Updated: Sun, 13 Jan 2013 01:05:08 GMT | By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com

Brutal video prompted pep memo to jail guards

TORONTO - The head of Canada's federal prisons admits in internal memos that the treatment of Ashley Smith was substandard.

But in a recent morale-boosting memo to guards, Don Head says the treatment of the teenager was an aberration, not the norm.

The memo followed shocking video released at the end of October, showing Smith being duct-taped and drugged.

Documents also show the government scrambling to control the media message.

Senior officials sent out strict instructions that any spokesmen on the issue stick to pre-approved messaging.

A long-awaited inquest into Smith's in-custody choking death begins this week.

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