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Thursday, August 28, 2008 

Sask Party Government's Amateurish 'Flip-Flop's Over Regina Prison Escape

After being in office for almost a year, the new Saskatchewan Party Government's 'Amateur Hour' continues. At a news conference, the Minister of Public Safety and Corrections was caught making two statements (concerning a recent prison break in Regina) that required speedy 'flip-flops' to set the record straight.

Flip Flop # One:
"Senior jail officials learned that a possible escape was in the works 10 days prior to the weekend jailbreak of six inmates from the Regina Correctional Centre, the government confirmed Wednesday. The admission from Corrections, Public Safety and Policing Minister Darryl Hickie came less than one hour after a news conference in which Hickie denied that any such intelligence had been received."

Flip Flop # Two:
"Hickie, who is a former federal corrections worker, also said during the same news conference that gangs are not an issue in Saskatchewan jails. But he later phoned back reporters to say that he had misspoke. "We definitely have a gang problem in our institutions," said Hickie, calling it an "error in judgment" to have claimed otherwise.

The conflicting statements came as the government tried to update the media on details of the jailbreak -- with five inmates still on the loose -- and announce that an external team will investigate how it occurred.

But the minister found himself doing damage control after initially brushing aside reports that senior management had heard in advance that something was going to happen at the jail."

Regina Leader-Post

A report published in 2005 by the Criminal Intelligence Service - Saskatchewan, stated that about 25 per cent of the adult population in the federal and provincial corrections systems are gang members.

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