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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Saskatchewan ombudsman concerned about using tasers in provincial jails

July 29, 2008
The Canadian Press

REGINA — Saskatchewan's ombudsman has concerns over the potential use of Tasers in the province's jails. Kevin Fenwick says the Corrections Ministry still has work to do before making a decision about whether stun guns should be allowed. Fenwick has made 21 recommendations to ensure that a proper study is done.

The ministry was in the final stages of introducing the devices last fall when the use of a Taser sparked an internal investigation, as well as the ombudsman's review.

He says he found that the ministry did not provide adequate evidence as to why electronic stun guns are needed in jails with male inmates. Fenwick also says the ministry lacked objective data to support claims of increased violence, and did not complete a health assessment on inmates to see if Tasers would be medically safe to use.

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