Inmates of Hamilton’s Barton Jail, cut off from lawyers & family amid COVID-19 outbreak

Published in The Hamilton Spectator – February 24th 2021 As the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre deals with a COVID-19 outbreak, advocates say family members are being left in the dark, and calls between inmates and their lawyers are being cancelled. Madeline Thombs’ son, Justin, has been back in the Barton Street jail for nearly two months after [ … ]

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Simcoe Courthouse Exterior

Man gets another lifetime driving ban

“It’s like Groundhog Day,” said a frustrated Ontario Court judge as a repeat offender stood before him in Ontario Court asking for “one more chance”. Isaak Peters Epp, 36, was caught driving on June 12 last year despite six court orders not to drive and while he was serving weekend jail for the same offence [ … ]

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Barton Street Jail COVID-19 Outbreak

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre after an inmate tested positive. Prisoner advocates have been raising alarm over the risks of an outbreak inside the jail for weeks, including multiple reports of inmates who were sick but may not have been tested. With news of the confirmed outbreak, Hamilton defence attorney Dean [ … ]

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Barton Street Jail Hamilton Ontario

Employee at Barton Street Jail has COVID-19

An employee at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre has tested positive for COVID-19, raising concerns among already-tense staff and inmates who fear the spread of the virus inside the jail. “Can I guarantee this virus won’t spread further through the detention centre – absolutely not, ” said Dr. Bart Harvey, a Hamilton associate medical officer of [ … ]

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COVID-19: Ontario’s courts shut down more cases

Ontario’s busiest court has suspended all family trials, criminal trials and preliminary hearings amid a growing backlash from court staff and lawyers over its continued operation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Unless an urgent criminal or family court appearance is required in the Ontario Court of Justice between Friday, March 20, 2020, and Friday, May 29, [ … ]

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What it’s like inside Hamilton’s courthouse during COVID-19

Inside the John Sopinka Courthouse, increasing precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have rendered most of the building empty as only the most urgent of cases are heard. On Monday, Dean Collett said he and fellow defence attorney Jaime Stephenson were among the only lawyers there. They were volunteering to help bail hearings — [ … ]

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