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Inmate involved in deadly prison riot getting out, poses substantial risk

While in prison since 2016, the inmate was housed in the maximum-security unit of Saskatchewan Penitentiary.

PRINCE ALBERT – A maximum-security inmate involved in a deadly riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary in December 2016 will get out soon on statutory release.

Street gang member, Skylar Blue Alexson, now 30, was sentenced in July 2016 to nine years in prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of 26-year-old Joshua Harden. Regina Police Service had charged him with second-degree murder.  

He received three additional convictions, in 2017, 2018, and 2022, that increased the length of his sentence. 

Alexson’s criminal history raises “substantial risk concerns,” according to Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) parole documents obtained by

“These concerns in combination with your lack of progress on your risk factors due to failing to participate in programs show a pattern of anti-social behaviour and an entrenched criminal attitude that creates an undue risk of committing a Schedule I offence,” continue the parole documents.

Alexson lacks insight into his crimes and has a failure to problem solve.

“You rationalize, justify and minimize your actions and its consequences,” state the parole documents.

Statutory release legislated by Parliament

Statutory release is legislated release and the parole board is limited in what conditions they can impose on an offender.

CSC recommended that the parole board impose a residency condition compelling Alexson to reside at a designated community-based residential facility or psychiatric facility approved by CSC. The parole board agreed to that recommendation, as well as CSC’s recommendation that overnight leave privileges be restricted.

Alexson’s convictions

According to parole documents, Alexson and other gang members stabbed Harden to death in February 2016 because he was wearing the colour of clothing similar to that of a rival street gang.

At the time of Harden’s death, Alexson was consuming alcohol and using hydromorphone. He had been on a binge of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, oxycontin, and mushrooms for a number of days before the stabbing, according to parole documents.

During the deadly riot in Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert in December 2016, one inmate died and others were injured. In 2018, Alexson was convicted of riot, mischief (property damage), and obstructing justice.

In one of Alexson’s previous assault convictions, he used a machete to strike his victim on the head, according to parole documents.

In July 2022, he was convicted of possession of illicit cannabis.

Alexson still has two outstanding charges before the Prince Albert Provincial Court. He is charged with aggravated assault and obstruction of a peace officer. Alexson, and two other inmates, are accused of assaulting another inmate on April 13, 2023.

Alexson is back in Prince Albert court on Feb. 14 for those charges. These outstanding charges must be adjudicated before Alexson is released on statutory release, potentially in February.

Housed in the max

Alexson has been housed in the maximum-security unit of the prison and didn’t want his security level decreased.

While in prison, Alexson’s behaviour has been problematic, according to parole documents. He participated in a riot, hunger strikes, assaulted inmates, possessed contraband such as brew, pieces of metal, needles and razor blades, covered cell windows, refused to lock up, refused urinalysis multiple times, and was disrespectful towards officers.

Alexson also refused to participate in planning for his pending release into the community.

Gladue factors

Although Alexson is indigenous, he isn’t interested in cultural intervention and an elder review hasn’t been completed, according to parole documents.

Alexson struggles with substance abuse and impulse control and has a pro-criminal attitude.

He had a dysfunctional childhood. His parents separated when he was very young. He witnessed alcohol and drug abuse, and domestic violence. He suffered abuse while growing up. At the age of 14 he was put in foster care but ran away after being abused. He lived on his own since he was 15 and couch surfed.

He relied on stealing and robbing people to finance his addictions.

He lacks education and employment opportunities.

No desire to leave street gang

Alexson developed a lifestyle consisting of substance abuse, crime and street gang membership.

“You have stated you have no intention of disaffiliating from the gang,” state the parole documents.

He joined the street gang “for the sense of family” and said he would never walk away from this.

Alexson was stabbed several times in 2013 and pronounced dead at the hospital and believes he won’t live long.

“It is suggested on file that because you believe you will die young you have no regard for the effects of your crimes on society,” state the parole documents.

This report by SASKTODAY first published on Feb. 11, 2024.


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