Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced new legal action to advance the human rights of prisoners with mental health disabilities in Ontario’s correctional facilities at a press conference at Queen’s Park.
The OHRC has filed a contravention application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) alleging that the Ontario government breached the Jahn v. MCSCS settlement, a legally binding agreement made in September 2013 that required the implementation of major reforms to the use of segregation.
For the past four years, the OHRC has voiced ongoing concerns about the overuse of segregation and discrimination in the treatment of people with mental health disabilities in Ontario’s correctional facilities.
The OHRC is requesting that the HRTO order the government to:
- Prohibit the use of segregation for people with mental illness, except in exceptional circumstances
- Provide mental health screening for all prisoners at admission and related health assessments and services on an ongoing basis
- Accurately and independently document, review and report on the use of segregation.
“When the government signs on the dotted line, it should be held accountable for its promises,” says OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane. “Through this application to the Tribunal, we are once again calling on Ontario to meet its obligations under the Human Rights Code, and to honour the commitments it made four years ago.”
Senior Communications Advisor (Acting)
Ontario Human Rights Commission
416 314 4528 | email@example.com