Solitary by another name

This is a test r1 The fight against this unjust system is not over ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Dear Friend,

In 2019, we had a historic win when the BC Court of Appeal ruled that the federal laws that permitted prolonged solitary confinement in Canada’s federal prisons were inhumane and unconstitutional. The court ordered sweeping changes to the laws that determine how solitary confinement is used throughout federal prisons.

This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the survivors of solitary who bravely stepped forward to describe the cruel reality of solitary confinement to the courts.

They told the court of the immense suffering they experienced in prison – from BobbyLee Worm, who spent three and a half years in solitary, to Andre Blair, who spent 363 days imprisoned in a small, dirty cell. Their bravery signalled that there is room for hope – and a reason to continue fighting for justice and fundamental rights.

While the government claims that solitary confinement has been banned, the fight against... this unjust system is not over.

The practice of long-term solitary confinement continues, but now under different names.

These include Structured Intervention Units (SIU), which routinely result in prolonged solitary confinement, to lockdowns and restrictive movement routines which result in mass solitary confinement. Further still, the Office of the Correctional Investigator reported that prisons were using long-term solitary confinement to isolate people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in conditions the United Nations considers to be torture or cruel treatment.

All these practices have one thing in common: people are locked alone in their cells for days, weeks, and months on end. They don’t know when they’ll be able to go out, make a phone call, or get some fresh air.

It’s dehumanizing and causes deep physical, psychological, and spiritual trauma.

Imprisoned people, their family members, and their communities have been calling for change. They’ve led advocacy campaigns, organized protests, and brought much-needed attention to this issue. They continue to shine a light on the unjust conditions in prisons.

We stand with all current and formerly imprisoned people who have been fighting for justice.

Stay tuned for new ways that you can stand with us as we work to ensure that people are no longer subjected to this cruel and inhumane practice.

We’ll be in touch soon. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Megan Tweedie (she/her)
Senior Counsel (Litigation)

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