Ontario moves to restrict use of segregation as ‘last resort’ in provincial jails

Global News/File

TORONTO — Ontario is changing regulations to make the use of segregation in its jails and correctional facilities “a measure of last resort” and cutting in half the amount of time inmates can be kept in isolation.

Correctional Services Minister David Orazietti says segregation should be used under the least restrictive conditions possible while still maintaining inmate and staff safety.

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There will also be a limit of 15 consecutive days in disciplinary segregation, down from the current maximum of 30 consecutive days.

Orazietti says the loss of all privileges in disciplinary segregation will be eliminated and replaced with alternative sanctions and increased incentives for inmates to maintain good behaviour.

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The province also wants a weekly segregation review committee created at each institution to conduct case reviews of all inmates in segregation.

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Orazietti will also appoint an independent external reviewer to further examine the use of segregation and advise the government on how to reduce the number of people held in segregation and how to improve conditions for them.

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