Our broken correctional system

Ottawa Citizen

The men and women on the front lines know the ugly truth hiding in our jails and prisons: government has more than just a monopoly on the legitimate use of force; it has a monopoly on the use of torture, as well.

June was a damning month for our correctional system. Guards from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre protested the barbaric treatment of inmates. Inmates are sleeping triple-bunked. Violence between inmates — and between inmates and guards — is a fact of life. Guards go to work fearing for their safety and come home covered in urine and feces.

It is pertinent to point out that our detention centre holds not only those convicted of crimes, but also those awaiting trial. Those whom we presume to be innocent.

June was witness to more than just a jail guard protest. Two commissions were launched investigating the deaths of inmates. Men who may…

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