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RSNL1990 CHAPTER P-21

PRISONS ACT
[Repealed by SNL2011 cC-37.00001 s51 - not in force]

Amended:

2006 c40 s21

CHAPTER P-21

AN ACT RESPECTING THE PENITENTIARY

Analysis



Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Prisons Act.

RSN1970 c305 s1

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "assistant superintendent" means the Assistant Superintendent of Her Majesty's Penitentiary;

             (b)  "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

             (c)  "penitentiary" means the prison referred to in subsection 5(1) and includes the places referred to in subsection (2) of that section and a place, building or part of a building designated under subsection (3) of that section;

             (d)  "prisoner" means a person who, having been sentenced or committed to the penitentiary, has been received and accepted at the penitentiary under the sentence or committal and has not been lawfully discharged from the penitentiary;

             (e)  "staff" includes the superintendent and assistant superintendent and other commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers, correctional officers and other persons employed at the penitentiary; and

              (f)  "superintendent" means the Superintendent of Her Majesty's Penitentiary.

RSN1970 c305 s2; 1987 c9 s1; 2006 c40 s21

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Superintendent

        3. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint

             (a)  an officer to be known as the Superintendent of Her Majesty's Penitentiary; and

             (b)  an officer to be known as the Assistant Superintendent of Her Majesty's Penitentiary,

and may fix the remuneration to be paid each of the officers.

             (2)  The superintendent shall perform the duties assigned to him or her by the minister and is subject to the control, order and authority of the minister.

             (3)  Where there is no superintendent or where the superintendent is absent, or where there is no assistant superintendent or where the assistant superintendent is absent, a member of the staff named by the minister has the power and shall perform the duties of the superintendent.

             (4)  The staff member appointed under subsection (3) shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the superintendent, and while exercising those powers or performing those duties, he or she is entitled to the same control, direction and protection as is the superintendent under this Act.

RSN1970 c305 s5

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Staff

        4. (1) The minister may authorize the superintendent to appoint those

             (a)  correctional officers;

             (b)  non-commissioned officers; and

             (c)  stationary firefighters

that are necessary for the administration and security of the penitentiary at the remuneration that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may prescribe and the superintendent may make the authorized appointments.

             (2)  Those other officers, clerks and employees that are necessary for the proper conduct of the business of the penitentiary shall be appointed or employed in the manner provided by law.

RSN1970 c305 s6; 1987 c9 s2

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Penitentiary

        5. (1) The prison situated in the City of St. John's and commonly known as Her Majesty's Penitentiary is and is considered to have always been a prison for

             (a)  the confinement and reformation of persons lawfully convicted of an offence before the courts of the province and sentenced to confinement for a term;

             (b)  the confinement of persons charged with an offence and awaiting trial for that offence; and

             (c)  the confinement of persons ordered to be imprisoned under other circumstances.

             (2)  The Salmonier Correctional Institute, being that place of confinement situated in the vicinity of Oxley's Pond, Camp Four Pond and Gull Pond, in the Electoral District of Harbour Main, is considered, as from the date of its establishment, to constitute and to have always constituted part of the penitentiary referred to in subsection (1).

             (3)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by order designate another place or building or part of a building referred to or described in the order to constitute part of the penitentiary as from the date specified in the order and the order shall have full effect from the date so specified.

             (4)  The penitentiary referred to in subsection (1) and a place or building or part of a building referred to in subsection (2) or (3) are lawful places of confinement.

RSN1970 c305 s7; 1972 No30 s2; 1975-76 No25 s1

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Who shall be imprisoned

        6. (1) Persons convicted of a crime or an offence and persons who shall be committed or ordered to be imprisoned under a criminal charge or criminal or civil process or proceeding may be confined in the penitentiary for their respective terms of imprisonment or as committed or ordered by a court, judge or justice.

             (2)  A court, judge or justice may direct persons sentenced, committed or ordered to be imprisoned to be taken to the penitentiary and make necessary regulations for the conveyance of those persons.

             (3)  The superintendent or keeper of the penitentiary shall receive those persons into custody, there to remain for their respective terms or conditions of imprisonment or until discharged by law.

RSN1970 c305 s8

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Powers of superintendent

        7. The superintendent, or a person under him or her having the custody of a prisoner, shall, during the term for which the prisoner is ordered to remain in custody, have the same powers over the prisoner that are incident to the office of sheriff or jailer.

RSN1970 c305 s9

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Superintendent a peace officer

        8. The superintendent, the assistant superintendent and other permanent members of the staff, as defined by paragraph 2(e), are constituted peace officers and have and may exercise, within the penitentiary and its precincts and surroundings, the powers possessed by or given to a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

1972 No30 s3

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Regulations

        9. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

             (a)  respecting the organization, efficiency, government, management, administration, inspection, guarding and security of the penitentiary;

             (b)  prescribing the duties of the staff;

             (c)  providing for the governing, regulation, clothing, equipping and training of the staff;

             (d)  regulating the classification, rank, service, instruction, residence and distribution of the staff;

             (e)  providing for the maximum period and the conditions of leave of absence, including sick leave, which may be allowed to members of the staff who are not civil servants;

              (f)  providing for the performance of duties by the staff;

             (g)  providing for the searching of staff;

             (h)  respecting the provision of medical and dental care for prisoners;

              (i)  respecting the conditions under which, times at which and by whom prisoners may be visited;

              (j)  providing for the photographing and keeping of records of prisoners;

             (k)  providing, in the interests of health and the prevention of disease, for the destruction and replacement, at the expense of the province, of prisoners' clothing;

              (l)  providing that a member of the staff and a prisoner who contravenes the regulations is guilty of an offence;

            (m)  providing that a member of the staff who contravenes the rules made under subsection (3) is guilty of an offence;

             (n)  providing for the warning, reprimanding, demotion or dismissal of, suspension of or the taking of other disciplinary action against a member of the staff;

             (o)  prescribing fines, forfeiture and other punishments that may be imposed on members of the staff for contravention of the regulations or of the rules made under subsection (3);

             (p)  prescribing what offences against the regulations or the rules made under subsection (3) may be tried under the Summary Proceedings Act and what offences may be dealt with under regulations made under paragraph (q);

             (q)  providing for the summary trial, by a disciplinary tribunal, of members of the staff or prisoners charged with offences against the regulations and of members of the staff charged with offences against the rules made under subsection (3);

              (r)  respecting the composition of a disciplinary tribunal referred to in paragraph (q);

             (s)  providing for the compulsory attendance of the accused and of witnesses and providing for the administration of oaths or affirmations;

              (t)  respecting the custody, treatment, maintenance, diet, clothing, training, employment, discipline, correction, searching, prevention of escape and punishment of prisoners;

             (u)  providing for the payment by the province of the transportation costs of a prisoner or a member of a specified class of prisoners whose temporary absence from the penitentiary may be authorized under section 25 and respecting the terms and conditions under which payment may be made;

             (v)  providing for payment by the province of allowances and other remuneration of prisoners or a specified class of prisoners, and respecting the amount of and the terms and conditions under which the payment may be made;

            (w)  providing for investigation into alleged breaches of the regulations by prisoners;

             (x)  providing for an appeal from a decision of a disciplinary tribunal constituted under the regulations; and

             (y)  generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

             (2)  A person who is guilty of an offence under the regulations is liable to the penalty prescribed by the regulations.

             (3)  The superintendent may make rules not inconsistent with this Act respecting routines, procedures and duties to be carried out by the staff.

RSN1970 c305 s10; 1972 No30 s4; 1979 c35 Sch A; 1982 c35 s1; 1986 c27 s1

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Offence

     10. (1) A member of the staff bringing into or carrying out of the penitentiary, or trying to bring into or carry out of the penitentiary, to or for a prisoner, money or an article not allowed by the regulations or rules of or applicable to the penitentiary is guilty of an offence and shall be immediately suspended by the superintendent.

             (2)  The superintendent shall immediately report the suspension to the minister, and the minister shall inquire into the matter upon oath or affirmation, which oath or affirmation he or she is authorized to administer, and, upon proof, to the minister's satisfaction, of the offence and with the consent of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the minister may dismiss the member of the staff, and may also apprehend and bring before a Provincial Court judge the member of the staff, and the Provincial Court judge shall hear and determine the offence in a summary way, and a member of the staff, upon conviction for the offence, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $200 and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.

             (3)  Unless permitted by the regulations, a person not being a member of the staff who

             (a)  conveys into or out of or attempts to convey into or out of;

             (b)  throws into or out of or attempts to throw into or out of; or

             (c)  deposits in or attempts to deposit in

the penitentiary or

             (d)  conveys to a prisoner or deposits in a place with intent that it shall come into the possession of a prisoner

money, clothing, food, drink, tobacco, a drug, letter, paper, book, tool or other article is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, and, whether the person is prosecuted or not, the article may be confiscated by the superintendent, to be disposed of as the minister may direct.

             (4)  The superintendent or other member of the staff authorized for the purpose by the superintendent may, without warrant and by force where necessary, stop and search a person not being a member of the staff or vehicle of the person entering or leaving the penitentiary, open and examine the contents of the vehicle and seize an article he or she finds being dealt with contrary to subsection (3), to await the superintendent's decision as to its confiscation and the minister's direction as to its disposal upon confiscation.

RSN1970 c305 s11

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Trespass an offence

     11. A person who, without lawful excuse,

             (a)  enters or in another way trespasses upon; or

             (b)  loiters near

grounds, buildings, yards, offices or other premises of or forming part of the penitentiary is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.

1972 No30 s5

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Protection of superintendent

     12. (1) Laws now or later in force in the province for the protection of justices in the execution of their offices, including the Justices and Other Public Authorities Protection Act, shall extend to the superintendent, the assistant superintendent and other permanent members of the staff, as defined by paragraph 2(e), when acting under this Act.

             (2)  A barrister or solicitor may, subject to the regulations, make professional visits to a prisoner at reasonable times.

RSN1970 c305 s12; 1972 No30 s6

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Who may visit penitentiary

     13. A judge of the Court of Appeal or the Trial Division, a justice of the peace or a member of the House of Assembly may, at reasonable times, visit and inspect the penitentiary.

RSN1970 c305 s13; 1986 c42 Sch B

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Rules to prevent escapes

     14. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make rules and regulations for the purpose of preventing escapes and preserving discipline in respect of prisoners in the penitentiary or other jails in the province when employed beyond the limits of the penitentiary or other jails.

RSN1970 c305 s14

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Interpretation

     15. With respect to a prisoner temporarily absent with escort under section 25 for the purpose of engaging in a recreational activity of a duration not exceeding 6 hours and without derogating from the powers respecting the specifying of terms and conditions referred to in that section,

             (a)  for the purposes of sections 14, 17 and 20, "employed" includes engaged in an activity and the proceeding to and returning from the location of the activity and "employment" has a corresponding meaning; and

             (b)  for the purposes of section 20, "work" includes the activity.

1972 No52 s2

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Prisoners may be employed

     16. After rules and regulations are made under section 14, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may direct and authorize the employment upon a work or duty beyond the limits of the penitentiary and the jails referred to in section 14, of a prisoner who may be sentenced to be imprisoned in the penitentiary or the jails referred to in section 14.

RSN1970 c305 s15

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Rules of penitentiary

     17. Prisoners shall, during employment under section 16, be subject to the rules, regulations and discipline of the penitentiary or the jails referred to in section 14 where applicable and to rules and regulations made under the authority of this Act.

RSN1970 c305 s16

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Supervision of prisoners

     18. A prisoner shall not be employed under section 16 except under the care and supervision of an officer appointed to exercise the care and supervision.

RSN1970 c305 s17

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Illness of prisoners

     19. In the case of the illness of a prisoner in the penitentiary or other jail in the province, the prisoner may, by order of the minister, be removed by the superintendent of the penitentiary or the keeper of the jail to a hospital referred to in the order, and in that case a prisoner shall be considered to remain in the custody of the superintendent or the keeper and shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the penitentiary or jail where they are applicable, and the superintendent or the keeper shall, under an order of the minister, have power to remove the prisoner back to the penitentiary or the jail.

RSN1970 c305 s18

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Escapes while outside penitentiary

     20. A hospital referred to in an order under section 19, and a street, highway, road, public thoroughfare or public place, along or upon which prisoners may pass in being removed to or from the hospital or in going to or returning from their work, and a street, highway, road, public thoroughfare, building or place, where they may be employed under this Act, shall, while so used, be considered as a portion of the penitentiary or jail, and an escape or attempt at escape, and a rescue or attempt at rescue, shall be held to be an escape or attempt at escape, or rescue or attempt at rescue, as if it had taken place from the penitentiary or the jail.

RSN1970 c305 s19

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Medical examination of prisoners

     21. It shall be the duty of the superintendent or person in charge of the penitentiary to make a medical examination of a prisoner upon his or her admission to the penitentiary, or as soon as the superintendent can obtain the services of a medical practitioner to make the examination and it shall be lawful for the medical examination to include a form of examination or test, including a blood test, ordinarily used for the detection of a disease or condition not apparent on external examination.

RSN1970 c305 s20

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Record to be kept

     22. The superintendent shall keep a record of the conduct of a prisoner, noting the behaviour, industry and diligence and the strictness with which the prisoner observes the regulations.

RSN1970 c305 s21

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Remission

     23. A prisoner

             (a)  shall be credited with statutory remission of his or her sentence;

             (b)  shall be credited with earned remission of his or her sentence; and

             (c)  is liable to the forfeiture of all or a part of the statutory remission

that is equivalent to that, and under the same conditions as those, provided for thePrisons and Reformatories Act (Canada ).

RSN1970 c305 s22

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Restoration of forfeited statutory remission

     24. Notwithstanding paragraph 23(c), where a prisoner has forfeited the whole or a part of his or her statutory remission, an official of the Department of Justice designated by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for the purpose may, where satisfied that it is in the interest of the rehabilitation of the prisoner, remit in whole or in part a forfeiture of statutory remission.

RSN1970 c305 s23

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Temporary absence

     25. (1) Where, in the opinion of an official of the Department of Justice designated by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for the purpose, it is necessary or desirable that a prisoner be temporarily absent from the penitentiary, with or without escort,

             (a)  for medical or humanitarian reasons; or

             (b)  to help the prisoner in his or her rehabilitation

during the prisoner's period of imprisonment, the temporary absence of the prisoner may be authorized by the official upon the terms and conditions that he or she may specify, and the period may be

             (c)  unlimited for medical reasons; and

             (d)  of a duration not exceeding 15 days for humanitarian reasons or to help in the rehabilitation of the prisoner.

             (2)  A prisoner temporarily absent from the penitentiary under subsection (1) shall comply with terms and conditions specified under subsection (1) and shall return to the penitentiary at the end of the period for which he or she is permitted to be at large, and where the prisoner fails to comply with the terms and conditions or to return, the prisoner shall be considered to be unlawfully at large.

RSN1970 c305 s24

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Discharge

     26. A prisoner who is due for discharge on a Sunday or a statutory holiday shall be discharged on the day before the Sunday or the statutory holiday.

RSN1970 c305 s26

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Monthly report

     27. The superintendent shall, on or before the 10th day of each month, forward to the minister a report concerning

             (a)  each prisoner released from the penitentiary during the preceding month and setting out

                      (i)  the offence for which the prisoner was imprisoned,

                     (ii)  the length of the term of imprisonment imposed on the prisoner,

                    (iii)  the amount of statutory remission credited to the prisoner, showing an amount of remission forfeited or concerning which forfeiture was remitted,

                    (iv)  the amount of earned remission time credited to the prisoner, and

                     (v)  the date of discharge of the prisoner from the penitentiary; and

             (b)  each prisoner who forfeited statutory remission under this Act during the preceding month and the amount of the forfeited remission, showing an amount of remission concerning which forfeiture was remitted.

RSN1970 c305 s27

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Agreement with Government of Canada

     28. (1) Subject to the general or special approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the minister may, on behalf of the government of the province, enter into agreement with the Government of Canada for the confinement for the period of imprisonment referred to in this section, in penitentiaries or another institution under the direction or supervision of the Canadian Penitentiary Service referred to in the Penitentiary Act (Canada), of persons sentenced or committed under the criminal law of Canada to imprisonment for more than 6 months but less than 2 years and for the payment by the province of the expenses of the confinement.

             (2)  A person who is confined in a penitentiary or other institution under an agreement made under subsection (1) shall, during the term of the sentence or period of committal, be considered to be lawfully confined.

1972 No11 s2; 1972 No30 s7

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Agreements generally

     29. Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the minister may

             (a)  enter into an agreement for promoting the objects of this Act, including an agreement respecting the payment to the province, by the Government of Canada or an agency of it, of the cost or part of the cost of carrying out this Act or the regulations; or

             (b)  enter into an agreement for which no specific provision is made elsewhere in this Act which the minister considers necessary for the purpose of exercising or discharging his or her powers, functions or duties.

1972 No11 s2; 1972 No30 s7

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Power to amend agreements

     30. Power to enter into an agreement shall include power to amend the agreement but, where the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to the original agreement is required, the approval is also required for an amending agreement.

1972 No11 s2; 1972 No30 s7

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Implementation of agreements

     31. The minister may implement an agreement made under this Act.

1972 No11 s2; 1972 No30 s7

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Payments

     32. Payments required to be made by or on behalf of the Crown under an agreement entered into under this Act or in carrying out this Act or the regulations shall be paid by the Minister of Finance, on the request of the minister, out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the province.

1972 No11 s2; 1972 No30 s7