March 7, 2018

Canada's courts move against solitary confinement

Solitary Watch - Recent landmark court decisions in cases challenging solitary confinement in Canada’s federal penitentiaries could reverberate beyond Canadian prison walls. In two cases launched by prison justice and civil liberties organizations, federal courts found solitary confinement as it is practiced today to be unconstitutional. The rulings would force significant changes in the Canadian penal system—but incarcerated people and their advocates will have to wait until their impact is felt. The courts granted the federal government a year to make law and practice conform to the rulings. And in a move that surprised some advocates, Canada’s Liberal government gave notice, two weeks ago, of its plans to appeal.

The most significant decision came from a judge in British Columbia, who ruled in January that sections of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act are unlawful for failing to provide a process for independent review of solitary placements by an entity from outside the correctional system, and for depriving individuals the right to legal counsel at review hearings. Perhaps most significantly, the court found indefinite solitary unconstitutional as well.

1 comment:

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