Canada’s prison system isolating inmates

Isolating inmates on rise in Canada jails

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 16:07:39 GMT

Canada’s prison system is facing many problems, including overcrowding and an increased usage of solitary confinement, as more and more citizens are being criminalized and sent to prison, Press TV reports.

The country’s Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers recently voiced concern about the over-incarceration, saying it has negative side-effects, including overuse of segregation.

He added that the practice of segregating inmates has become more of a population-management tool than a risk-management tool.

This comes as newly released data from the Correctional Service of Canada showed that the number of inmates put in solitary confinement has soared in the last decade.

According to the data, there were 7,137 admissions to segregation during 2003-2004. However, by 2012-2013 the number has risen to 8,221 admissions.

The greatest increases were reported in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies.

Earlier this year, Sapers issued an urgent report demanding Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to address the disproportionate number of aboriginals in Canada’s prisons. At some correctional facilities, two thirds of the inmates are aboriginals.

There have been also calls for the release of prisoners, as many of them are not a threat to society.

Meanwhile, experts say Harper government’s so-called “tough on crime” agenda was shaped to allow for the establishment of a domestic prison-industrial-complex like that of the US.

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