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e-3023

Petition to the House of Commons

Whereas:
  • Bill C-83 came into force on November 30, 2019, replacing segregation with Structured Intervention Units (SIU);
  • The SIUs aimed to end long-term solitary confinement in accordance with international law and Canadian court decisions that found its use unconstitutional;
  • The Implementation Advisory Panel, which oversaw SIU implementation, found solitary confinement is ongoing;
  • COVID-19 has exacerbated this situation;
  • Prisoners report they often end up in SIU due to conflict with officers who antagonize and provoke them to act out; and
  • Other evidence suggests that solitary confinement is occurring both within and outside of the SIUs.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Establish a Commission of Inquiry to examine solitary confinement, in all forms, to ensure prisoners’ rights are safeguarded and promote transformational change in the culture of the Correctional Service;
2. Immediately define solitary confinement in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and prohibit its prolonged use, pursuant to the definition in United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
3. Prohibit all forms of solitary confinement which are not expressly authorized by legislation;
4. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture;
5. Fund legal aid for federal prisoners to ensure access to counsel; and
6. Require all correctional officers to wear body cameras whenever they interact with prisoners.

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