Category: Prison Abuse

Is solitary confinement a form of institutional abuse?

by John McKiggan

Can you go a whole day without any human interaction at all? What about a week? How about four years?

Canada a leader in solitary confinement?

A recent article in the Globe and Mail caught my attention. Unlike the trend in other countries, the controversial use of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons is increasing. The number of prisoners sent to solitary last year was approximately 8,600 – up from 8,000 in 2010.

Is Solitary Confinement Cruel & Unusual Punishment: Ashley Smith inquest to probe CSC

by John McKiggan

It is a well established principle of justice that the punishment must fit the crime. But what if the “punishment” involves subjecting the person to “severe psychiatric harm”.

Jailed for Throwing Apples

When Ashley Smith was 15 years old the Moncton, New Brunswick teenager threw some crab apples at a postal worker delivering mail to her house. The postal worker charged her with assault. Ashley was given a 90-day sentence. But she remained incarcerated for more than four years! This ridiculously excessive period of incarceration was supposedly due to disciplinary infractions that occurred while Ashley was in custody.

Lalo Sexual Abuse Victim Awarded $375,000.00

by John McKiggan

A man who was 13 years old when he was sexually abused by former probation officer Cesar Lalo has been awarded $375,000.00 in compensation by Supreme Court of Nova Scotia Justice Heather Robertson.

Lalo has been convicted of sexually abusing 29 boys while working as a probation officer for Department of Social Services in Nova Scotia.

Justice Robertson awarded the plaintiff, identified as L.M.M., $125,000.00 for compensation for pain and suffering and an additional $250,000.00 for past and future lost income.

Mentally Ill Children Sexually Abused: New Brunswick Report

by John McKiggan

A young autistic man is sent to a mental institution where he is sexually abused. A 15-year-old boy with a long history of mental disorders is sent to a local jail and put in a holding cell where he is repeatedly sexually abused by a prison guard.

A “disturbing” new report on the treatment of children with severe mental illnesses in New Brunswick has uncovered sexual abuse and harsh treatment in several cases where troubled youths have been sent to jail.

Former provincial cabinet minister Bernard Richard is New Brunswick’s Child and Youth Advocate. He released a scathing report Monday uncovering serious flaws in New Brunswick’s treatment of mentally ill youth and calling for the end of “criminalization” of mental illness. The report suggests there are inadequate resources in place in the province to assist victims of mental illness.

Supreme Court of Canada Denies Compensation for Abused Inmates Lost Income

by John McKiggan

A man who was sexually abused by a prison guard will not receive compensation for lost wages during subsequent imprisonments according to a report in the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

When he was 18 years old, Dean Zastowny was sexually abused by former prison guard and convicted sex abuser, Roderick MacDougall. MacDougall was described in the Statement of Claim as:

“…a sexual predator who singled out teenagers.”

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