The people serving sentences in Canada’s federal correctional system for indictable offenses are human beings whose human rights must be respected, the Senate Committee on Human Rights said in an interim report released Wednesday.
Committee members are engaged in a detailed, multi-year study of Canada’s federal correctional system. The study has taken them into many of Canada’s federal penitentiaries, where senators have had the opportunity to hear directly from federally-sentenced persons, correctional staff and leading experts about life on the inside.
People serving sentences of two years or more are housed in federal correctional facilities. They are dependent on the Correctional Service of Canada for basic necessities like food, clothing, medical care — and for the safeguarding of their human rights.
Over the course of its study, the committee has become aware of a wide range of human rights concerns. This interim report provides an overview of evidence the committee has heard and received, and it focuses on issues related to equality rights and non-discrimination. It concludes with a gap analysis that outlines areas where the committee’s study would benefit from more information. The committee will seek to fill these gaps as it prepares to finalize its study.
The committee intends to produce a final report, with recommendations to the federal government, after its study has concluded.
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The Senate of Canada
February 20, 2019