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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 20, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, November 20, 1974-THE LETHBRIDGE Too many Millhaven prisoners depend on tranquilizers KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) Dr. Donald Workman, physi- cian Jio 320 prisoners at Mil- lhaven maximum security prison, 13 miles west of here, says too many prisoners are dependent on tranquilizers. Medically active drugs are being prescribed for an ad- ministrative problem, he adds. Dependence on anti-depres- sants by some prisoners was one of several observations made following a tour of the prison by reporters. The tour was the first since prison riots last winter and spring. Other observations made as a result of the tour: searches still are turning up hidden or home- made weapons; prisoners are taking keen interest in trades they are learning while behind bars; of "unauth- orized" books is irritating prisoners; According to acting prison director John Dowsett pris- oner-staff relations are "ac- ceptable." Dr. Workman, who pre- scribes medication along with Dr. Michael Heaton, prison psychiatrist, said tranquil- lizers may be detrimental to the prisoners. He said tranquillizers, which cut down a person's in- hibitions, may promote ag- gression in some prisoners who he describes as "the most aggressive people in the country." Dr. Workman said that if a person on the outside is suf- fering from anxiety a doctor or psychiatrist or friend may help solve the problem. "What happens if a prisoner says he can't sleep because he's anxious and needs some- thing for his nerves? You end up in a situation where you don't think tranquillizers are the answer. "The paradox it puts a doc- tor in is giving medically ac- tive drugs for an adminis- trative problem. "I'd like to use tranquil- lizers a lot less." Bergeron Alphee, senior health care officer at Millha- ven, said 15 per cent of pris- oners are at sick bay each day for depression or tension. "It's tension between each other. It's too much time on their hands or it's no letter from he said. "They can't go downtown and have a shot of rye like you or I." Millhaven guards say they are continuing to uncover utensils and weapons in cells despite the use of a metal de- tector to scan prisoners enter- ing cell blocks from exercise yards and shops. Guards say prisoners are skilled at passing contraband from cell to cell and even lowering articles from an up- per to a lower cell block with a fish-hook device. Cell searches begin with the prisoner stripping. Guards frisk the prisoner and all areas of the cell are searched. Books are opened and guards unscrew ventilation panels in search of hidden weapons. "The prisoners get very up- set during searches." guard Raymond Mullin said. Many prisoners take an ac- tive interest in a trade to dis- pel boredom. A prisoner serving 28 years for armed robbery and at- tempted murder said he was happy in the print shop. The shop produces most of the forms used by the peniten- tiary service. Another prisoner said he en- joys working in the mailbag construction and patching shop. Mailbags are only made in prisons. "We have to violate our pa- rnlp and return here so we can practise our the prisoner muttered. Politically activist and radi- cal publications are banned at Millhaven. Only books from the prison library or books wearing the official prison stamp of ap- proval are allowed Visitors cannot mail or br- ing in reading material for prisoners, Mr. Dowsett said Anything not in the prison li- brary must be ordered direct- ly from the publisher. What is a "radical publica- tion" in the mind of the prison administration? Prisoners complain that books are confiscated by guards because the official prison stamp has not been at- tached "The relationship between most of the prisoners and most of the officers is accept- able." Amenities have been added to prison life to ease the bore- dom and the tension. All cells have piped-in radio with a choice of several chan- nels. Food services have im- proved over the years. During the tour a luncheon menu of- fered pizza, french fries, toss- ed salad, split-pea soup, bananas and ice cream. Citizen volunteer groups be- gan to be welcomed back to Millhaven last month Coffin guarded Security forces carrying machine guns guard the coffin of Eva Peron ibeing paraded through downtown Buenos Aires following its arrival from Madrid Observers speculated the return of Eva's body was aimed in part at blunting some of the opposition to the current Argentina's regime of President Isabel Peron. Eva Peron was a one-time idol of the country. Wolves not dangerous HALIFAX (CP) Wolves are sensitive, gregarious, friendly and trustworthy, says a man who should know. Dr. John Fentress. chairman of the department of psychology at Dalhousie University, has spent the last 10 years studying the behavior of wolves. "We have this image that they are terribly dangerous, but careful observation shows there is no foundation to the myth." he said. "The most distinguishing feature between a domestic dog and a wild dog. which is what a wolf really is. is the incredible timidity of these animals. They are extremely shy, and you can spook them very easily." Recently, Dr. Fentress supervised the transfer of a pack of 10 wolves by road and air from University of Oregon in Eugene to Halifax, and then to a new nine-acre pen in the Snubenacadie Wildlife Park Park. The provincial department of lands and forests had given the university 50 acres in the wildlife park, and the univer- sity came up with the funds to fence in the nine acres. The wolves" new home cur- rently includes three pens, each about 50 feet square. "This gives them plenty of room to romp around and we can look at them in a semi- natural environment, and can use the small holding pens for various developmental studies and closer Dr. Fentress said. A key purpose of his observation is to explore to what extent an animal's behavior is a product of its genetic heritage. "I think it is legitimate to look at nature more carefully and appreciate it more, and if we treat it in a more sophis- ticated fashion we may under- stand ourselves more and be a little less arrogant in our stance toward the rest of the world." Dr. Fentress's commitment to study wolves began at Cam- bridge University, where he took his doctorate and obtain- ed his first wolf cub from Whipsnatie Zoo in London. CAREER WE'RE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR GOOD PEOPLE WE are a company of Good People and we need more al this moment, reai estate is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. To maintain pace with this rapid growth. Block Bros, needs more sales personnel. 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