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10 June 2014

HOK Director of Justice Jeff Goodale Talks to CBC Stations About Helicopter Jailbreak in Quebec

Jeff GoodaleOn the afternoon of Monday, June 9, Jeff Goodale, director of HOK’s justice practice, did seven live interviews with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio stations from across the country.

On Saturday, June 7, three inmates escaped from Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City using a helicopter. Last year, there was another daring escape at St-Jerome prison in Quebec that also involved a helicopter.

Goodale talked to CBC Radio One hosts in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Edmonton, Alberta; Halifax and Cape Breton (Sydney), Nova Scotia; Victoria, British Columbia; Saskatchewan; and Montreal, Quebec, about how architects can use design to prevent these types of detention center escapes.

Here are excerpts from Goodale’s interview on the CBC Mainstreet show in Halifax:

How can the design of detention facilities prevent these kinds of escapes?

Goodale: “They came through an open-air courtyard for the pick-up. Often in detention centers, we need open-air areas – it’s the right thing to have them. But we want to have a physical barrier, which can be as simple as a chain link fence. We need a way to keep inmates from climbing out or having an airlift. In Quebec City, there was no physical barrier between the outdoor area and the space above.”

How do you balance security with the psychological needs of prisoners who may benefit from time spent in an outdoor yard?

Goodale: “This is a good question that we work on all the time. Outdoor and daylight and those types of things are important in the rehabilitation process. It is important to have open space but we need enough of a physical barrier up above to not impede the daylight while keeping the inmates from getting out. It could be as simple as a fence. This doesn’t detract much from what inmates can see but provides a layer of security that keeps them in place.”

Listen to Goodale’s interview with host Stephanie Doman from the CBC Mainstreet show in Halifax.