Inmates at Regina jail refusing food trays; want movie channel, more outside time

REGINA -- Inmates at Regina Correctional Centre are again refusing their food trays.

Drew Wilby of Saskatchewan's Ministry of Justice, says the protest started Thursday with 16 inmates.

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Wilby says the inmates have a list of demands, but they have nothing to do with food.

He says the inmates want the number of cable TV channels increased to 60 from 12, and they want one movie channel.

They also want more time outside their cells, a larger yard outside, an increase in the amount they can spend at the canteen and more access to sweat lodges.

Wilby says the ministry won't negotiate with the inmates while they are refusing to eat.

He said the ministry will look at some demands, but the TV and movie demand is a no-go.

"That's not on for the ministry, we're not willing to entertain that ask -- that's just something that's not going to happen," Wilby said Friday.

In early January, about 115 inmates staged a hunger strike over what they called the poor quality of food.

Prisoners first raised concerns in November, shortly after food services at the jail were switched to a private company called Compass Group

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said at the time he saw the menu and believed inmates were getting good choice and quality food.

He also said if people don't like prison food, then don't go to prison.


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