Restrict Solitary Confinement in Canadian Jails

Catherine Latimer, executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada, says there may be some circumstances where separating violent inmates may be necessary to protect individual or institutional safety.

“But we need to find solutions to addressing those flare-ups within a short period of time,” she said. “Immediate removal from a situation seems to be fine from my perspective, as long as the solution is being worked on immediately to get them out of segregation.”

Latimer said firm time limits of 15 consecutive days and a maximum of 60 days a year, as dictated by United Nations standards for incarceration and recommended by the Smith inquest, must be immediately adopted.

She also called for a prohibition of segregation for anyone with mental illness and more external reviews to monitor the use of segregation.

She said the government could and should act quickly¬†and that CSC would need to implement a plan to ensure no one is put in jeopardy. That could include ensuring gang members aren’t on the same range and creating protective living units for people with mental illness.