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The Globe and Mail

Hostage situation at Edmonton Remand Centre resolved

Police tape demarking a crime scene.


A hostage-taking at an Edmonton jail ended Sunday with no injuries.

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General spokesman Dan Laville says an inmate who took another inmate hostage at the Edmonton Remand Centre on Sunday has given himself up.

Laville says the hostage was unharmed and the aggressor and staff members were also not injured.

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Police said an inmate held another person in a cell and hostage negotiators were called in.

Laville says a weapon was involved, but said he wouldn't divulge details because of a pending police investigation.

He says staff took action when they noticed an inmate acting suspiciously.

"It turned out an inmate was threatening to assault his cell mate. In the end, through the efforts of staff to de-escalate the situation, and with the assistance of Edmonton police, the aggressor gave himself up," Laville said.

Laville did not have information about what charges either of the inmates were facing before the incident. He said police were reviewing the situation to determine what charges might be laid regarding the hostage taking.

Earlier this year, prison guards across Alberta walked off the job illegally in a labour dispute that began over safety concerns at the new Edmonton Remand Centre.

The government forced them back to work with a court order, which included heavy fines for the union.

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The province also fired some of the employees.

"In general, in terms of the relationship between the centre staff and the centre management, both groups are working more and more together to help make sure the centre is as safe as it can possibly be both for inmates and for staff," Laville said.

"Today's incident was an example of the training that staff receive and how they use the training very well and did a great job of de-escalating the situation."

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