since the riot of last October there had been numerous hunger strikes of two or three days’ duration. When the men protested the menu, he stated, the superintendent Ralph Ayers would taste the food and say there was nothing wrong with it. Then they would have to eat it or go hungry.

‘The men work hard in the fields and need substantial food,’ he said. ‘They aren’t getting it and they are not going to work. The crops will rot in the fields and the temper of the prisoners is such that they are talking about burning the buildings and firing the fields in protest so that the public can learn what conditions are.

Raps Parole System
‘Another sore spot is the sysem of parole. This was one of the things that caused the first riot. The parole board comes to Burwash the second Wednesday in every month. They run through 100 prisoners each time. Then days later the prisoner will get a letter saying he does or does not get parole. The feeling is that the matter is settled before they come before the board.

‘Guards are going and coming all the time. They don’t pay them enough for them to stay. Some are minors. They are supposed to be trained but they don’t know how to handle men. Since they were given power of police officers to make arrests, their job has gone to their heads and they are pushing the prisoners around to show their authority.

He said after the investigation by Prof. Stuart Jaffary of the University of Toronto after the first riot, conditions improved. ‘But everything is going back to the way it was before. There is going to be serious trouble and someone might be killed.’

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“Guards Use Tear Gas To End Burwash Riot Over Baked Beans Fare,” The Globe & Mail. July 3, 1948. Page 01.

After being suppressed for four days, news of another riot at Burwash Industrial Farm, leaked out yesterday and Reform Institutions Minister George Dunbar then revealed the uprising was due to complaints against the food. The trouble which occurred Monday night, was finally settled after three hours of violence when the guards hurled tear gas at the prisoners.

The riot was the second at the huge industrial prison in eight months. It followed by three days a similar outbreak at the Mercer Reformatory for females in Toronto which was brought under control by city and provincial police.

Just how many prisoners took part in the more recent Burwash rebellion could not be definitely determined. Superintendent Ralph Ayres, who took over after the riots last October, refused to give any information. One guard said 510 inmates had to be subdued after they smashed tables, dormitory windows and attempted to batter down the steel corridor gates. Deputy MInister C. F. Neelands, who like Supt. Ayres, was uncommunicative, would only say that the number involved was considerably that mentioned by the guard.

The violence is said to have started over baked beans served for supper. The prisoners housed in dormitories reportedly complained about the fare, but ate it. Then 165 men from the cells filed into the mess hall and began banging on the tables with cups and plates. This action stirred the 345 men in the dormitories to a demonstration of their own.

After three hours of rioting destruction tear gas was thrown at the prisoners and order was restored. Eighteen men have been singled out as the ringleaders and will be disciplined presumably by being strapped, or being placed in solitary confinement.

On top of all this, two prisoners, Leonard Erwin Staley, 29, Toronto, and Admiral Killingsworth, 32, Hamilton, escaped Thursday night and the body of another escapee, Wilson Broch, was found in Long Lake at Bayswater, 16 miles south of Burwash. Broch had been missing since June 19. He was from Hamilton.

Dr. Gillies Desmarais, coroner, said Broch’s death was due to drowning. George Waynott, Hamilton, who escaped with Broch is still at large.

Tear gas was used last October when 10 prisoners, led by Raymond (Dolly) Quinton, Windsor, were in control of the 7,000 acre farm for three days. This ‘committee’ of 10 issued orders to prisoners and guards alike and commandeered trucks. The guards claimed they were powerless to resist the prisoners until they received authority to use the gas.

Such authority was vested in them by an act of the legislature at the last session when the guards of all reform institutions were given the powers of police officers in handling prisoners.

Prof. Stuart Jaffray, who investigated the October riots, said they were caused by a breakdown in the administration system. He also remarked that the food could be improved. In that outbreak, some $3,000 damage was done to furniture and other property.

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“Guards Drunk and Lax with Guns, Riot Probe Raps Staff, Queen’s PK.,” Toronto Star. March 10, 1948. Page 01.

Improper administration and laxness among the staff were blamed for the Burwash Industrial Farm riots last October in a report tabled in the Ontario legislature yesterday. Drunkenness and careless handling of firearms by guards were referred to by the commissioner who made the report, Dr. Stuart K. Jaffary.

He said responsibility for the disturbance ‘is clearly on the administration and not on the inmates.’

‘NEGLECT and CONFUSION’
Neglect and confusion in the provincial parole system was also severely criticized. Referring to the courts which impose sentences and the parole board which carried them out, Dr. Jaffary said: ‘There is no understanding between these two branches of the provincial government, and no basis for common and uniform policy.’

The report urged that the department of reform institutions, with the co-operation of the attorney-general, call a conference of magistrates to clear up matters of law and procedure.

It recommended the chief parole officer, Capt. George M. Dix, who is also chairman of the parole board, be made ‘an official of the board’ instead, to separate judicial and administrative functions.

WOULD NAME FIVE
Prof. Jaffary recommended increasing the number of parole officers for the province from two to at least five, with a sixth to act as chief parole officer.

He also urged that inmates be given more information concering the oeprations of the parole board and that the procedure of parole board hearings be improved.

‘The present procedure,’ the report states, ‘gives the applicant no preparation for his appearance; the hearing is often brief and summary; he leaves the hearing with little or no view to the outcome. The board has many cases to deal with, but the very heart of its work lies in the fair hearing of the applicant. It needs more time, better preparation and more dignity.

Dr. Jaffary said the causes of the outbreak were mainly dissatisfaction with food and housing, long hours of work and lack of recreation and medical care. He praised the conduct of prisoners during the disturbances and the ‘degree of responsibility’ exercised by them when they took over control.

13 RECOMMENDATIONS
Thirteen recommendations toward improving the administration and conditions at the industrial farm were given to Hon. George Dunbar, minister of reform institutions in the Drew cabinet.

The department was specficialyy blamed for several lapses in administration. The minister told the Legislature Friday he had not yet recieved the report. Dr. Jaffary later said the report had been turned in for a month and at the request of C. F. Neelands, deputy minister, ‘some changes’ were being made.

Recommendations in the report state: ‘The staff needs strengthing at top and bottom by the addition of assistant superintendents, a psychologist, dietitian (for the department) and better guard staff with training.

Better classification is required, separating the young offender, occassional offenders, the professional criminal, the drug addict and others.

‘The work board needs to be made effective and the method of work assignments improved.

IMPROVE THE GUARDS
‘Discipline and punishment had become too frequent and too mechanical. The situation can be improved by better procedures and improved quality of guard. The rules should be revised and both the number of charges and punishments reduced.

‘Escapes,’ continued the report, ‘have been given more attention by the press than their importance merits, perhaps due to their dramatic interest. Because of the open nature of the institution, escape is relatively easy and also relatively unimportant. The number can probably be reduced by better knowledge of inmates and by some administrative devices and changes.

‘The use of firearms, which at times has become careless and undirected, must be controlled by careful instruction and restriction,’ says the report. ‘Facilities for communications, both internal and external, are weak and vulnerable and require strengthening.

‘Medical care was generally satisfactory but trouble occurred both over access to it and the powers of the medical officer. The position and powers of the medical officer need clear understanding by all staff. A full-time dentist should be employed. Tobacco issue should be allowed in milk-diet cases.

‘Food can be improved by more careful dietary, better training and supervision of chefs and adequate kitchen equipment,’ it states. ‘Improvements can be made with respect to towels, blankets, and clothing issue.

‘Major issues are raised as to the plant and equipment because of the location of the institution and the temporary character of much of the plant. A number of small changes are immediately possible, larger ones will depend on a decision to continue the institution on a permanent basis.

URGES MORE RECREATION
‘The education and training part of the program, recently started, needs expansion through space, staff and equipment. Informal trade training needs development.

‘The institutional library needs building from the ground up.

‘Recreation, though recently introduced, has clearly proved its value and needs expansion through personnel, space and equipment to permit more extensive use and more varied program.

‘A large opportunity exists for counselling and chaplain services. This works needs careful planning and choice of staff.

‘The responsibility for rehabilitation (after discharge) has not been clearly accepted by the department, but it is doing it in bits and pieces. To be effective it needs careful planning and steady extension,’ the report continued.

‘The civilian community has been dominated by camp two and needs attention to its physical planning, its commercial services and its recreation.

‘Research is essential for the intelligent and effective operation of the department. Reform requires knowledge; knowledge can be obtained through research.’

Dr. Jaffary, who arrived at Burwash while the inmates were still in control, and personally interviewed 211 of them, reported: ‘The pressure for this explosion had been building up for some time, but particularly for the past two years. The underlying causes are several and interrelated.

‘A number of internal factors have produced irritations to the inmates. These irritations have not been relieved but rather have been cumulative until the pressure became potentially explosive.

GUARDS POOR ‘QUALITY’
‘Extreme irritation and resentment is produced by the operation of the indeterminate sentence, and the administration at Burwash of the Ontario parole board. The guard staff has deteriorated seriously in the war and post-war years. Turnover among guard staff has been high and a number are of poor quality. There has been an absence of training and there is a marked lack of discipline and morale.

‘There has been a gradual weakening of administration under the previous superintendent, which goes back two years,’ he states. ‘In part it is due to the extremely difficult operating conditions of the war and post-war years. Another part is due to the heavy administrative load the superintendent has had to carry in Burwash, which piled up on him and finally clogged the administrative process to the danger point.

‘Because of this condition, the superintendent and acting superintendent at Burwash did not sufficiently appreciate the seriousness of the conditions until the trouble occurred. For the same reasons they failed to full inform senior officials of the department, who did not have a clear picture of what was occurring at Burwash.

CERTAIN STAFF ‘DRUNK’
Dr. Jaffary continued: ‘Part of the guard staff there had been unsatisfactory, moral was low and discipline lacking. In July there had been a disturbance which resulted in minor damage – ‘guard trouble’ was a factor at this time. Sept. 12 there had been a shooting incident, the result of carelessness of a guard with firearms, which greatly increased tension and resentment among the inmates. This incident was not reported by the acting-sergeant in charge.

‘On the week-end of September 27 certain staff had been drunk on duty (including the same acting-sergeant). The stage was set for trouble – there was tension among the inmates and lack of discipline in the guard staff.’

Placing responsibility for the disturbance on the administration, Dr. Jaffary stated: ‘True, there were certain troublemakers among the inmates, as in every penal institution. But the reason they could be bothersome was that reasons for complaint existed which they could exploit. With good administration their effectiveness would have been minimized.

‘The responsibility must be shared by the previous superintendent, under whose administration it took place, and by the department of reform institutions. The superintendent was a hard-working and loyal official, but has felt the load too heavy for him and asked to be removed. He was not in good health during 1947. The impossibly heavy administrative load is the inevitable result of the failure of Ontario governments (the present government and previous governments) to provide sufficient senior administrative staff.

‘Prison administration has been looked on as a low estate. The senior officals of the department have constantly pressed for more administrative staff, with little success until very recently. Had such staff been available this affair would probably not have occurred. In this sense it is chargeable to narrow ‘economy’ policies in the past, which failed to provide sufficient staff for proper operation of these large institutions.

SHOULD EXTEND THANKS
‘Consistent with this finding it is fruitless to try and identity ‘ringleaders among the inmates,’ he continued. They were given responsibility almost by default. There was no plot or planning worth the name. The most remarkable feature of the whole situation is the degree of responsibility exercised by the inmates when power came to them. They maintained essential services, and older heads restrained younger and more excitable ones. Under these circumstances the administration might well extend credit, if not thanks. Punishment is clearly excluded, and this decision should be made clear to inmates and guards alike.

Dealing with parole, Dr. Jaffary reported: ‘Complaints against the parole board were frequent and bitter, the operation of parole was clearly a matter of sharp frustration to many inmates. While all the criticism was directed at the parole board, some of it refers to the parole situation itself, and the conflict between courts and parole board, of which the inmate becomes the victim.

‘A second part is directed at the board itself and its method of conducting hearings. A third part refers to the lack of information about parole and the resulting confusion – the inmate cannot find out ‘where he’s at,’ and what he can do about it. Through it all runs the confusion, on the part of inmate and board alike, as to the operation of ticket-of-leave by the remission branch. The whole operation of parole is confused and conflicting. This confusion breeds a large amount of frustration and bitterness in the men at Burwash.

‘MOST SERIOUS CONDITION’
‘This resentment against the operation of parole is centred at Burwash because it has the older offenders. Many of these have previous convictions and as a result are refused parole for this reason.

‘Of every three applications for parole at Burwash, only one is granted, two are refused. This large proportion of refusals may be justified, but it creates the bitterest resentment. Those inmates refused parole are given no reason; they merely receive a curt letter from the board a day or two following the hearing which says, ‘No action.’ As a result of this blunt practice, the inmate is left in ignorance of the reasons for denial in his case, or approval in his neighbor`s. Resentment is sharp, stories and ugly rumors circulate freely and the board is viewed with distrust, cynicism and contempt. This is a most serious condition, which needs immediate correction

`These conflicts are deep rooted, and the trouble is of long standing. They are deep-rooted for two reasons. The first is a conflict of judicial and administrative branches of government. The courts impose the sentence; the parole board (acting as a quasi-judicial body) carries it out.

NO UNIFORM POLICY
‘There is no understanding between these two branches of the provincial government, and no basis for common and uniform policy. Nor does it appear that any attempt has been made to get one, despite all the trouble and resentment accumulating from the lack of it. The inmate has been the victim. This policy of neglect, in turn, has made the department itself the victim (as was inevitable) by such explosions as these riots.

‘The area of conflict is extended by the fact that parole board acts for the (dominion) remissions branch in Ontario reform institutions on applications for ticket-of-leave. The policy of remissions branch is obscure and confused and its action slow; the natural resentment against those confusions and delays also reacts on the parole board.’

NO BORSTAL SYSTEM
Dr. Jaffary declared charges that institutions of the Borstal system at the industrial farm were responsible for the trouble were ‘ridiculous.’ He added:

‘There is no Borstal at Burwash. Borstal is the title applied to a well-defined English method of treatment of selected young offenders by a long period of graded institutional training, followed by rehabilitation services in the community. Burwash was a custodial institution, housing men over 21, and with a uniform custodial practice. The differences could hardly be sharper.

‘The Borstal system has worked well in England, and its good name is known the world over. Those newspapers which hastened to condemn it on the basis of ignorant statements about the Burwash trouble should now in fairness to Borstal and themselves correct their earlier misleading statements.

‘There is the largest need for explanation and understanding of Borstal in Canada; one province (British Columbia) has recently re-opened an institution along Borstal lines. The Royal Commission (1938) recommended the adoption of the Borstal system for youths in Canada. To date, however, Borstal has not appreciably affected Canadian practice. In Ontario, the selection of suitable young offenders for trade training is now being practiced.’

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“Inmates Disliked Diet, Minister Tells House,” The Globe
& Mail
. October 30, 1947. Page 05.

“One way to beat the rising costs of living is to get a job as guard at Burwash
Industrial Farm near Sudbury. There you can buy bread for four cents a loaf,
milk at five cents a quart, potatoes at three cents a pound, and other
vegetables for a cent a pound.

Reform Institutions Minister Dunbar gave these figures when
making a statement in the legislature about the recent disturbances at Burwash,
which were followed by a series of escapes. Ross McEwing (Lib., Wellington
North) asked for a statement because, as he said, people are alarmed at these
prisoners running at large.

Mr. Dunbar said he welcomed the question because there was
nothing to hide, and if there was any criticism for treating the prisoners like
human beings he was ready to accept the responsibility.

While there had been a little trouble at Burwash, he pointed
out that the prisoners made only three specific complaints. They didn’t like
the steady diet of mashed potatoes, but wanted them boiled or fried for a
change. They also complained about the medical service, and this was being
reviewed by an official of the Health Department. The third complaint was that
there wasn’t sufficient P.T. exercises as compared with the program at Guelph.

In analyzing the trouble at Burwash, Mr. Dunbar said it
should be kept in mind that there are 723 men there, scattered over 5,000
acres, in care of 170 guards. Many of the men worked without supervision, and
he said he was surprised there weren’t more escapes.

At the time of the uprising there were a number of the
guards at Guelph taking training and these have returned. Other changes are
being made to strengthen the custody staff and with the advent of colder
weather, which serves to discourage prisoners taking to the bush, Mr. Dunbar
said he didn’t anticipate any further trouble.

In new institutions to be built, single rooms will replace
dormitories and this segregation will prevent the ‘bad men’ among the prisoners
from plotting wholesale disturbances, he remarked.

While there was dissatisfaction expressed by some of the
guards, Mr. Dunbar said they were treated fairly. In addition to obtaining staple
foods at rock-bottom prices, they are able to rent rooms and houses at prices
way below those prevailing at Guelph. Board and room is given to a single guard
for $19 a month; laundry for one dollar per month and medical and hospitalization
services for 25 cents a month.

A married man can rent a six-room bungalow from $15 to $18 a
month and the average rent is only $12.50. They also obtain the cheap medical
and hospitalization services available to single guards and if necessary a sick
guard is brought to Toronto if his case requires special treatment, without
extra charge.

‘If the guards don’t like their work, there is nothing to
stop them from quitting. It is a free country,’ remarked Mr. Dunbar.

He closed his remarks by issuing an open invitation to the
members of the House to visit any institution at any time to see conditions for
themselves.

Later Mr. Dunbar issued to the press the following figures
on escapes from Burwash for the following fiscal years (April 1-March 31):                                   

                       In
Custody      Escapes           Recaptured

1942….            1,793               36                    36
1943….            1,577               15                    15

1944….            1,612               26                    25

1945….            1,744               26                    26        

1946….            1,176               24                    22

1947….            1,849               39                    38

From March 31 last up to the present there have been 32
escapes, 23 of the prisoners having been recaptured.

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“Two Escape Burwash, Ten-Day Total Nine,” Toronto Star.
October 20, 1947. Page 02.

Special to The Star
Sudbury, Oct. 20 – Two more prisoners escaped from Burwash prison farm
during the week-end to bring to six the number of escapees in four days. Two
who escaped last week are still at large, while two others were rounded up
three hours later.

The two who escaped Sunday are Henry Leo Mitchell, 36, sentenced at Pembroke,
and Victor James Krassilowsky, 25, sentenced at Port Arthur. Both were
trusties.

Officials said the prisoners are teamsters and went to the barn to get their
horses. They ‘kept going,’ an official said, and when their absence was noted
an alarm was sounded. Nine inmates have escaped from Burwash in 10 days. Six
are still at large. Supt. Ralph Ayres reported today.

The system of allowing prisoners to go about the farm without guard is said to
be part of the reformative system. Because of the large area and the number of
inmates, some have to be placed in the ‘trusty’ category, an official said.

Two prisoners who escaped earlier last week are reported to have been sighted
in the vicinity of the prison and guards and provincial police are continuing
the search.

Prof. Stuart K. Jaffary of the University of Toronto has
returned to the prison and is going ahead with his investigation. Scores of
prisoners have been interviewed by the professor of social science. It is
expected it will be some weeks before the inquiry is completed. Prof. Jaffary
will then make his report to Hon. George Dunbar, minister of reform
institutions.

The escaped prisoners were serving terms for breaking and entering and robbery.
Mitchell’s home is in Hull. Krassilowsky, from Geraldton, was sentenced in Port
Arthur to 12 months’ definite and six months’ indeterminate, on a charge of
robbery.

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