Implementation of the Jahn Consent Order
Toronto - Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has released additional data regarding inmates with mental health conditions in segregation and the mental health screening processes in Ontario's correctional institutions. This information, which represents one of many time-specific deliverables agreed to under a Consent Order issued by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, concerns an audit on admission and segregation practices in six correctional institutions. The release has been posted on the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services website.
With this most recent release, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has met all of its deliverables to date and is more than halfway through the commitments to the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).
"I commend ministry staff for their excellent work, which will put us on track to undo some of the damages done to Ontario's correctional system by the previous government. Thanks to the front-line staff who worked hard to make the policy changes operational and the institutions safe," said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. "We would also like to thank the Independent Expert on Human Rights, Ms. Kelly Hannah-Moffat, for her commitment to this file and Justice David Cole for his oversight."
In January 2018, Ontario reached a joint agreement with the OHRC to implement 10 public interest remedies agreed to in the 2013 settlement with former inmate Christina Jahn. Ms. Jahn alleged that she had been discriminated against due to her mental health condition, and placement in segregation.
In the agreement, the government committed to appoint special advisors to analyse and comment on the continued improvement of services and the conditions of confinement for individuals in Ontario's adult correctional institutions - particularly those with mental health issues.
The Ministry is responsible for implementing a total of 31 time-specific deliverables by September 2019. These deliverables support the province's continued work to reform its adult correctional system and ensure all inmates are treated with dignity and respect, especially those with mental health issues, when in our care and custody.
This is the final month in which Ontario will see statistics that reflect the outdated segregation policy, which referred to a specific cell placement. Under the settlement agreement signed by the OHRC and Ontario, an inmate who is physically isolated and confined to a cell for 22 hours or more per day, excluding circumstances of lockdown, is deemed to be segregated regardless of where they are located within a correctional institution. Future information releases will use this newly-defined definition of the term "segregation".