Prisoners go on hunger strike at Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre

File photo - inside an Ontario jail.
File photo - inside an Ontario jail. (Photo by Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

A prisoner rights organization says inmates at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre have resumed a hunger strike in an effort to force authorities to improve conditions at the facility.

The Criminalization and Punishment Education Project says the new strike is in response to authorities not following through on promises made to prisoners following a previous hunger strike last month.

The 31-hour strike that started on June 3 led to an agreement between prisoners and officials that there would be healthier food, hygiene products and increased access to reading materials and television.

According to CPEP, inmates in both the men’s and women’s facilities say authorities have not followed through on that agreement, leading to the new hunger strike.

On July 2, nine inmates at the provincial jail went to court to argue they are being subjected to egregious conditions due to COVID-19 that violate their constitutional rights and international law.

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The application filed in Superior Court accuses authorities at the detention centre of putting dangerously lax health measures in place and imposing oppressive restrictions as part of the fight against the pandemic.

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