Monday, January 19, 2015

An Overdue Constitutional Challenge to Solitary Confinement

BREAKING: We're taking on solitary confinement


Just moments ago, the BC Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada launched a constitutional challenge to solitary confinement in Canadian prisons.

Solitary confinement, also known as “segregation”, is the practice of confining a prisoner to a cell and depriving him or her of meaningful human contact for up to 23 hours a day, sometimes for months or years at a time.

Indefinite solitary confinement is torture

The negative effects of long-term solitary confinement are well-documented. These effects include psychosis, hallucinations, insomnia and confusion. Solitary confinement can create mental illness where none previously existed, or worsen pre-existing illness.

At a time when the rest of the world is scaling back the use of solitary confinement, Canada remains steadfast in its reliance on a broken and dangerous system.


It’s time to end the abuse of solitary confinement

The Canadian government has ignored repeated calls to reform its use of solitary confinement for decades. We’re suing the Government of Canada to ensure that out of sight is not out of mind, and that the constitutional rights of prisoners are protected.

Click here to learn more about the case

Change is possible

In 2011, the BCCLA sued the federal government on behalf of our client BobbyLee Worm, a young Indigenous woman from Saskatchewan, who was held in solitary confinement for over three and a half years under a program known as the ‘Management Protocol.’

Two days after the BCCLA filed its lawsuit, Ms. Worm was removed from the Management Protocol. Shortly after, the government announced it would end the use of the program across Canada.

BobbyLee’s case was just our first step in taking on the abhorrent practice of long-term solitary confinement. Today, we take another. Together, we can end the practice of prolonged, indefinite solitary confinement in Canadian prisons.

We have a long history of legal successes, but we wouldn’t have had these successes without the generosity of supporters like you. This kind of court case is expensive and we need all the support we can get.

Please donate today to help end indefinite solitary confinement.

Thank you for your continued support.

Josh Paterson,
Executive Director

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