In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada
Ottawa Jail Conditions Decried

Stark Raven News
Sept 13, 2004

The conditions inside the Ottawa Regional Detention Centre continue fall short of meeting basic human needs.

A judge recently gave a man 3 to 1 credit for the time he spent inside the jail. This meant the 4 months he spent there, actually counted as 12 months toward his sentence. The regular rate is 2 to 1 credit for time served in jail awaiting trial.

The judge gave this credit after saying that the state of the Ottawa Regional Detention Centre brings the administration of justice into disrepute. He called the living conditions at the jail unacceptable.

In this case, the man was denied a cane while at the prison, as it was deemed to be a potential weapon. This meant he had to rely on other prisoners to get around.

Lawyers have repeatedly said that prisoners basic human needs are not being met in the prison. Prisoners are often forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor, as cells meant for two are holding three and even four people. Prisoners are allowed outside only once a week. Bed sheets are not changed for lengthy periods of time and showers were limited to twice a week. There are reports of increased violence at the jail, which lawyers say is related to the overcrowding.

Related Articles on Overcrowding In Ottawa Jail