The only thing government cannot control is the use of social media to spread the news of government abuses of power and incredible human rights abuses in our back door. I thought we had the most flagrant examples of the abuse of power in Alberta but it seems this ain't so--Ontario now holds the record as being the most barbaric in the treatment of aboriginal folks.
I am curious if this man would have ever experienced this hell if he had money, lawyers and a rudimentary knowledge how to navigate the government maze. It's clear to me that some of our most vulnerable citizens--those with mental health issues need special protections in legislation when they are being impacted in such stupid ways.
I suggest gently to the Trudeau Team that they get cracking and eliminate the use of solitary confinement just because provincial governments haven't got the brains, the inclination or the interest in creating mental health facilities for inmates. There is absolutely no excuse for this junk other than prejudice, marginalization of aboriginal communities and yes, government incompetence, indifference and abuse of power. He's just another Indian to the Ontario government. Well he's not just another Indian to us. We're speaking. Get going Ontario. Respect the human rights of this man. Provide him with a facility that can accommodate his mental health issues. And yes, speak about him as if he is a human being. Which he is. I can't believe this junk. This is a Canada we never knew about.
Fifty-two months of torture and the four men responsible
Scott Gilmore on the case of Adam Capay, and how the province of Ontario allowed his horrific torture to happen
October 26, 2016
Adam Capay going into court in 2012. (Jeff Labine/DougallMedia/tbnewswatch.com)
There is a young First Nations man in Thunder Bay who the province of Ontario has kept in a hole for 52 months. His name is Adam Capay. When he was 19 he was arrested on minor charges and sent to jail. There he got into a fight and another man died. We don’t know if Capay is guilty—he has been waiting an incredible four years for his trial.
While he has been waiting, he has been kept in solitary confinement, in a Plexiglas box, in an empty cellblock with no windows, and with the lights kept on for 24 hours. Capay has interacted with so few people over the last four years he is losing the ability to speak.
One thousand five hundred and sixty days in solitary confinement. To put this in perspective, consider that the United Nations has declared this form of segregation should never surpass 15 days. They did this because it is considered one of the worst forms of psychological torture.
How bad is it? In the 1950s, a well-regarded psychologist named Harry Harlow decided to find out. He placed rhesus macaque monkeys in solitary confinement for 20 days and recorded the effects. Every monkey emerged badly damaged. Harlow was universally condemned for his cruel and unethical experiment, and his reputation was permanently ruined. And yet the province of Ontario has effectively conducted this experiment on Adam Capay 78 times in a row.
We don’t know how many other cases there are like this. Incredibly, it appears that the politicians and officials responsible don’t either. Renu Mandhane, Ontario’s chief human rights commissioner has been trying to find out. So far, she has identified 1,383 cases of prisoners being held in solitary confinement for more than 15 days. Twelve of these people have been subjected to this for more than a year.
If this happened in a country that is notorious for violating human rights, like Saudi Arabia, we would be outraged. Discovering this is occurring in Canada is so shocking it is difficult to process.
To find out how this is possible, there are a few men who need to answer some questions. Bill Wheeler is the superintendent of the Thunder Bay jail. When his corrections officers put a prisoner in solitary, protocols dictate he must sign off on an extension after five days. How can he justify extending Capay’s torture week after week, for four years?
If a prisoner with mental health issues (like Adam Capay) is kept in solitary for more than 30 days, the provincial minister responsible for correctional services must be informed, in this case that is David Orazietti. But Mandhane told me she believes he only learned about the case when she raised it with him on Oct. 12. Why did his ministry fail to follow procedures? And what has he done since then to fix it?
Regardless, Orazietti has known about Capay for 13 days now, and yet he remains in solitary. When asked how this is possible he shamelessly told the legislature, “That is a decision that is made by the individuals operating our jails. I will not take individual action on a specific circumstance.”
There is a line that ministers are not meant to cross. Governments are elected to tell the bureaucrats what to do, not how to do it. In this case, Orazietti should not dictate how a particular inmate is treated. But he can tell his department: “You have 24 hours to ensure the province of Ontario is no longer violating the UN mandated limit of 15 days. I suggest you start with the most egregious cases first.” Why didn’t he?
I am informed that in the case of Capay, there is a readily available solution. St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre is specifically designed to house and treat prisoners like Capay who suffer from mental illness and may pose a threat to themselves or others. Superintendent Wheeler, and the senior officials who report to him, starting with deputy minister Matthew Torigian, need to explain why they failed to do so.
Another person who needs to answer questions is Attorney General Yasir Naqvi. How is it possible his ministry has allowed people to be held for four years without trial? How many people are in this situation? He too was informed of the Capay case 13 days ago. What has he done since then to address it?
I am sure each of these four men can explain to themselves and us why they are not responsible for the torture that Adam Capay has endured now for 52 months. They can tell us they didn’t know, that it isn’t their responsibility, that they don’t have the resources. Many times when something goes wrong, this is defensible. The system isn’t perfect. Mistakes are made. But when those mistakes are as horrific as the Capay case, these excuses won’t do. These men failed. They need to be held accountable and if found responsible, resign.
Canadian politics is filled with spurious and cynical demands that officials resign. But, as Adam Capay still sits alone in solitary, is there any way this could be a more obvious case of official incompetence and culpability?
News Update & A Big Thank You To Over 20,000 Supporters!
OCT 28, 2016 — Hello Everyone,
I am happy to announce that we now have over 20,000 supporters for our petition! Adam Capay’s family, friends and community are so very grateful for your support.
A very big thank you to everyone who has signed our petition so far.
Adam’s family now knows that there are over 20,000 people who care about Adam Capay’s human rights. By supporting this petition, you are sending a powerful message to the government of Ontario - and to the government of Canada - that Canadians are watching what happens to Adam Capay. Canadians are asking for changes that will prevent these situations from happening again. We are hopeful that if more people sign this petition, we can continue to improve conditions for Adam, and for other inmates in Ontario.
Please take a moment to share this petition on Twitter and Facebook today.
Click to tweet: http://ctt.ec/wqi97
Click to share on Facebook: http://bit.ly/ADAMCAPAY_FBShare
and copy & paste a status like this:
“Adam Capay is a Canadian inmate who was kept in solitary confinement in a Plexiglass cell with 24 hour lighting for over 1500 days. I just joined 20,000 other people and signed a petition to improve conditions for inmates in Ontario. Sign and share to support #ADAMCAPAY : http://bit.ly/1500days "
A few days ago Adam Capay was moved from the Plexiglass cell with 24 hour lighting to a different cell. Shortly after this occurred, it was learned that this move might have been temporary, due to a renovation at the Thunder Bay Jail. Excerpt from TBNewsWatch:
“When the construction project is done, [Capay] moves back to segregation I anticipate,” Lundy said. “That’s a management decision, but that is where I would anticipate he would end up.”
The conditions will be much the same for Capay, with no natural light and 24-hour light. Lundy added that Capay could even have less contact in the new units due to the addition of solid doors.
Early this morning, the Globe and Mail published another news article about Adam Capay's situation.
Please take a moment to read the following excerpt (link to article below) and tell us what you think. Post your comments below.
The upper echelons of the Ontario government knew about the plight of a young inmate long held in solitary confinement at Thunder Bay Jail for at least nine months before taking action this week.
Those warnings came through formal channels – alerts are sent to an assistant deputy minister within the corrections ministry every time an inmate spends more than 30 continuous days in segregation – as well as in a personal interaction between the inmate, Adam Capay, and then-corrections minister Yasir Naqvi, according to a union official.
Mr. Naqvi, now the government’s Attorney-General, said this week he does not remember seeing Mr. Capay during a visit to Thunder Bay Jail on Jan. 13.
Mr. Capay is the young aboriginal prisoner who has languished for upward of four years in solitary confinement awaiting trial for a crime he allegedly committed when he was 19. The circumstances of his incarceration – an acrylic-glass-encased cell bathed in 24-hour artificial light – only came to light last week after the chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission spoke publicly about her first-hand encounter with Mr. Capay.
On Thursday, the current minister in charge of corrections, David Orazietti, vowed to do better for the inmate, saying he will remain in the new cell he’s been moved to – in solitary, but with access to a day room including a television and a shower – indefinitely.
“There were concerns around lighting, there were concerns around the Plexiglas, other concerns were raised,” Mr. Orazietti said. “So we’re working to address those issues and we want the circumstances that Mr. Capay has today to obviously continue while he’s in custody. So he has access to a day room, he has access to showers, phone calls, TV and the other support services that are necessary.”
Mr. Naqvi’s tour of the facility early this year came a month after rioting inmates ransacked an area of the jail and took a correctional officer hostage. Mr. Naqvi met with management and union officials that day.
Unlike the minister, a union official who helped lead the visit recalls the encounter in vivid detail. Mike Lundy, a correctional officer and president of the union local representing the jail, said Wednesday that as the tour passed by Mr. Capay’s glass-encased cell, the inmate called out to the minister. Mr. Lundy can’t recall exactly what Mr. Capay said, “but it was something like ‘Who are you?’ ”
Mr. Naqvi replied that he was the minister responsible for corrections, and the touring party moved on, according to Mr. Lundy. “That’s when I said ‘That guy you just talked to, he’s been in segregation going on four years.’ ”
When Mr. Naqvi asked why, Mr. Lundy says he was blunt, telling the minister the inmate was accused of killing a fellow prisoner.
Mr. Naqvi said Wednesday he could not remember whether he had been told of Mr. Capay’s case when he visited Thunder Bay Jail, or whether he had seen anyone in Mr. Capay’s circumstances – in a glass-encased cell with the lights on 24 hours a day.
“I do not recall any conversation with Mr. Lundy on any specific inmate or his condition,” Mr. Naqvi told reporters. “I don’t recall any conversation specific to an individual. Our conversation mostly was focused on the building, the facility and how old it is and the challenge with the building and the future need for a new jail in Thunder Bay.”
When asked if he saw any prisoner in the sort of solitary Mr. Capay was apparently living in, Mr. Naqvi replied: “I don’t have recollection … you walk through a lot of halls and you talk to a lot of people, so I don’t have that specific recollection.”
Informed of Mr. Naqvi’s lack of recollection, Mr. Lundy said, “That’s unfortunate, because I saw the look on his face that day.”
Read more at the link below...
Liberal governments should change their name their is nothing liberal about them. They violate human rights with a smile on a regular basis.
The upper echelons of the Ontario government knew about the plight of a young inmate long held in solitary confinement at Thunder Bay Jail...
Petitioning Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services David Orazietti
End inmate Adam Capay's 1500+ day solitary confinement. Humane treatment for all Canadians
No Canadian should be confined for 1500+ days in solitary confinement in a Plexiglass cell that is brightly lit 24 hours a day. The treatment of this inmate is appalling, inhumane and entirely unacceptable. We appeal to the Honorable David Orazietti, Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, to improve the conditions for this inmate immediately. We also demand a review of the current system to ensure that no other inmate in Ontario is treated this way.
CONTACT DAVID ORAZIETTI:
Hon David Orazietti
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th Floor, George Drew Building
25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Y6
Below is an excerpt of article from the Globe and Mail, describing the inhumane treatment of Canadian inmate Adam Capay.
First Nations chief calls prisoner’s treatment in solitary ‘inhumane’
PATRICK WHITE October 21st, 2016.
A First Nations chief has joined the effort to free a young aboriginal man from his four-year stretch in provincial solitary confinement, petitioning Queen’s Park to explain why one of his community members has languished in isolation for so long.
The plight of Adam Capay came to light after Renu Mandhane, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, visited Thunder Bay Jail earlier this month. A correctional officer told her of a prisoner who had been held for more than 1,500 days in administrative segregation – the internal term for indefinite solitary confinement.
When she requested a visit with the isolated inmate, jail officials led her down a stairway to a basement unit with 24-hour light. She said it appeared deserted except for Mr. Capay, who was in a cell surrounded by Plexiglas and illuminated by 24-hour light.
Ms. Mandhane became so concerned about his circumstances – along with speech and memory problems he displayed during a short conversation – that she relayed the story to two reporters on Tuesday.A correctional employee has confirmed the chief commissioner’s account is accurate.
When the chief of Lac Seul First Nation read the story in The Globe and Mail, he called his community’s lawyer to devise a means of improving Mr. Capay’s circumstances.
“We are looking at all ways we might help this young man’s inhumane treatment,” Chief Clifford Bull told The Globe.
On Friday, a Toronto-based lawyer for Lac Seul First Nation said she will work over the weekend to help Mr. Capay.
“This kind of solitary confinement violates domestic law and international treaties,” said Robin Parker. “We consider ourselves a human rights leader globally, yet at home we mistreat aboriginal people who constitute an appalling percentage of our prison population.”
In a letter to Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister David Orazietti, Chief Bull asks whether the jail is upholding legal obligations to treat Mr. Bull as humanely as possible.
“The information we have received on his situation is deeply troubling; his family and our entire community is concerned about his mental health and safety,” Mr. Bull writes.
Chief Bull has known Mr. Capay and his family for years, saying he had a troubled life and first landed in jail after small-time vehicle thefts in his home community.
“It was misdemeanour stuff,” Chief Bull said. “And for that, he got sent away to Thunder Bay.”
To read the full article click here.
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