News & Events News & Announcements 2016 SSO's Segregation Review Submission

SSO's Segregation Review Submission

The provincial government is currently conducting a review of the use of segregation in its adult correctional facilities. The review is part of a larger effort to improve staff and inmate safety; enhance rehabilitation and reintegration programs; and supports for inmates with mental illness.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services recently sought the public’s feedback as part of its segregation review. SSO participated in an in-person stakeholder consultation with ministry staff, and provided a formal submission, containing short, medium and long-term recommendations for improving outcomes for inmates living with mental illness. Among our 10 recommendations is ultimately ending the practice of segregation for all inmates.
Reports show that inmates with mental health issues are much more likely to be segregated than those who have been identified as having no mental health issues, and that segregation is overused in correctional facilities to address behaviours related to mental illness. It has been well documented that segregation is psychologically harmful to any inmate, often culminating in anxiety, depression and even psychosis, to say nothing of the long-term effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder. For individuals with mental illness, segregation can only exacerbate their symptoms resulting in an increased need for crisis care or emergency psychiatric hospitalizations.
To read SSO’s full submission on the Provincial Segregation Review, click here. SSO continues to monitor for opportunities to inform the review and advocate ending the use of segregation for all inmates.