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Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 11:12 PM
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This is unbelievable and unacceptable. The hypocrisy of this situation is clear to me. There is no just society in Canada.
Release Adam Capay from solitary confinement: Editorial
Adam Capay has been held in segregation for more than four years without being convicted of the crime he is charged with. This torture must end.
Corrections Minister David Orazietti must release Adam Capay from solitary confinement. (MELISSA RENWICK / TORONTO STAR) | ORDER THIS PHOTO
Tues., Oct. 25, 2016
It is the height of hypocrisy. Last week, as Correctional Services Minister David Orazietti was expressing his concern for prisoners held in solitary confinement in Ontario, a horrific example of the province’s treatment of prisoners was underway in a Thunder Bay jail.
There, a young aboriginal man named Adam Capay was in solitary confinement in a Plexiglas-lined jail cell, lit 24 hours a day, where he has been held for more than 1,500 days while he awaits trial. That’s right. Capay has been held for over four years without even being convicted of the crime for which he is being held in segregation – the alleged killing of another inmate.
This torture, as the United Nations calls solitary confinement that extends beyond 15 days, never mind 1,500, was going on even as Orazietti was announcing a 15-day limit on the number of consecutive days prisoners can spend in segregation. He also promised that from now on solitary confinement would “only be used under the least restrictive conditions available.”
If Orazietti meant what he said, Capay must be released on humanitarian grounds into a hospital setting immediately. His mental health is fragile. He told Ontario’s chief human rights commissioner, Renu Mandhane, who discovered his situation on a tour of the jail, that he has difficulty talking because of the lack of human contact. He also showed her scars from self-harming incidents.
Further, it appears that Capay’s Charter right to be tried within a reasonable time has been violated. He was originally in another Thunder Bay jail for misdemeanors at the age of 19, when he was charged in 2012 with first-degree murder for an alleged attack on another inmate, Sherman Kirby Quisses. It’s imperative that his legal situation be resolved as quickly as possible.
As horrible as his situation is, Capay is not alone in suffering in indefinite solitary confinement. Last spring provincial ombudsman Paul Dubé reported on a prisoner who had been kept in solitary for more than three years.
Yet the government continues to rag the puck on this important issue. Orazietti’s announcement last week was the outcome of a 19-month review of solitary confinement in Ontario. But instead of making the difficult decisions that human rights organizations have been demanding for years, Orazietti passed the buck once again and said the government would hire a third party to conduct yet another review due next spring.
This is not good enough. The situation in prisons in this country has been studied to death and it is clear, as the Ontario Human Rights Commission argued just this month, that there is an “alarming and systemic overuse of segregation.”It’s time that federal, provincial and territorial governments legislated changes to ensure that segregation is a limited, last resort at Canadian prisons, and not left to the whims of correctional staff. And while they work on that, they should end the unjustifiable mistreatment of Adam Capay.
End inmate Adam Capay's 1500+ day solitary confinement. Humane treatment for all Canadians