The Mission Institution is Canada’s hardest hit prison amid the pandemic. (Black Press Media files)

Canadian prisoner files lawsuit over safety of inmates during COVID-19 pandemic

Suit says they’d like to see the timely release of federal prisoners

A prisoner and several human rights organizations have filed a constitutional challenge against the federal government over the safety of inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sean Johnston and the organizations that include the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Prison Law Association are trying to compel the government to take proactive steps to ensure prisoners’ safety.

They say they’d like to see the timely release of federal prisoners, especially for older inmates or those who have underlying health conditions.

The suit alleges Correctional Service Canada cannot keep prisoners safe because it cannot ensure the proper physical distancing measures without reducing the prison population.

Johnston is serving a life sentence in an Ontario prison for murder and says many inmates remain in cells with bunkbeds.

As of Monday, more than 200 federal prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 and two inmates have died of the disease.

READ MORE: Voices from inside Canada’s worst COVID-19 prison outbreak at Mission Institution

The Canadian Press

Coronavirusprison

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Greens, Liberals, NDP field Fraser-Nicola candidates ahead of October election

Incumbent Jackie Tegart has two opposing candidates after snap election called Monday

Work has started on 20 units of seniors’ housing in Clinton

Much-delayed project has been in the works for almost a decade

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Permanent fish-passage solutions consdiered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Most Read