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.

Just Posted

Silver Medal, Silver Division for U14C West Kootenay Rebels

B.C. championship held on the coast earlier this month

Anglican Church to review governance structure

Two bishops’ votes stood in the way of having same-sex marriage recognized by the church laws

Arts and heritage scene highlighted in Columbia Basin tour

Columbia Basin Culture Tour goes Aug. 10 and Aug. 11

No nuts were grown in Almond Gardens

Place Names: Grand Forks neighbourhoods, Part 2

Blooming judges coming to Trail

Trail is participating in the CiB Class of Champions next week

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read