September 13, 2017 12:24 pm

Court hears Canada’s prison segregation regime ‘structurally deficient’

A segregation cell is shown in the Kingston Penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario on Wednesday October 2, 2013.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

TORONTO – A court in Toronto is hearing for a second day why Canada’s system of solitary confinement for inmates is unconstitutional.

Civil liberties lawyers say administrative segregation, among other things, is procedurally unfair and structurally deficient.

They say no meaningful review exists of a warden’s decision to place someone in isolation.

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READ MORE: Canada’s inmate segregation laws face Constitutional challenge in court

Inmates in administrative segregation are locked away by themselves for 23 hours a day.

It is used when prisoners are at risk from other inmates, or pose a threat to the security of the prison.

READ MORE: Federal government wants Ontario inmate segregation fight put on ice

Research, however, suggests the practice can cause extreme psychological harm, especially when prolonged.

Liberties groups and prisoner activists want a 15-day limit placed on such isolation.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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