News Release: Prisoners without immigration status in Canada win human rights
Submissions regarding Canada’s Third Universal Periodic Review
PLS appears before the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights
BC College of Physicians and Surgeons must address ethical issues surrounding solitary confinement
We’re hiring! Contract Lawyer/Prisoner Legal Education Project
News Release: Human rights complaint calls for end to solitary for prisoners with mental disabilities and independent health care in federal prisons
We’re hiring! Legal Advocate
News Release: Human Rights of Federal Prisoners with Opioid Use Disorder Being Violated, Says Prison Justice Group
Solitary Confinement Public Panel Talk
Joint News Release: Changes to the way transgender offenders are accommodated in Canada’s federal prison system
An important collaboration spanning several years between the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), and Prisoners’ Legal Services (PLS) has resulted in changes to the way transgender offenders are accommodated in Canada’s federal prison system.
Status of Women – Study on Indigenous Women Prisoners
Prisoners’ Legal Services executive director, Jennifer Metcalfe, appeared today before the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women as part of their current study on Indigenous women prisoners. Click here to read her speaking notes.
Ms. Metcalfe called on government to engage with First Nations and Indigenous organizations for self-determination in the administration of correctional services, and to ensure that they are well resourced to provide full wrap-around support for women who have experienced multi-generational trauma.
Inside/Out: A Prison Memoir at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
CSC Policy: Consideration of Aboriginal Social History
Correctional Service Canada is currently updating policy regarding the consideration of Aboriginal Social History in the administration of Indigenous prisoners’ sentences. PLS supports these initiatives and provided feedback on making this policy even stronger. You can read our comments here.
Prisoners’ Legal Services recommends reforms to British Columbia correctional laws.
British Columbia is saving lives by giving drugs to opioid-addicted prisoners
British Columbia is dramatically expanding a key drug treatment program in prisons, winning praise from experts who say jails are important venues for reducing drug-related crime, overdoses, and transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C. Read the whole story at the National Observer.
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
Registration open! Supporting Prisoners’ Mental Health
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…
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
Transgender inmate hopes to make history with transfer to women’s prison
CBC News – April 23, 2017 Fallon Aubee says she has faced discrimination and abuse behind bars. After nearly two decades of taunts, threats and physical abuse behind bars, Fallon Aubee hopes to become Canada’s first federal inmate to be placed in a prison based on gender identity rather than biological sex at birth. Read the whole story at CBC.ca
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How one trans woman prompted Canadian jails to stop sorting inmates by genitalia
Teresa Windsor raised the issue with Justin Trudeau, causing federal jails to change course just just three days after prolonging ‘reprehensible’ policy. Read the whole story at DailyXtra
Trudeau promises to house trans inmates based on gender identity
‘Trans rights are human rights,’ PM says, but pledge runs counter to new prison policy
Read the whole story at CBC.ca
Gender identity vs. genitalia: Prison policy changes on the way for trans inmates
Correctional investigator Howard Sapers calls for placement based on gender identity.
Read the whole story at CBC.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 federal jails may stop sorting trans inmates by their genitalia
Correctional Service Canada policy effectively bars gender-confirming surgery. Read the whole story at Daily Xtra
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
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
Hepatitis C: Treatment for Prisoners
5000 federal prisoners have hepatitis C. 2000 are eligible for treatment. 290 are receiving treatment. You might be eligible for treatment. PDF
Human Rights in British Columbia Provincial Prisons
The British Columbia Human Rights Code applies to provincial prisoners in BC. This booklet tells you what rights are protected under human rights law and how to try to resolve human rights complaints. PDF
Health Care Rights in British Columbia provincial prisons
This booklet explains what health care rights you have as a provincial prisoner in British Columbia and how to make sure your rights to health care are protected. PDF
Prisoners’ Legal Rights in British Columbia provincial prisons
This booklet explains what rights you have as a provincial prisoner in British Columbia, and how to exercise your rights. PDF
Aboriginal Prisoners’ Spiritual Accommodation
This booklet explains your right to take part in Aboriginal spirituality while in federal prison. PDF
Conditional Release for Aboriginal Prisoners
This booklet explains the rights you have as an Aboriginal prisoner if you are applying for parole, detained or suspended from conditional release. PDF
Aboriginal Prisoners’ Legal Rights
This booklet explains your rights, and the programs available to you, as an Aboriginal prisoner in federal custody. PDF
Methadone Treatment in Federal Prisons
This booklet will explain how to qualify for Methadone treatment in prison, the requirements of the Correctional Service of Canada program, how Methadone is administered and the reasons why you might be cut off Methadone treatment. PDF
Human Rights for Federal Prisoners
The Canadian Human Rights Act applies to federal prisoners. This booklet tells you what rights are protected under human rights law and how to try to resolve human rights complaints. PDF
The Criminal Code of Canada allows a judge or justice of the peace to require you to enter into a recognizance (like a peace bond) if there are reasons to believe you will commit certain serious crimes. Being on a recognizance is like being on probation. This booklet explains the 810 process, what your rights are and how to get legal help. PDF
Prisoner Pay Cuts
This flier contains information on what you can do about cuts to prisoners’ pay. PDF
Your Right to Property in Federal Prison
This booklet is a self-help guide about your rights to personal property while you are in federal custody. PDF
Correcting Your CSC File
What kind of Correctional Service of Canada file information can be corrected and how to apply to have your information corrected. PDF
Writing an Effective Grievance
The process for making a complaint with the Correctional Service of Canada. PDF
Federal Disciplinary Process
Your rights if you are charged with a disciplinary offence in federal prison. PDF
Bill C479: Prisoners convicted of violent offences
Bill C-479 increases the time the parole board can take between parole and detention reviews for prisoners serving time for violent offences. PDF
Transgender Rights in Federal Prisons
What rights you have as a transgender federal prisoner, and how to make sure those rights are protected. PDF
Family Law in British Columbia: child support and how to change child support orders. PDF
Family law in British Columbia: the steps you need to take to legally end your marriage in British Columbia. PDF
Visits: Your Legal Rights
Prisoners have a right to reasonable contact with family, friends and others from the community. Any limits on your right to visits must be reasonable and necessary to protect the security of the prison or the safety of people. PDF
SCC Decides Pre-Trial Credit Case – provision is overbroad and unconstitutional
Your rights if you are applying for parole, or if you have been detained or suspended from conditional release. PDF