Ontarios highest court sets 15day cap on solitary confinement

first_imgTORONTO — Ontario’s top court says inmates cannot be placed in solitary confinement for more than 15 days, saying anything longer than that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.In a ruling released today, the Court of Appeal for Ontario says prolonged administrative segregation causes foreseeable and possibly permanent harm that cannot be detected through monitoring until it has already occurred.The three-judge appeal panel says legislative safeguards are inadequate to avoid the risk of harm to inmates.It rejected, however, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s argument that the practice should be banned entirely for inmates between 18 and 21, those with mental illness, or those in segregation for their own protection.The association had challenged a lower court ruling that found the existing law on solitary confinement unconstitutional because the system lacks proper safeguards. That ruling also found that the harms of severe isolation could be mitigated by appropriate monitoring.The federal government, meanwhile, noted a provision in the law requires that an inmate’s health be taken into consideration when it comes to segregation.The Correctional Service of Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Canadian Presslast_img

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