A solitary confinement cell is shown in a undated handout photo from the Office of the Correctional Investigator. A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has struck down a law that permits federal prisons to put inmates into solitary confinement indefinitely. (Office of the Correctional Investigator)

B.C. court gives federal government more time to fix solitary confinement

Government now has until November

B.C.’s top court has stayed its recent decision on Canada’s solitary confinement law until the end of November to give the government more time to fix its prison practices.

The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled unanimously on Monday that the law allowing prolonged, indefinite solitary confinement “offends the fundamental norms of a free and democratic society.”

The court struck down the law and also declared that Correctional Services Canada had breached its obligations to consider the health care needs of mentally ill or disabled inmates before placing them in segregation.

Parliament replaced the law last Friday with new legislation that creates “structured intervention units,” which allow segregated inmates a minimum of four hours outside their cells and at least two hours to interact with others per day.

The federal government asked the Appeal Court for more time to implement the legislative changes and the court ruled Wednesday to stay its decision until Nov. 30 with progress reports expected on Aug. 30 and Oct. 15.

The court says while Canada has taken “a long time” to amend the legislative scheme, it is satisfied that the current plans to implement it by Nov. 30 represent a diligent and realistic timetable.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Occupancy rates remain above capacity in Greater Victoria hospitals

Region’s hospitals have more patients than acute care beds

Saanich mayor signs up for mason bee rental service

Fred Haynes rents mason bee colony from Oyster River beekeeper for his Prospect Lake home

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read