Inmates love alcohol as much as students
By Christopher Smeenk
Inmates at a Kingston area prison partied hard this past Christmas,
thanks to homemade booze concocted with a variety of household
“[It is] a problem evident in most institutions,” said
Diane Russon, Ontario spokesperson for Corrections Services
Canada, about the incident. “We battle it on an ongoing
The events took place at the Collins Bay Institute, a medium
security prison in the Kingston area. According to Russon,
increased searches of inmate quarters and the facility led
to a large seizure of homemade liquor after Christmas.
“Prior to Christmas, they found a lot of brew at Collins
Bay. There were increased incidents of brew over Christmas,” she
explained. “Some offenders were found to be under the
influence, and they were dealt with on an individual basis.”
Russon said the brew seized was mainly fruit-based and believed
to be derived from clementines purchased by inmates around
the Christmas holidays.
Jason Godin, spokesman for the Union of Canadian Correctional
Officers, blamed the lax policies of Corrections Canada for
precipitating the bootlegging.
“[Corrections Canada] would sooner appease the inmates
than consider safety issues. They don’t stop to think
about the repercussions,” he said.
Godin noted that by law, the prison must supply the inmates
with a minimum of three meals per day. “Inmates should
be given the minimum amount of food they legally require. Any
extras they will abuse and turn into a brew,” he argued.
A dangerous relationship between alcohol and violence was
pointed out by Janet Mcallister, a project consultant with
the London Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
“Suicide and violent crime are often associated with
alcohol abuse. It’s effects are no different inside the
prison as opposed to outside,” she said.
Mcallister further explained that alcohol abuse is often associated
with unusual sexual behaviour, adding this behaviour sometimes
occurs at universities and colleges. “You get a lot of
these sort of things on campus,” she said.