End solitary confinement: Prison reformers

Solitary confinement. (Fotolia)

Solitary confinement. (Fotolia)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:42 PM ET

OTTAWA — Prison reform advocates on Wednesday called on the government to end the practice of putting federal inmates in solitary confinement.

The activists spoke to reporters ahead of Prisoners' Justice Day, which is Sunday.

The executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada said isolating prisoners in solitary cells is cruel and amounts to torture.

Catherine Latimer, along with two other prisoner advocates, said the government needs to be held accountable for its use of solitary confinement because of the psychological trauma that a human endures when isolated for long stretches of time.

A spokesman for Public Safety Canada, which oversees the federal prison system, rejected the advocates' demands.

"The only justice of the day is that these individuals will remain behind bars where they belong," Jason Tamming said.

Solitary confinement harms society as much as it does inmates, Latimer said.


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