Millhaven Institution

Millhaven Institution
Millhaven Institution
alt text
Location Bath, Ontario
Status Operational
Security class Maximum security
Capacity 413
Opened 1971
Managed by Corrections Canada
Warden Curtis Jackson

Millhaven Institution is a maximum security prison located in Bath, Ontario. Approximately 400 inmates are incarcerated at Millhaven. [1]

Opened in 1971, Millhaven was originally built to replace the area's other maximum security prison (Kingston Penitentiary). A riot at Kingston Penitentiary forced Millhaven to open prematurely. During the period of 1977–1984, a Special Handling Unit (SHU) operated at Millhaven along with its general maximum-security population. A new Special Handling Unit was subsequently opened in Quebec. Millhaven also holds the federal intake assessment unit. Millhaven is one of two identically designed institutions in Canada; the other is located at Archambault, Quebec.


Living units

Millhaven consists of three main living units, a segregation unit and a hospital wing. There are approx. 120 men per unit. Units have two levels. Ranges are double sided and have hydraulically locking metal doors, housing two inmates per cell. The ranges/cells are designated by alphanumeric code (i.e. B1, H2 etc.)

Main living units are designated by Alpha codes:

A Unit = Federal Intake and Assessment Unit- Ontario region (MAU) (ranges B, C, & D) [2]

E Unit = Federal Intake and Assessment Unit- Ontario region (MAU) (and institutional workers)(ranges F, G, & H) [3]

I Unit = Administrative Segregation/Special Needs

J Unit = Maximum Security Unit (MSU) (ranges K, L, & M) [4]

N Area = Main intersection and security control hub.

MAU (Millhaven assessment unit) houses inmates recently sentenced to federal time, in the Ontario region. They are assessed, and then placed in other prisons according to security needs. The average stay in MAU is about 3–6 months. [5]

There are inmates of all types in MAU, and it is classified as integrated. (housing convicts serving time on all types of charges).

Federal parole violators are also returned to MAU to appear in front of the National Parole Board for disposition.

Certain special needs inmates (Protective Custody) have been known to spend years in MAU, as they may be in danger in other prisons (e.g. Patrick Kelly, former RCMP SI officer who was convicted of murdering his wife in 1983.)

MSU (J unit) houses violent offenders, and is not integrated. (no sex offenders or informants) Many lifers are also housed in MSU. It is considered "gladiator school" and convicts who serve time there are revered in the criminal subculture. [6]


The perimeter fence.

The perimeter is surrounded by a double 30-foot razor fence, and has observation towers at the corners. There is a 4-foot "warning fence" inside the perimeter of the exercise yard, that acts as a boundary inmates cannot cross without deadly force being used. Armed patrol vehicles with Colt Canada C7 rifles and parabolic microphones are on guard 24/7. There are motion sensors in the outlying property [7], and multiple CCTV units throughout. [8]

Visitors are subject to search once on the property (both person and vehicle) and an ION scanner is used upon entry to detect drugs or other compounds. The visiting area is equipped with CCTV, and listening devices are in each table. [9]

Inmates in the MAU (intake) are allowed only screened visits (behind glass).


Over the years "Thrill Haven" has seen its share of violence. J unit is considered one of the most dangerous places in Canada's prison system. The most unruly inmates are often housed there. On average, there are 5 inmate murders per year. (source: Corrections Canada)

On Oct. 12 2010, a correctional officer with a rifle shot a convict who refused orders to stop assaulting another prisoner in an outdoor recreation yard. [10]

On Dec. 7 2010, 120 inmates in the assessment unit refused to return to their cells at the end of a recreation period. They began to barricade themselves in the area and guards fired shotguns and used chemical agents to gain control of the situation. [11]

On Mar. 21 2011, inmate Jordan Trudeau was killed in an altercation. The event took place in the gymnasium area during exercise for "J" Unit (Maximum Security) inmates. Guards deployed chemical agents and fired shots to attempt gain control of the situation. Trudeau was killed by CSC staff via a shot form 9mm rifle to stop him from harming other inmates.[12] Two other inmates involved were wounded. The OPP Prison squad investigated the incident, and found CSC staff acted properly. [13]

UPDATE: Convicted murderer of Toronto teen Stephanie Rengel (David Bagshaw, 21) was charged with attempted murder in regards to this (Jordan Trudeau) incident. He is an inmate at Millhaven (MSU) and was involved in the attack on another inmate that forced guards to fire shots. Bagshaw and another inmate (the attackers) were shot to stop them from assaulting a third inmate.[14]


Drug-smuggling Millhaven prison worker found dead

A manager at Millhaven (used by the Hells Angels to smuggle in drugs) was found dead August 21st 2011. David Martin was arrested in August 2010, and charged with smuggling various narcotics into Millhaven.[15]


Millhaven MSU (maximum security) inmates can gain employment in the CORCAN industries shop. Furniture for federal government offices is fabricated there. Inmates receive a small weekly wage for this work. (approximately $20).


Stephen Reid [16] (bank robber of "the stopwatch gang" fame) stated that he was told by a native inmate whilst incarcerated at Millhaven in 1971 (upon opening), that it was built on a native burial ground. This meant the prison would be forever cursed, and a place of turmoil. [17]


In April 2006, a new division was created to house foreign citizens being held on security certificates. It has been dubbed "Guantanamo North". [18]

Popular culture

The song "38 Years Old" by The Tragically Hip refers to an escape from the prison. The opening lines of the song say "Twelve men broke loose in '73, from Millhaven maximum security." There was such an escape, but the rest of the song alludes to fiction.


  1. ^ "MILLHAVEN INSTITUTION Bath, Ontario". Correctional Service of Canada. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  2. ^ "Millhaven Institution employee faces drug charges". Kingston Whig Standard. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  3. ^ "Millhaven Institution employee faces drug charges". Kingston Whig Standard. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  4. ^ "LOCKDOWN AT MILLHAVEN". Correctional Service of Canada. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  5. ^ "DISTURBANCE AT MILLHAVEN". Correctional Service of Canada. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  6. ^ "Crowded prisons crucible for crime". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  7. ^ "Senstar - Millhaven Case Study". Senstar. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  8. ^ "Notice of Proposed Procurement". Government of Canada. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  9. ^ "Drugs in prison". Public Safety Canada. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  10. ^ "Millhaven Inmate Dead". Kingston Whig Standard. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  11. ^ "Millhaven Inmate Dead". Kingston Whig Standard. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  12. ^ "Slain Prisoner Shot By Guard". QMI Agency ( Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  13. ^ "Millhaven Inmate Dead". Kingston Whig Standard. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  14. ^ "Rengel Killer Bagshaw Charged". Cancrime. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  15. ^ "Drug-smuggling Millhaven prison worker found dead". CanCrime. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  16. ^ "CBC News Indepth: Stopwatch Gang". Retrieved 2010-12-02. 
  17. ^ David Wallechinsy, Amy Wallace, Ira Basen, And Jane Farrow (2005-12-27). "Stephen Reid's 10 toughest prisons in North America | - Canada - Features". Retrieved 2010-12-02. 
  18. ^ "Canadian prison being called Guantanamo North"]. CTV News. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 

Coordinates: 44°11′50″N 76°45′08″W / 44.19729°N 76.75229°W / 44.19729; -76.75229

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