35 year-old Clinton Suzack, who was convicted of murdering
a Sudbury police officer in 1993, was the suspect in
an escape attempt that came to the attention of guards
by an anonymous phone tip. A recreation-yard fence was
cut open, and a prison-wide search began. Joyceville
went into lockdown, and Suzack was soon transferred
to Kingston Penitentiary in maximum-security custody
(The Globe and Mail, 2 December 1999).
In early July of 1979, two inmates escaped from Joyceville,
allegedly using the absence of staff manning the guard
towers between midnight and 8 a.m. According to the
Globe and Mail, a penitentiary spokesperson said that
Joyceville reduced its guard tower staff to save money,
which was considered an acceptable measure at the time
for all medium-security institutions (The Globe and
Mail, 6 July 1979).
Suicides, Deaths, and Incidents
In January 3 the prison was locked down after an inmate
was found dead in the prison's common area on Saturday
night. The 49-year-old inmate was declared dead at Kingston
General Hospital that evening.
Joyceville again went into lockdown on June 2 2004
after an inmate was found stabbed in his cell by staff.
There was no explanation for the stabbing, and the prisoner
remained in stable condition at the hospital. Another
stabbing occurred three years earlier, in May of 2001,
when one inmate was stabbed both in the neck and the
stomach as he was making his way across the recreation
yard in the evening. The OPP launched an investigation,
a lockdown began, and visitations were canceled (Broadcast
News 5 May 2001).
On March 30, 2000, 30 prison guards refused to go to
work for fear that a cyanide had been smuggled in. 475
prisoners were confined to their cells. According to
the Globe and Mail, guards demanded that every cell
be searched for illicit substances, citing a previous
successful attempt by inmates to smuggle in 800 gallons
of alcohol and 67 weapons in the last month alone. The
guards were under a federal right to refuse to go to
work if they believe the workplace was unsafe. Cyanide
has been previously used by prisoners as a deadly weapon,
and can be applied in small enough quantities to fit
on the back of a stamp, the Globe reported (The Globe
and Mail, 30 March 2000).
In late July of 1996, 35 year-old inmate Mathew Strukelj,
a Yugoslavian-born Canadian citizen was stabbed to death.
The incident only came to the attention of staff the
following morning after the stabbing, as Strukelj attempted
to treat the wound himself in his cell. The suspect
was placed in segregation (The Globe and Mail, 26 July
>> Latest News
January 2006: inmates are no longer allowed to smoke
cigarettes indoors, including their cells, in an attempt
to reduce the risk of second-hand smoking in prison.
Joyceville's plan is to provide one 10 minute break
in the morning and two 10 minute breaks in the afternoon
to go outside to smoke. This is not including the five
hours of recreation time available for smoking from
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night. According to the Toronto
Star, about 70% of Joyceville's approximately 500 inmates
are current smokers. Critics of the move argue that the banning of indoor cigarettes will only
increase the use of organized crime and smuggling operations
within prison, and encourage prisoners to continue to
conceal tobacco in small plastic pouches on their bodies
(The Toronto Star 1 Feb 2006).