Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary

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Coordinates: 53°11′51″N 105°48′54″W / 53.19750°N 105.81500°W / 53.19750; -105.81500

Canadian Prisons
Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary
Location: Prince Albert No. 461, Saskatchewan
Status: Operational
Classification: Medium security (men)
Capacity: 400 men approximately in medium security unit
Opened: 1911
Managed by: Corrections Canada

The Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary is classified as a Medium Security Facility with Maximum Security areas. It is located on a walled 20-acre (81,000 m²) parcel of land in the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert No. 461, one kilometre west of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. It opened in 1911 built on the site of a former residential school run by the Anglican Church of Canada.[1]


There are six operational units within the facility. A Special Handling unit closed down in 1997, and the vacated space will be integrated into a long-planned maximum security unit. Currently however, it contains an Intake Assessment Unit as well as a Segregation Unit. There is a pilot project with a partnership of Aboriginal Elders to stop the segregation of Aboriginal inmates where practical and desirable.

There is also a Mental Health Unit with 25 beds. This unit provides psychiatric and counselling services to inmates with mental health concerns. A vocational concrete shop has been established for mentally ill and low functioning prisoners to help gain employment and social skills.


There are a wide range of programs offered to the inmates to effectively manage their sentences. The Riverbend Institution and a Section 81 [clarification needed] Healing Lodge are located close to the facility. Other programs are listed as community services and include: Escorted Temporary Absence work gang, Work Release, and Escorted Temporary Absence[clarification needed] cultural/program basis.

Since Aboriginal incarceration is high in this facility there are many Aboriginal-directed programs. Two other divisions with inmate services are the CORCAN [clarification needed], and the Management Services, which both provide job training and employment opportunities (on-site employment and Community Releases).

Inmate population[edit]

On April 6, 2004, the facility had a rated capacity of 573. This is a list of offenders by year:

  • 2007: 600
  • 2004: 541
  • 2003: 518
  • 2002: 544
  • 2001: 527
  • 2000: 499

Riverbend Institution[edit]

Nearby Riverbend is a minimum security facility that houses conditionally released offenders having residency requirements. The institution is made up of twenty self-contained units, as well as two rooms to address the needs of handicapped offenders. This institution provides many work placement opportunities including maintenance, shops, and the CORCAN farming operation. It was opened in 1962, and has a rated capacity of 162, but only housed 92 in 2004.

Riverbend Institution is located one kilometre west of Prince Albert on 8 square kilometres of farmland. This is a multi-purpose operation including pasture, forage, and gardening. The facility offers several additional services including Admission & Discharge, Health Care, Finance, Sentence Administration, and Personnel. These services are shared between Riverbend Institution and the penitentiary.

Occupants in each year:

  • 2004: 92
  • 2003: 115
  • 2002: 86
  • 2001: 115
  • 2000: 114

Major incidents[edit]

  • In March 1991, three inmates took two staff members and one inmate hostage for over twenty-two hours. The incident ended when members of the Emergency Response Team shot and killed two of the three hostage takers.
  • On January 4, 2010, one inmate was killed and two more were injured when a fight broke out in the maximum security area of the prison. The murdered victim was Daniel Wolfe, co-founder of the Indian Posse.
  • On March 9, 2010, an inmate in the maximum security unit was killed in the Saskatchewan Penitentiary (Prince Albert). The victim, who was being charged with aggravated sexual assault, had only served 5 days of his sentence before being beaten to death. One inmate was charged with second degree murder.
  • On October 8, 2010, nearly 30 inmates brawled, leaving one man dead (as a result of his injuries). He was serving a sentence for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and failing to comply with a probation order. The fight took place in a medium-security unit.
  • On July 18, 2015, nearly 50 inmates brawled, leaving two men dead (as a result of injuries) and twelve men seriously injured. Three of the men involved were serving time for the aggravated sexual assault of a caucasian 15-year-old Saskatoon girl, in November 2008.


External links[edit]