Suggesting that segregation has no impact goes against most academic research

Dec 21, 2016 By Matthew Friedberg

"It's unbelievable" that someone could suggest that isolating inmates causes none of the health problems generally associated with segregation, says Toronto criminal lawyer Matthew Friedberg. "I completely disagree that there is no impact and I challenge anyone who says that to step into administrative segregation for a month to see whether they are impacted by it — if their psychological health is damaged," he tells "Saying segregation has no effect is simply inconsistent with what I have seen in my law practice."

Friedberg, a partner with Caramanna Friedberg LLP, weighs in on the issue as the Globe and Mail reports statements the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) made about solitary confinement and where it denied using the practice in its prisons.

"While the agency acknowledged that administrative segregation means isolating inmates for up to 23 hours a day, it argued that it does not meet the definition of solitary confinement because prisoners get daily visits from wardens, health-care personnel and other staff," reports the newspaper.  The comments are part of a statement of defence that CSC filed in response to a lawsuit three inmates filed against the prison agency in October, claiming damages of $5.6 million. 

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