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

Laying the groundwork to abolish segregation in Canada and BC

The current use of segregation and separate confinement in Canadian and BC prisons amounts to torture or cruel treatment. Today we released a new report which provides a comprehensive framework of why and how it should end. Solitary: A Case for Abolition is a detailed prescription for the best practices in abolishing solitary confinement in Canada and BC.  It canvasses work done in other jurisdictions, research papers, and interviews with stakeholders both inside and outside prison walls – all while prioritizing the safety of corrections staff, prisoners, and society as a whole…. Read More

B.C. nonprofit outlines the case for abolishing solitary confinement in Canadian prisons

An in-depth report released by the West Coast Prison Justice Society on the use of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons makes an impassioned plea for the government to ban the practice outright. Read the whole story at The Georgia Straight

B.C. advocacy group calls for end to solitary confinement in Canada

Solitary confinement should be abolished throughout Canada, a group that represents prisoners in British Columbia says in a new report that comes as Ontario’s treatment of segregated inmates is drawing widespread public backlash.

The West Coast Prison Justice Society has issued a report that calls on correctional officials to “end the practice of solitary confinement entirely, rather than merely placing limits on its use where it is considered to have crossed the line of torture or cruel treatment.”

Read the whole story at The Globe and Mail