A day in the life…a conclusion…of a sort…

…..at Toronto South Detention Centre

Brennan Guigue is now sitting in segregation. The staff members involved have not followed sanctioned procedures, they know that but don’t care. There is no level of accountability, no transparency, and no concern for adherence to their oaths of office.

To continue………

Let’s jump back to Monday, February 22, for a second.
I was admitted to segregation at around 11am. Seven hours later, CO McCormick shows up to inform me that upon conducting a search in my cell, he found three items of contraband: l, “brew”, 2. tobacco-like substance (dried banana peel), 3. metal spring.

When Sgt. Tsenga and CO McCormick came into my cell in the morning, they came right into my cell. There was no indication of “brew”, there was no smell, nothing. The dried banana peel was chewed up and resting in a bowl out in plain sight. Why would I think to hide it? It’s only dried banana. As for the metal spring, where the hell am I gonna get a spring from? Nuts!

When I left my cell 7 hours earlier, there was NOT a “brew” in my cell. When my cell was searched at 4 – 4:30am that very morning, there was no “brew” in my cell. Between then and when I left my cell for segregation, I was not ever out of my cell (locked).

When I mentioned this to Sgt. John Edgington, he implied that some inmates figure putting down a “brew” right after a search is the perfect time.

Fair enough.

I put in a request to question the CO making the allegation, as is my RIGHT.
I had three simple question to ask him:
1. You say you found “brew” in my cell?
2. What constitutes a “brew”, as far as you know?
3. How do you know it was “brew” that you found?

He (McCormick) came to my cell accompanied by Cpt. Sellick, Sgt. Edgington, and one other CO as a witness.
I asked my three questions.

His answers were:
1. “Yes, I found a bag of ‘brew’ in you cell.”
2. “A brew is usually juice, water, sugar, bread & some fruit put together to make home wine”
3. “I knew it was home wine because I could smell its fermentation; it was rancid.”
So, you’re saying that it was definitely fermented? “Yes.” “OK, thanks.”

My argument is this:
There is no way that I could put together a bag of water, juice, bread (yeast), sugar and fruit, having NOT ever been out of my cell from the time of the early morning search, and when I left for segregation….and have it ‘ferment’ to a state of rancidness. It’s impossible to ferment it by that process in five hours. It needs at least a couple of days to ‘turn-over.’ Sgt. Edgington supported this logic as he professes to have a small home micro-brewery. He knows the process. I further argued that since the ‘servers’ (inmate trustees of a type) were out on the range, my cellie could’ve had it passed to him through the door hatch. After ALL of my explanations, and reasonable arguments….., Cpt. Sellick found my guilty of all allegations. Sentenced to another 10 days, but on LOAP (loss of all privileges).

Why did I even waste my breath?

Here we have a “hearing” (yeah right, a hearing is supposed to imply there’s a 3rd impartial and unbiased party adjudicating over the proceedings….., no?) I present my arguments… now here I sit 20 days in segregation, I. for an assault I didn’t commit, 2. and for a “brew” I knew nothing about.

To make matters worse, Sgt. Edgington took it upon himself to begin my LOAP sentence immediately (it’s not supposed to come in effect ‘til the 5th, I’m writing this on the 2nd and my LOAP began on he 1st. So then, I should be done on the 14rh, right?

So finally, after a week of all this bullshit, I finally snap. I tell Sgt. Edgington that neither he nor any of his staff have any integrity. I call him a piece of shit and mock for teaching his children to be honest and truthful, and then he comes to work and turns into an asshole……hypocrite! I ranted and raved for a week’s work of frustration and ill treatment. It lasted about 20 minutes before I was able to calm down.

Now today, the 2nd, I cannot get anything from the staff. No lawyer’s call. No request forms. No envelopes. NOTHING!

I got some toilet paper, but it took three hours of “please and thank you” and even then it was given begrudgingly.

So now I’m sitting in segregation, no mattress, no telephone, no shower, no envelope for lawyer’s letters. NOTHING. All because of things I did NOT do. By the way, Sgt. Boccega found me guilty on the assault misconduct after she took into account staff comments.

Who was the “staff” in question?…….Guess.

Why, CO Casciani with a grudge against me for not allowing her to bully me.
Hey….I dropped out of high school in grade 10. While I was there, I was one of the ‘cool’ kids…my, how the mighty have fallen.

Someone should tell CO Casciani that just because she had no friends or voice in high school, she does not have the right to take it out on us. Does she feel so inadequate, or insecure, that she feels it necessary to come to work and beat us down, just to give herself a sense of importance?
How pathetic is that!

I feel sorry for her.

Yes! I’m venting.

P.S. Let me tell you about doing time in the ‘hole’ at the Toronto South Detention Centre. Just one thing can sum it up, maybe two…..

First, you have guards laying fabricated misconducts which are then investigated by other guards, THEN yet another guard adjudicates the inmate arbitrarily, finding him guilty, and then that same guard passes down a sentence.

That’s like cops investigating cops….and we all know how that usually goes.

Secondly, now you are in segregation serving your sentence. LOAP means that you get nothing but the barest minimums, a “low mattress” (it’s no more than a padded blanket), 2 blankets, toilet paper, only religious books – Quaran, Bible, etc., MAYBE a pencil and paper. I was lucky to have already had these things.

Get this. Every day with every meal we are given a hot beverage of some sort….coffee, tea, powdered juice packet, sugars, and powder creams. But here’s the joke….NO CUPS. Then when these things build up in your cell….they accuse you of hoarding, which is yet another violation of the rules, and open to contraband misconducts.

Cool, eh?


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

Editor’s note: This is only one incident with one inmate in one Ontario penal institution. It speaks for itself. There will be more to come in time, but what’s in the last three posts could be repeated endlessly with numerous prisoners. Brennan Guigue has chosen to share what he’s witnessed, what he’s had to accommodate. His voice echoes through the ranges of Ontario’s many jails, and the corridors of the ministry’s building on Grosvenor Street in Toronto. Who’s paying attention?
A note of one recent change by the ministry. LOAP (loss of all privileges) was a medievalist measure, punitive and counterproductive…..an October 17, 2016 directive ended the practice. Compliance is anticipated.


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