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Globe & Mail: Solitary confinement reform hindered by gaps in prison statistics

March 29, 2016 — 

As the Globe and Mail reports:

The scale of long-term solitary confinement in Canada is unknown because of disparities in data among the country’s 14 prison services – a major oversight in record keeping that threatens to derail policy makers who have vowed to reform the practice in the face of harsh global criticism….

These major holes in prison data have thwarted efforts by academics and journalists to create an accurate snapshot of long-term solitary confinement, a correctional method recently condemned by U.S. President Barack Obama, the UN Committee Against Torture and Pope Francis.

“We know that people die in segregation, we know that people come out significantly harmed by segregation, and yet we don’t have any basic accountability or transparency about the practice,” said Debra Parkes, associate dean in the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law. “I think that’s a problem in a society committed to the rule of law.”

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