UN report recommends that Canada improve prison conditions for persons with mental health conditions
A report issued by the United Nations (UN) Committee against Torture (CAT) states that the Canadian government should increase the capacity of mental health treatment in correctional facilities and stop using solitary confinement for individuals with mental health conditions.
The CAT report indicates that the Transformation Agenda issued by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) in 2008 has not improved operations in detention facilities. The central issue identified in the document is a lack of infrastructure in the prison system to meet the needs of individuals with mental health conditions.
Other recommendations include prioritizing issues of overcrowding, meeting basic human needs and eliminating drug use in Canadian correctional facilities. The report recommends that solitary confinement should be used only as a last resort, and not used at all if the person has a mental health condition.
The recommendations are part of a larger report entitled, “Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture, Canada,” Committee against Torture, June 1, 2012 available at www.ohchr.org.
For more information on the CSC “Transformation Agenda”, please go towww.csc-scc.gc.ca.