News / Toronto

Family doctors call for Canadian prisons, jails to end solitary confinement

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The group that regulates family doctors in Canada is calling for an end to solitary confinement in correctional facilities.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada says in a statement that the practice should be abolished for inmates with medical conditions or mental illness, and should be prohibited as a form of discipline.

It says that until the practice is eliminated, the health needs of people in segregation should be assessed on a daily basis.

The college's position paper says placing inmates in solitary confinement for health-related reasons, such as infectious disease or mental illness, can make the problems worse.

The federal correctional investigator said last year that the Correctional Service should ban the use of solitary confinement for mentally ill inmates and that segregation should be limited to 30 days.

The college also wants provincial and territorial health departments to take over the responsibility of inmates' health care from justice departments.

It says the delivery of medical and mental health care services in federal facilities should be completely separated from Public Safety.

The college says the health care standards in Canadian correctional facilities "should be equivalent to the standards established for all Canadians."


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