Class Action Suit Claims Prison Inmates Rights Violated Due To Lengthy Lockdowns

Akin to 'cruel and unusual punishment'

A class action suit has been launched on behalf of prison inmates in Ontario, over lockdowns due to lack of staffing. The suit alleges the lockdowns – which can last for days, even weeks – are causing physical and psychological issues for the inmates. Law firm Koskie Minsky LLP claims “When the correctional institutions are locked down, prisoners suffer from a deprivation of healthcare, privacy, dignity, security, and hygiene. They are deprived of access to fresh air, showers, medical care, phone calls, visits from their families, and legal counsel.” The action alleges that the Province of Ontario was negligent and breached its fiduciary duty to prisoners in the correctional institutions. The action also alleges that the Province violated the prisoners’ rights under section 7 (life, liberty and security of the person), section 9 (arbitrary detention and imprisonment) and section 12 (cruel and unusual treatment) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

photo: Dave Nakayama via Flickr