The Canadian Human Rights Commission shares the concerns of the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI) regarding overuse of administrative segregation, particularly in the case of prisoners with mental illness.
The OCI’s observation that the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) “uses segregation to manage behaviours associated with mental illness” is especially troubling.
People suffering from mental illness are among the most vulnerable in the prison population. There is abundant evidence that administrative segregation is of no therapeutic benefit to them, rather, that it is likely to aggravate their condition.
The CHRC reiterates its call to the CSC to limit the use of administrative segregation to manage inmates with mental disabilities. This practice should only be used in exceptional circumstances, as a last resort, and for a very brief time. Further, the CHRC calls on the CSC to abolish the use of administrative segregation in its entirety for inmates with serious or acute mental illness.
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