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

Surrey to pay TransLink $30M in land, $9M in cash for work on cancelled LRT

Council considered staff report on city’s 2019 annual financial statements during Monday’s “virtual” council meeting

Surrey RCMP promise enforcement at unofficial show ‘n’ shines

Cars have been impounded at the site in the last two years

‘There’s no playbook for this’: South Surrey sports organizations await approval to return to play

Local associations planning for modified summer seasons as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Local Chinese Canadians aim to counter COVID-19 backlash

Few racist incidents on Peninsula, says Community Engagement Society

Surrey now has second urgent and primary care centre, in Newton, premier says

Premier John Horgan noted that some 90,000 people in Surrey don’t have a family doctor

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Death toll rises in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Number has risen to 22, making it the worst to date in B.C.

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read