Federal government fails to improve prison standards

The Trudeau government has still not banned solitary confinement.

Dear Editor,

Justin Trudeau called for a ban on solitary confinement in 2015, but it is halfway through 2017 and instead of abolishing a form of torture, they are placing “restrictions” on it.

Solitary confinement is used in Canadian prisons to “deal” with difficult inmates, many with mental illness. This disciplinary action does more harm than good, and will likely lead to more violent behavior.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council deems 15 days or more in solitary confinement as a form of torture and cruel punishment. The new 15-day limit proposed by the federal government does not change anything when wardens still hold the power of discretion.

Ian Zinger, Canada’s correctional investigator, explained that “alternatives to segregation” are being used which is 22 hours of lockdown.

For more information on the harm caused by solitary confinement and to advocate for its abolishment, follow us on Twitter @KPUPrisonerRights and “Like” our Facebook Page KPUPrisonerRights.

Ashley Lexvold, Aldergrove

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