When will we ever learn?

Not only is solitary confinement in our federal prisons and provincial jails “a broken and dangerous system”, no matter how the practice is labeled, the policies, safeguards, and restrictions put in place are neither followed nor enforced with any consistency. Management has no option but to deny irregularities are common, and no authoritative body exists to which recourse is available.
The letter to Julia Payson of B.C.’s John Howard Society was also sent to Carmen Cheung, Senior Counsel, at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association which is the other party to this lawsuit.
The British Columbia action has been filed with the B.C. Supreme Court. A few days later, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in partnership with the Elizabeth Fry Societies petitioned the Ontario Superior Court, challenging the constitutionality of isolation.
The letter to Jason Tamming is one of those delightful tasks that make life worthwhile

January 27, 2015

Julia Payson, Executive Director B. C.,
John Howard Society of B. C.,
763 Kingsway,
Vancouver, BC V5V 3C2

Re: Rights groups sue Ottawa over solitary confinement
Globe and Mail, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dear Ms. Payson:
Sunny Dhillon and Patrick White’s Globe article begins with, “two rights groups have sued the federal government over the use of solitary confinement in prisons, arguing Canada remains committed to a broken and dangerous system that increases inmates’ suffering even as jurisdictions around the world scale back its use.”
The Toronto Star editorial on Monday, January 26 calls your lawsuit “welcome news”, and opines that, “it’s not as if Canada doesn’t know better.”
Thank you, and the B. C. Civil Liberties Association, for taking an action you wouldn’t have to if our public servants weren’t so hell bent on being on the wrong side of right.
Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen
cc turnoverarocktoday.com

January 27, 2015

Jason Tamming, Press Secretary to Steven Blaney,
Ministry of Public Safety,
Ste. 306, Justice Building,
House of Commons,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Re: Rights groups sue Ottawa over solitary confinement.
Globe and Mail, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mr. Tamming:
You’ve got to be kidding! The Canadian government is “taking action to keep our streets and communities safe.” “[Correctional Service Canada] uses all of its tools to make sure the corrections system actually corrects criminal behaviour, including the use of segregation.” Now really, only the uninformed would believe you, and only the mean-spirited would want to believe you.
As the Toronto Star’s editorial on Monday, January 26, pointed out when it called this lawsuit “welcome news”, “it’s not as if Canada doesn’t know better.”
The minister for whom you work and the government he represents are so hell bent on being on the wrong side of right, they make no effort to hide their position as anything more than pandering to a particular voter base.
Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen
cc turnoverarocktoday.com

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