Stony Mountain Institution is not only Canada's oldest penitentiary, it's also the country's deadliest.
The 143-year-old prison has been dubbed Murder Mountain due to the high rate of suicides, homicides and unrelenting violence behind its crumbling walls.
Life and Death Behind Bars is an ongoing series by reporter Ryan Thorpe that examines the deeply dysfunctional conditions that pervade Manitoba's lone federal prison.
Stony Mountain Institution is Canada's oldest federal penitentiary, but also the country's deadliest
Posted: 7:00 PM Apr. 23, 2021
IT HAS BEEN 59 years since the Canadian state last slipped a noose around the neck of a prisoner, and more than four decades since the gallows were formally abolished in this country, yet death continues to lurk behind the bars of Stony Mountain Institution north of Winnipeg.
Stony Mountain is not just the oldest active federal prison in Canada — it is also the deadliest.
Isolation practices in Canadian prisons regularly exceed limits set in international law
Posted: 7:20 AM Apr. 28, 2021
Devon Sampson, a 34-year-old man diagnosed with schizophrenia, hanged himself at Stony Mountain Institution in 2013. He spent 187 consecutive days in solitary confinement prior to his death; during a previous incarceration, he spent 294 consecutive days in solitary.
For decades, isolating inmates — often those with serious psychiatric conditions — in solitary confinement was a common practice in Canadian prisons. Officially, it was called "administrative segregation," a sanitized, bureaucratic label for something far more troubling: state-endorsed torture.
The number of Indigenous inmates in prison is a problem — but Ottawa has no plan to fix it
Posted: 7:00 PM Apr. 29, 2021
The number of Indigenous people being locked up in federal prisons is spiking despite overall declines in both incarceration and crime rates across the country.
Accounting for just five per cent of Canada's population, Indigenous people make up 30 per cent of the federal prison system's inmate population.
Hard time in hell: Inside Stony
Posted: 7:00 PM May. 14, 2021
Gangs are in control, inmates are armed and the threat of violence is omnipresent at Stony Mountain Institution.
Guards, inmates at Stony Mountain Institution point to unrelenting gang violence, shocking suicide rate as reasons it should close
Posted: 7:00 PM May. 28, 2021
When construction of Stony Mountain Institution — then known as Manitoba Penitentiary — was completed in 1877, Queen Victoria was the reigning monarch of the British Empire.
Canadian Confederation had taken place just a decade prior — if the country had been a person, it would have been unable to legally drive, let alone vote or drink.
Stony Mountain inmate’s repeated health complaints minimized, ultimately costing him his life
Posted: 7:00 PM Dec. 17, 2021
Gertrude Lamoureux sits on the couch in her William Whyte neighbourhood home in the North End as the midday sun pierces through the living-room window. At 82 years old, she is frail and thin, but her mind is sharp. Her bony fingers grip the sides of an ornate picture frame.
It holds a photograph of her grandson, Shawn Poitra; it is the only photo she has of him.
Stony kitchen staff justified in refusing to work after vicious attack
Posted: 7:00 PM Nov. 25, 2021
A civilian food services employee at Stony Mountain Institution was brutally assaulted by an inmate in August ― sparking a work refusal from the prison kitchen staff that led to an occupational health and safety investigation.
The kitchen at Manitoba’s only federal prison has been the site of numerous violent incidents involving inmates and staff since Stony Mountain stopped posting a correctional officer in the food services department more than a decade ago.