A day in the life….goes on and on….

…..at Toronto South Detention Centre

CO Casciani and Sgt. Tsenga have moved Brennan Guigue and his cell mate for no apparent or genuine reason other than “maintenance”, which we know is bogus. Brennan’s in cell #5, bunking with Michael Saraphin. We pick it up from there.

It’s Friday, February 19, 2016 at 7:15pm

Now, I’ve seen Mike on the unit, but we have never spoken. He keeps to himself is mostly quiet. I think it’s not too bad….WRONG!
By Saturday afternoon, Mike has filled me in on most – if not all – of the aspects (according to him) of current incarceration.
According to him, the provincial welfare (OW) office is defrauding him of due dollars, forging cheque stubs/payments for food, travel, etc.
Anyway, Mike is convinced that he has been wronged and the current issue (of many) presently is that he refuses to sign a rental agreement form in order to receive about $500 more than what he currently receives from ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Plan). He feels it would be a violation of his privacy rights.

For the last 5 years or so, he has been engaged in a personal battle with the Wellesley/Jarvis OW office, City Hall, even as high as the Ontario Premier’s office.
He has sent accusatory letters to ALL. So many in fact that he has previously been charged with criminal harassment, AND is currently back in jail for the same, as he has refused to comply with a court ordered ‘cease and desist’ order.

When I say this guy’s got a SERIOUS glitch goin’ on, I ain’t kiddin! Hundreds of letters…..to ALL members of city council, even to Kathleen Wynne’s office.
Now, I think I’m a pretty intelligent guy and the more I listened to his argument, the more holes I begin to see in his theory.

So I asked him….”What do you want to accomplish with your…..campaign?”
He says he wants them to publicly acknowledge that he was in fact defrauded, an overhaul of the welfare system (as the corruption is systemic)….AND, he wants financial compensation for the past 5 years of unpaid monies he feels he’s owed!

HOLY!….is this guy for real?

Many of the questions I put to him, he avoids. The more I challenge his ideology, the more upset he becomes. I tell him that after 5 years of battling without results, maybe it’s time to move on….

NOPE!

So then, I point out that what he’s asking for is too much….NEVER gonna happen. Look at yourself….in jail just to prove a point? Crazy! He does NOT like talking to me.
We end the conversation and he goes to bed. Sunday morning, we wake up for breakfast and he begins to question me as to how much ‘damage’ I think he’ll endure before the guards come and break up the fight? I tell him I don’t know, probably just 1 or 2 punches before the guards intervene…..why?

Then it occur to me…..’This guy wants to further his position of being a victim, and strengthen his argument that the city, and the government are targeting him simply because he’s standing up to a corrupt system.’ The cops kicked in his door, beat him up, dragged him – in handcuffs – off to jail unlawfully, and now his personal safety has been put at risk, as he is being housed with violent criminals! When I put this to him, he admits that ‘it’s an idea’. He had court in a week (February 29th) so time was short, and he had to execute his plan soon.

We talked about who would be the best to pick a fight with; you know, minimal damage and all that. I told him, “I don’t know, but whatever you do, PLEASE DON’T PICK ME! I’ve got too much to worry about with facing possible D.O. status, and I don’t need no misconducts for fighting or assault.” He doesn’t respond.

I lay down for an afternoon nap; he paces in the cell…..brooding.
Dinner comes. He starts asking me about segregation. Is it quiet, do you get your own cell, what’s the easiest way to get there, etc.?
I begin to answer some of his questions, but in the end I tell him to leave me alone, and I go stand by the cell door to watch the Raptors game.

He’s still pacing….brooding.

Suddenly he comes to the door. I give him a bit of space. He calls through the hatch that he want to get out of this cell. I ask him why does he want to leave……”Because I don’t want to get beat up!” “Who’s gonna beat you up? Yur crazy!”

So, the cleaner goes and alerts the guard (CO Casciani) that my cellie wants out. When she comes to the cell, I’m standing by the door and he’s just about finished gathering up his belongings.

He leaves the cell.

Ten minutes later, CO Casciani and another officer come back to my cell and ask me, why did I push my cell partner?
“Hey, hey…..I didn’t touch him!”
“Well, he says you assaulted hime and I wanna find out what happened.”
“Nothing happened. He’s a bug!”

So, then I quickly explain to her—-I fill out an inmate statement form regarding the situation as I see it.

Nonetheless, CO Casciani clearly disregards my explanation – clearly holding a grudge due to our previous encounter – and places me on lockup status pending investigation. No mention of a misconduct per se.

Monday rolls around and Sgt. Tsenga informs me that I will be moving to seg “pending misconduct.” As you can imagine, I was NOT (am not) a happy camper, especially when I know exactly what game Mike is playing. CO Casciani is just loving it. I can tell by the smirk on her face.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my cell got searched – no, ransacked – that morning at 4 – 4:30am February 22 by three officers and a captain no less. They searched so well that it took an hour to clean up.

So now I get down to segregation……now I am not the most cheerful of persons on the best of days, and this day my mood is sour. But whatever, I figure they’ll check the cameras and see that I’ve done nothing and let me go…..right?

WRONG AGAIN!

Two days later, February 24, Sgt. Boccega comes to my cell and tells me that she has found me guilty of the misconduct for assaulting my cell mate, and she has sentenced me to 10 days closed confinement. “Ya don’t say!” She then handed me the decision sheet, as well as the Misconduct Notice sheet which I was supposed to receive, quote “prior to the misconduct investigation.” Nobody interviewed me, nobody informed me that I was even on a misconduct. I was told by Sgt. Tsenga that I was being put in segregation “pending an investigation.”

Suddenly, without notice, I find myself being found guilty for an assault I did not commit. Mike had no injuries, there was absolutely no evidence to support the claim. Yet, I’m guilty? Where am I…..the TWILIGHT ZONE? No adherence to policy, no due process, nothing. WOW! Okay….so what. Ten days. No problem.

…..written by Brennan Guigue, and dated Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Editor’s note: It would be incorrect to label practices at the Toronto South Detention Centre (“The $1-billion hellhole”) as consistently contrary to Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services policies, or to colour all staff members with the same brush. However, it would be an understatement to say aberrations are prevalent. After all, the TSDC is one institution that has prompted the many lawsuits which the Ontario government is now facing.

This narration concludes with the next posting.

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