In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada
Health Concerns at Baffin Jail

Nov 27. 2003

An inspection of the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit, Nunavut has uncovered several health concerns. An inspection was initiated in June after a prisoner complained about the situation. It was the first inspection at the prison in over 4 years. The Public Health Act requires annual health inspections at public institutions such as schools and the prison.

Inspectors found filthy ventilation duct covers and ducts that had not been cleaned for some time. Paper and garbage were stuffed into clear plastic vent holes near a smoking area, which affected air quality. Mold was found in the shower stalls and the warming cart for food in the kitchen was dirty. The report also states that cleanliness and sanitation in the walk-in fridge needed improvement.

Bruce Trotter, Nunavut's environmental health specialist, said earlier the health department was behind with its inspections because of staff turnovers and shortages in recent years. Now there is more staff and they hope to increase the number of inspections in Nunavut's only jail.

The report from a follow up inspection is expected soon.