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

Harrison to apply for grant to upgrade treatment plant road

Councillor Ray Hooper had concerns about the number of trees being taken out

Westbound Highway 1 crash in Langley

Collision occurred just past 264th Street, left lane is blocked

Harrison councillors get increase on expense limit

Councillors Michie Vidal and Ray Hooper would have been over their annual amounts already

Conservative Brad Vis wins in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon

Vis wins in second bid for seat in House of Commons

UPDATE: Overnight shooting in downtown Chilliwack leaves one male on life support

The victim, who is not expected to survive, is known to police and was likely targeted, IHIT says

VIDEO: Tour the Harrison Ranger Station’s latest exhibit

Sylvie Roussel-Janssens took the Observer on a tour through her work in the gallery

Former Kelowna Hells Angels associate could be deported, court rules

David Revell has lost his fight against deportation from Canada

Witness of Abbotsford shooting recounts terrifying experience

He describes being caught between the gunmen and their intended target

Alcohol available onboard BC Ferries starting Thursday

Beer and wine sales begin at 11 a.m. on select Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay sailings

Olympian Brent Hayden returning to competition after seven years away

The 36-year-old has been training in Vancouver for several weeks

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

VIDEO: Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford

Incident takes place Tuesday night in 31700 block of South Fraser Way

Faster response may have prevented fatal outcome at B.C. trampoline park

Coroner’s report rules Greater Victoria father Jay Greenwood’s death accidental

Most Read