Magazine article Herizons

Prison Conditions Lead to Human Rights Complaint

Magazine article Herizons

Prison Conditions Lead to Human Rights Complaint

Article excerpt

WHtTEHORSK, Yukon-Since Justice Louise Arbour released her scathing report on Corrections Canada's treatment of women prisoners a decade ago, the guidelines for prison administrators are clear: Women should be housed separately from men, and they should have equal access to programs and work within the prison system.

Today, however, the Whitehorse Correctional Centre is tacing a human rights complaint (or keeping women in their rooms around the clock and tor excluding them from education, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and work within the prison.

Kirn Mullholland filed the human rights complaint atter being sent to the facility while on remand for two months."Guys gel to move around the prison,"she notes.

Prison administrators meet the spirit of Arbour's recommendations by using a separate dormitory for women and by keeping men and women on separate hours for exercise. At first glance, it looks like a compromise in a remote location with tew options, where the ruling Yukon Party halted construction of a new prison at the start of its mandate. But in practice, women face more restrictions than men when they're imprisoned.

"Basically, [they were] locked down 23 hours a day," says Mullholland's lawyer, Gordon Coffin/One hour for fresh air. They used to have gym time, but that was taken away because of the condition ot the gym."

While giving a tour of the women's dormitory, prison superintendent Phil Perrin described the inmates' lives with best-casescenario patter. …

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