Monday, June 19, 2017

Some critics and prisoners' advocates have demanded a total ban on segregation, calling it cruel and unusual punishment--In all, there were 6,792 admissions to segregation in 2015-16, the lowest figure in a decade. The total was down from 8,321 the previous year.----The John Howard Society of Canada has called for an end to the use of prolonged segregation, which is anything longer than 15 consecutive days and no more than 60 in a calendar year. It has also said that people with serious mental illness or suicide risks should not be placed in segregation.--------Monday's announcement comes just weeks before a lawsuit challenging the practice of solitary confinement was scheduled to go to trial on July 4. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which launched the legal action, is not commenting because the case is set to begin.---------------Julie Ali Just now · CBC News · This is not good enough. There is no need for solitary confinement which represents a human rights infringement. What is required is confinement in either a mental health ward where adequate mental health services or in ward-like units for those with intractable behavioural problems. Liberals set 15-day limit on solitary confinement of federal prisoners The federal government is imposing a cap of 15 days on holding prisoners in solitary confinement after a transition period during which it will be capped at 21 days. CBC.CA LikeShow more reactionsCommentShare

Prisoners with mental health issues can be segregated in locked wards. Prisoners with intractable behavioural issues can be placed in closed special wards in the prison system. These solutions may require more cash but so what?  Solitary confinement is torture in my opinion and represents a human rights infringement.

The lawsuit will help to get the federal government to move beyond these old school punitive methods of treating special needs populations such as those with learning problems and mental health issues to rational methods for rehabilitation.  Even if there are dangerous offenders I don't believe that solitary confinement improves the safety of other inmates or staff but may simply make the situation more volatile.


We don't need to become like lawbreakers ourselves in terms of the human rights of these prisoners-- and the moral and ethical issues of solitary confinement are not being addressed by the federal government. No solitary confinement is the way to go.

Solitary confinement is a human rights abuse that is legalized by the government. It is especially problematic for those with mental health issues or developmental delays / learning disabilities.
There is no justification for it and simply exacerbates the difficulties of disabled prisoners.
Humane methods of treatment are required including closed mental health wards or behavioural wards.
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  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/corrections-solitary-confinement-segregation-1.4167555

UPDATED

Liberals set 15-day limit on solitary confinement of federal prisoners

New cap will be phased in over an 18-month period

By Kathleen Harris, CBC News Posted: Jun 19, 2017 4:13 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 19, 2017 4:56 PM ET
The Liberal government has introduced legislation that puts limits on how long federal inmates can be held in segregation cells similar to this one in the now decommissioned Kingston Penitentiary.
The Liberal government has introduced legislation that puts limits on how long federal inmates can be held in segregation cells similar to this one in the now decommissioned Kingston Penitentiary. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)
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The federal government is imposing a cap of 15 days on holding prisoners in solitary confinement.
Once a bill tabled in the House of Commons Monday passes into law, the Correctional Service Canada will have an 18-month transition period, during which time the cap will be set at 21 days.
The time limits are subject to safety and security requirements, as well as ensuring reasonable alternatives are available.
There will be an independent external review process if a prisoner is kept in segregation beyond the presumptive time limit, or if an inmate is placed in segregation more than three time or for 90 cumulative days in a one-year period.
Monday's announcement comes just weeks before a lawsuit challenging the practice of solitary confinement was scheduled to go to trial on July 4. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which launched the legal action, is not commenting because the case is set to begin.
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The John Howard Society of Canada has called for an end to the use of prolonged segregation, which is anything longer than 15 consecutive days and no more than 60 in a calendar year.  It has also said that people with serious mental illness or suicide risks should not be placed in segregation.
In March, Canada's correctional investigator, Ivan Zinger, found that the Correctional Service of Canada was holding fewer inmates in solitary confinement and for shorter periods of time.
But he called on the federal government to implement legislative reforms to ensure the positive momentum was maintained to further ease reliance on segregation, especially for inmates with mental health problems or those who are prone to hurting themselves.

Inmates in solitary on decline

At the time, Zinger said on any given day there are about 375 inmates held in segregation, less than half the average of 800 just a few years ago. He said the creation of special needs and mental health units has led to the drop.
In all, there were 6,792 admissions to segregation in 2015-16, the lowest figure in a decade. The total was down from 8,321 the previous year.
Admissions of federally sentenced women to segregation were down in the same period.
In 2015-16 there were 378 admissions involving 204 women, compared with 461 admissions involving 243 women the year before.
Calls for tighter restrictions over solitary confinement grew louder after the high-profile inquest into the death of teen prisoner Ashley Smith.
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Smith died in a segregated prison cell at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., in 2007. A coroner's jury ruled that her self-inflicted choking death was a homicide and made 104 recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.
Some critics and prisoners' advocates have demanded a total ban on segregation, calling it cruel and unusual punishment



Julie Ali
3 mins

This is not good enough. There is no need for solitary confinement which represents a human rights infringement. What is required is confinement in either a mental health ward where adequate mental health services or in ward-like units for those with intractable behavioural problems.

The federal government is imposing a cap of 15 days on holding prisoners in solitary confinement after a transition period during which it will be capped at 21 days.
CBC.CA

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