Justice Minister Cecil Clarke faced some tough questions yesterday after two prisoners on a transfer to court almost got away.

It’s been only three weeks since Toronto police caught dangerous offender Jermaine Carvery after being on the lam for more than two months.

After his April 3 escape, the Justice Department began several internal and external investigations and just this week said prison guards will be provided with batons and pepper spray for outside transfers, sometime in the fall.


After learning Carvery was able to release himself from leg shackles and handcuffs during his escape, Clarke said new “state-of-the-art” shackles and cuffs were on order.

But he admitted yesterday he was bothered that two more prisoners had gotten free of their shackles, saying “I’m very concerned with regards to now what seems to be a pattern of people trying to get out of these devices.”

The two men were considered “low-risk” offenders, he said, and weren’t suited up with the high-tech leg irons.

Clarke commended the two sheriffs who were transporting the prisoners for quickly apprehending the men.

He said the sheriffs, transferring six inmates to Dartmouth provincial court, had to ­use batons and pepper spray to nab the escapees.

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