NDP

Nova Scotia not collecting data on time spent in solitary confinement  

October 21, 2016


For immediate release.

HALIFAX – NDP Justice Critic Marian Mancini will question the Minister of Justice today about the lack of data available about solitary confinement in the province’s jails.

“Several individuals and organizations, including the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the federal Officer of the Correctional Investigator, have raised concerns about the use of solitary confinement and its impact on the people who experience this form of punishment,” said Mancini. “Without the proper data, there is no way to assess the conditions in provincial correctional facilities.”

Earlier this year, the NDP Caucus filed a Freedom of Information Act request requesting the number of individuals placed in solitary confinement from November 2013 to May 2016, and the number of days each individual spent in the facility. The Ministry of Justice’s response explained that “Our electronic system does not have a field that calculates the total time a person spends in segregation.” The system also does not track whether people are in solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons or safety issues.

“If the Department of Justice does not collect such critical information on the use of solitary confinement, the Liberal government has no way of assuring the public and advocates that there are not issues that need to be addressed,” said Mancini.

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For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881 or kaley.kennedy@novascotia.ca.