Latest case of long-term segregation 'troubling': says Mandhane to Whitehorse Daily Star

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In a story that ran today in the Whitehorse Daily Star, IHRP Executive Director, Renu Mandhane, is quoted extensively regarding the use of indefinite solitary confinement to deal with prisoners with mental health issues.  The article details the case of Michael Nehass, 31, who is currently before the Yukon courts on various criminal charges, and who has been allegedly kept in solitary confinement for approximately one year and nine months.  Nehass, 31, has been in custody since his arrest in December 2011, and a trial for those alleged offences is scheduled for May.

"Humans are social animals, and being deprived of meaningful human contact for more than a year is... torture,” Mandhane told the Star last week.  She went on to point out the need for judicial review and oversight of segregation.

“We forget that until somebody’s detained indefinitely, they are meant to be released,” Mandhane said. “So if we aren’t dealing with these problems effectively in the prison environment and we’re just segregating people for years, how do we expect them to reintegrate into the community in any sort of safe or meaningful way?”

Read the full article in the Whitehorse Daily Star.

Read the IHRP's report which finds long-term segregation of prisoners with mental health issues to be torture.