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Letter to MCSCS regarding data on the use of segregation

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June 15, 2016

Hon. David Orazietti

Ministry of Community Safety
 and Correctional Services
18th Floor
25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Y6

Dear Minister Orazietti:

Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.  The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is looking forward to working closely with you, especially as you continue to review the use of segregation within provincial jails, as well as the treatment of immigration detainees held in provincial custody.  By way of background, I am providing a link to our submissions on the segregation review as well as our letter expressing concerns about the treatment of immigration detainees.

Today, I am writing to follow up on an outstanding matter, namely the OHRC’s inquiry into disaggregated data regarding the use of segregation across all provincial facilities.  In email correspondence date March 11, 2016, we requested the following data pursuant to s. 31 of the Ontario Human Rights Code:

“The number of prisoners admitted into segregation in each of Ontario’s jails, the rationale for admission, and the duration of segregation, all disaggregated on the following Code-grounds: sex, race, ancestry (Indigenous status), and mental health disability.”

In response to the OHRC’s inquiry, on May 17, 2016, then-Minister Naqvi indicated that:  “Improving our data management and collection processes is also a priority for me. That is why we are actively looking at improved tracking, strengthened monitoring, meaningful alternatives to segregation and enhanced mental health supports, as part of our segregation review to ensure Ontario is a leader on corrections. In the meantime, I have directed my staff to work with the ministry officials to prepare statistics that address your specific request, which we plan to have back to you in coming weeks.”  On June 6, 2016, I wrote back to the then-Minister requesting a substantive response by June 30, 2016.  (The relevant emails are attached).

I would appreciate a response by the requested date of June 30, 2016.

Finally, as suggested by then-Minister Naqvi, I will be visiting the Brockville Jail and St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre on July 4 to inform our position on possible alternatives to segregation for those with serious mental health disabilities.  I also had the opportunity to visit and tour Ottawa Carleton-Detention Centre on June 2 and look forward to the implementation of the Task Force recommendations.  Thanks once again to your staff for facilitating these visits.

Of course, I am available to meet with you and your staff at your convenience.


Renu Mandhane, B.A., J.D., LL.M.
Chief Commissioner

cc: Deputy Minister Matthew Torigian
Deputy Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services

[OHRC Commissioners]

[Attorney General]