10 May 2017

Ontario recently released a plan to reform their prison system. It recommends limiting the use of solitary confinement, amongst other changes, and many would like to see the federal government follow the province’s lead. 2012 scholar Lisa Kerr, an expert on the subject, believes “that changing the culture around the practice of solitary confinement and having clear legislative restrictions on doing that is a necessary step to move this issue forward.” She also distinguishes between separation, which is a legitimate course of action, and isolation, which she does not believe is required. An inmate may be separated from the rest of the prison population but allowed to have fresh air or religious council, for example. Kerr is hopeful that the current federal government will act soon to implement restrictions on solitary confinement.

Read more about the issue in The Globe and Mail or listen to The Current

Lisa Kerr

She is rethinking current approaches to incarceration and justice, focusing on the quality of a prison sentence rather than on the length of time served.

2012 Scholars