Legal experts say officials at the maximum security prison in Edmonton should have known that Douglas Garland would be a target.
For the second time since he was sentenced to life for triple murder Garland has been beaten by inmates.
Sources say Garland, convicted to 75 years without parole, was beaten Monday at the federal penitentiary and was found unresponsive in his cell.
Mount Royal University Criminologist Ritesh Narayan told Global News staff at the prison should have been ready.
“He has been harmed before prior coming to Edmonton, so definitely Edmonton penitentiary should have been way more prepared and anticipating something like this could happen. ” said Narayan.
“Mr. Garland is someone who is considered at high-risk of being harmed by other inmates. We have seen this in other cases in Canada before.”
The president of the Calgary-based Criminal Defence Lawyers Association is calling for the public release of investigations into the attacks.
“The Calgary Remand Centre is staffed by provincially regulated correctional officers, the Edmonton Institution is staffed by federally regulated institution officers, but the general concern is the same,” Ian Savage told Global News.
“Inmates that have a huge notoriety in the public and in the institutions–correctional officers and their superiors are responsible for the safety of those individuals, no matter how heinous their crimes.”
Garland had just been transferred to Edmonton Max from the Calgary Remand Centre that morning.
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) are investigating the incident. The CSC referred to the beating as an inmate “assault” without naming Garland in a statement sent Tuesday afternoon.
Garland received an automatic life sentence in February after a jury convicted him of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes.
Justice David Gates found Garland had captured, restrained, tortured, killed, dismembered and burned the bodies of Nathan, Alvin and Kathy.
Gates handed down consecutive periods of parole ineligibility for the maximum of 75 years.
The same day he was sentenced, Garland was attacked at the Calgary Remand Centre and rushed to hospital.
He suffered soft tissue injuries and was returned to the provincial jail two days later.
Four fellow inmates were charged with aggravated assault.
Brandon Richards, 34, Michael Bohdan, 30, Connor Skipper, 20, and Tristan Thom, 18.
Savage said despite social media posts that seem to celebrate the jailhouse beatings, there are reasons to champion safety for inmates in a civilized society.
“That’s why we imprison people in the first place; to separate them from society and to punish them for their actions and in some instances to rehabilitate,” Savage said, noting Garland will likely remain imprisoned until the end of his life. “But that doesn’t mean we sanction the murder or assault of inmates in our jails. It’s completely unacceptable.”
Savage called for a “prompt public release” of investigations into both the Calgary and Edmonton beatings.
Garland remains in hospital in Edmonton. No word yet on his injuries.
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