By Sylvia Stead for The Globe and Mail
In June, I asked readers what issues they felt should go under the media microscope. The Globe and Mail had been honoured for its work on military men and women suffering from post-traumatic stress and from its coverage of indigenous women, but there is always much more to do.
A couple of readers suggested solitary confinement and I passed those messages on to the senior editors.
“… The issue which came to mind immediately and has been haunting me for some time is the issue of solitary confinement and in particular its abuse against First Nations inmates,” said Peter Elson, a University of Victoria professor. “Go for it. Please.”
A woman from Ottawa said: “You asked for issues that should be examined. My suggestion is solitary confinement. This is a barbaric practice, which is not justice, but revenge. It accomplished nothing, except to destroy the person, and should never be permitted.”
Dr. Elson was pleased to see The Globe “go for it” and continue the recent coverage of news stories and editorials over the past weeks on solitary confinement.
They have focused on the segregation of Adam Capay, a young indigenous man who had been in isolation for 52 months at a Thunder Bay jail. The story of his solitary confinement in an acrylic-glass box under artificial light 24 hours a day has drawn outrage from many quarters.