BC College of Physicians and Surgeons must address ethical issues surrounding solitary confinement

August 14, 2018 – Burnaby BC – Prisoners’ Legal Services On August 9, 2018, the Health Professions Review Board issued an important decision requiring the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons to directly confront the issue of medical professionals’ ethical duties under the United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules) related to solitary confinement. Brent Crane, a prisoner who was held in long-term solitary confinement at a BC Corrections pretrial centre, brought a complaint to the College that alleged a psychiatrist violated professional standards when she… Read More

News Release: Human rights complaint calls for end to solitary for prisoners with mental disabilities and independent health care in federal prisons

BURNABY, BC, June 20, 2018 Today, the West Coast Prison Justice Society (WCPJS) filed a human rights complaint against the Correctional Service of Canada on behalf of prisoners with mental disabilities. “CSC is still using solitary confinement against prisoners engaged in life threatening self-harm, despite the overwhelming evidence that solitary confinement increases the risk of suicide” said Jennifer Metcalfe, Executive Director of Prisoners’ Legal Services (a project of WCPJS). The human rights complaint identifies the use of observation cells as another way that CSC keeps vulnerable prisoners isolated in conditions worse than segregation…. Read More

Solitary Confinement Public Panel Talk

Join us next Tuesday, February 6th for a free panel talk on the BC Supreme Court’s decision to end indefinite solitary confinement. On January 17, 2018, the BCCLA won a constitutional challenge to indefinite solitary confinement in federal prisons across Canada, but our work is far from over. Within 12 months, the government will have to decide how the BC Supreme Court’s ruling will be reflected in the law. Join us next week as we discuss what’s next in the fight against indefinite solitary confinement. Panelists will be unpacking the decision, its… Read More

Canada’s prison agency closes in on new solitary confinement rules

Canada’s prison agency is close to establishing new rules that would prohibit the placement of vulnerable people in solitary confinement and increase the time segregated inmates can spend out of cells. Read the whole story at the Globe and Mail

Supporting Prisoners’ Mental Health: Conference Agenda

Register at Eventbrite. The conference is approved for 7 mainpro+ credits for family physicians 2.75 hours of continuing professional development by the Law Society of BC. Full agenda is published here.

Supporting Prisoner’s Mental Health: A False Choice between Treatment and Security

BC Counsellors – April 21, 2017 JT suffers from frontal lobe deficits, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. He entered the federal prison system in 1995, where he was held in solitary confinement for extended periods of time. He began to self-harm in the form of head-banging as a coping mechanism.

The Correctional Service of Canada put JT under a Behaviour Management Protocol that required him to be locked in his cell if he engaged in head-banging, and to remain there for 24 hours without banging his head. If he did not stop banging his head, he would be given an order to stop and then force, including chemical agents, would be used against him. He was held in solitary confinement for hundreds of days…

Read the whole story at bc-counsellors.org. Also check out the conference we are hosting on June 2, 2017 on mental healthcare in prisons.

How Adam Capay’s ordeal might set him free

Maclean’s – April 20, 2017 Ontario’s ombudsman condemns system that leaves a man in solitary for four years. Could mistreatment of Capay scuttle the murder case against him?

On October 9, 2016, the Ministry of Correctional Services of Ontario filed a report stating that 24-year-old Adam Capay had spent 50 days in solitary confinement. Four days later, another report, prompted by scrutiny from the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner Renu Mandhane, revealed that the ministry had miscounted Capay’s time in segregation by a whopping 1,541 days. By the time Capay was moved out of segregation, he had spent 1,636 consecutive days in solitary confinement, the longest known placement in Ontario’s history.

Read the whole story at Macleans.ca

B.C. Corrections to review solitary confinement program after court ruling

Judge rules inmates under Enhanced Supervision Placement must get written reasons for placement. Read the whole story at CBC.ca

Canada’s prison agency argues segregation doesn’t affect inmates’ health

Canada’s prison agency denies that it uses solitary confinement and contends that its method for isolating inmates causes none of the health problems generally associated with prison segregation, according to court documents filed in a lawsuit last week.

The statements contradict the bulk of academic research on the health effects of prison isolation and run counter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promises to reform the practice. “There is a definite a disconnect between what politicians are saying about this matter, and what their servants in the Department of Justice are arguing in court,” said Avnish Nanda, the lawyer representing three men suing Correctional Service Canada.

Read the whole story at The Globe and Mail

B.C. groups pushing for end to solitary confinement

West Coast Prison Justice Society recommends B.C. establish mental health units to support inmates.

Read the whole story at iPolitics.ca