Rights groups sue federal government over solitary confinement in Canadian prisons
Long-term solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment, torture, lawyers say
Vancouver – Today, the BC Civil Liberties Association (“BCCLA”) and the John Howard Society of
Canada (“JHSC”) filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General of Canada challenging the use of
solitary confinement in Canadian prisons as unconstitutional.
The lawsuit alleges that the use of solitary confinement – where prisoners are isolated for up to 23
hours a day, sometimes for months and years at a time – amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
The lawsuit argues that the solitary confinement regime leads to prisoner suffering and deaths,
deprives prisoners of fundamental procedural protections and is discriminatory against both
mentally ill and Aboriginal prisoners.