Five inmates are facing charges after another inmate was stabbed multiple times at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth on the weekend.

“The five suspects were in a jail cell and the victim went into the cell and then he was stabbed,” says Halifax Regional Police Staff Sgt. Barb Saunders.

The stabbing occurred late Saturday afternoon, prompting a lockdown at the facility. All inmates were locked inside their cells during the lockdown.

“That’s standard procedure because we have to re-deploy people from different parts of the institution,” says Bill Smith, executive director of correctional services.

A 39-year-old inmate was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remains in hospital in critical condition.

Investigators are waiting to interview the man. At this point, they say they aren’t sure what was used to stab the man.

Five males are facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose in connection with the incident.

The accused are between the ages of 18 and 26. Police have not released their names.

They are due to appear in Dartmouth provincial court at a later date.

Once police complete their investigation, the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility will conduct its own review of how the situation was handled.

“For us internally, we’ll examine what we did, what we didn’t do, and if anything should have been done differently,” says Smith.

The incident was the second stabbing to have occurred between inmates at the facility in a month.

Earlier this month, a 45-year-old man allegedly stabbed a 23-year-old while he was sleeping.

“We all know that people that are intent on committing crimes in the facility will find the means and ways to do it,” says Smith.

“I think we just continue to do our best. We re-evaluate our policies and procedures. We ensure we have good staff with good training and that we’re very vigilant about what we do.”

Smith says weapon searches are performed sporadically.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Matt Woodman