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

Collision with hydro pole cuts power to thousands in the Shuswap

Minor injuries to the driver were reported; power was restored by the following morning

Boat sails from trailer to pavement at Sicamous Highway 97A intersection

Alberta resident charged with transporting an insecure load

Man arrested in Kelowna following Shuswap vehicle thefts, pursuit

Suspect wanted in Alberta allegdly also stole several vehicles near Sicamous over the weekend

Guess Who has started a band in the Shuswap? Legendary guitarist Donnie McDougall

Band to play pair of shows in the Malakwa area before setting out on tour

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds

Environment Canada is predicting a 30 per cent chance of showers and a risk of thunderstorms this afternoon across the Okanagan

West Kelowna vet saves turtle from hook

Dr. Moshe Oz removed fish hook lodged in the turtle’s throat

Summerland clinic will be closed on August long weekend

Medical office assistant needed at Rosedale Medical Clinic

Our history in pictures: Earth-moving moment with Big Lou

The date is May 28, 1976. One houseboat sits idly as Big… Continue reading

$1.5 billion in frigate-repair contracts split among yards in three provinces

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

Comedian Gerry Dee ready to lighten things up at BC Hockey Hall of Fame

Canadian actor and stand-up comedian Gerry Dee is hosting the event in Penticton

Column: Close by isn’t close enough

Great Outdoors by James Murray

Most Read