5 Things to know about segregation in Ontario provincial jails
- Kate Mitchell
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1. The segregation rules are different for provincial jails than federal prisons. Different laws apply to these different institutions. The segregation provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (which apply only to federal inmates) are currently under appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada.
2. The Superintendent of a jail can place an inmate in segregation if the Superintendent believes:
- The inmate is in need of protection
- The inmate must be held in segregation to protect the security of the institution or safety of other inmates
- The inmate is alleged to have committed a misconduct
3. Inmates can request to be held in segregation. An inmate may chose to do this if they feel unsafe in the general population, for example.
4. Inmates in segregation retain (as far as practicable) the same benefits and privileges as those not held in segregation. This means that, as far as possible, inmates in segregation should be afforded the same medical access, religious services, access to counsel, quality of meals, etc.
5. Inmates in segregation are entitled to regular reviews of their placement. The Superintendent must conduct a preliminary review within 24 hours of putting an inmate in segregation. The Minister of Corrections (or a designate) then does a review within 5 days of the inmate being in segregation and every 5 days that the segregation continues. Inmates should, as a matter of procedural fairness, be provided with an opportunity to make representations to the decision-maker.