Canadian Journal of Human Rights
Prisons; Human Rights; Solitary Confinement; Prisoners' Rights
Prisoners and their advocates in Canada and around the world have been calling attention to the harms and impact of solitary confinement for some time. What is significant about the current moment is that these calls seem to be achieving some traction, even as the use of solitary confinement grows across jurisdictions. This short piece introduces a special volume of the Canadian Journal of Human Rights which collects the writing of advocates and scholars from a range of disciplines (criminology, law, philosophy) who bring a variety of perspectives and methodologies to bear on the opaque correctional systems that hold human beings in isolation for prolonged periods of time. The work in this special volume examines experiences of solitary and prisoner resistance to it. Attending to points of continuity, as well as specificity of this practice across jurisdictions, contributors discuss and critique the persistence of solitary confinement in the face of reform efforts. In considering the potential for change through litigation, law reform, social movements, and acts of resistance, they envision a future without solitary confinement.
Debra Parkes, "Ending the Isolation: An Introduction to the Special Volume on Human Rights and Solitary Confinement" (2015) 4:1 Canadian Journal of Human Rights vii.