Dad says son in unhealthy state of mind in prison

B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society of Canada launches constitutional challenge

A B.C. man says his son was in a “fragmented” state of mind just days before he hanged himself in a solitary confinement cell at a medium-security prison.

Robert Roy told a B.C. Supreme Court trial focused on alleged infringements of segregated inmates’ rights that he was distressed to learn his son wanted to be transferred to a maximum-security facility.

Thirty-seven-year-old Christopher Roy used a ligature when he died of suicide at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford in June 2015.

RELATED: Public inquest looks into death of Matsqui inmate Christoper Roy

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada have launched a constitutional challenge of the country’s solitary confinement regime, which they say constitutes cruel and inhumane treatment.

The groups say mentally ill and Aboriginal prisoners are placed in segregation for longer periods of time, sometimes for years, worsening their physical and psychological conditions.

A lawyer representing the federal government has said Canada’s solitary confinement policies uphold inmates’ charter rights.

The Canadian Press

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