Prisons are failing to comply with solitary confinement reforms: senators

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Prisons are badly failing to comply with solitary confinement laws and regularly violating prisoners' rights, a new report by a group of Canadian senators alleges.

The Liberal government signalled that Bill C-83, passed in 2019, would put an end to the practice of solitary confinement.

But a report titled "Senators go to jail," released Tuesday evening by a group of nine senators, says they recently observed widespread use of the practice.

Parliamentarians have a legal right to access federal penitentiaries to view the conditions for themselves, and 34 senators have visited such facilities since the bill's passage.

Prisoners told them they were not given meaningful human contact, time outside their isolation cells or access to mental health services, with some spending prolonged periods in some form of segregation.

The senators are pushing for the passage of a private bill, Bill S-230, which they say would address the oversight issues that have allowed problems to persist.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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