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March 4-9 -- The Thirty-Day Review: A Minimalist Approach

On March 4, Mr. Weaver received another Sharing of Information document. This advised him that his thirty-day segregation review would be on March 9, 1999. The document stated that the original Segregation Placement Form, the five-day review, and a psychological assessment would be considered at the hearing. No reference was made to the preliminary results of the RCMP's investigation, the results of the analysis performed on Mr. Weaver's letter to Warden Gallagher, or the negative results of the interception of his telephone calls.

Mr. Weaver's thirty-day segregation review was chaired by Unit Manager Callahan. Mr. Callahan denied Mr. Weaver's request to have me present as legal counsel at the hearing, on the grounds that a lawyer's presence was not necessary considering the Board's duties and functions. Mr. Callahan informed Mr. Weaver that the Board was recommending he remain segregated while his case was reviewed for a transfer to a maximum security institution. Mr. Weaver protested that the Board had come to a decision without giving him an opportunity to present his case. Mr. Callahan said the Board's primary function was to review any concerns Mr. Weaver had with regard to his segregated status, including such things as meals, showers, exercise, and legal calls. Mr. Weaver asked the Board whether it was taking the new information into account: the RCMP's conclusions that his boots did not match any footprints at the scene of the crime, the RCMP's concerns about the reliability of Mr. Caziere's identification of his assailants, and the RCMP's overall conclusion that Mr. Weaver was not involved in the assault. He also asked whether the Board was taking into account the results of the handwriting analysis and the interception of his telephone calls. Mr. Weaver was told that all of this would be dealt with in the documents being prepared for his Involuntary Transfer and he would have a chance to present a rebuttal in due course. Although Mr. Weaver pointed out that all the evidence was consistent with his innocence rather than his guilt, the Board reiterated that he would be maintained in segregation pending a decision on his transfer to Kent maximum security.

Mr. Callahan's minimalist statement of the Segregation Board's functions -- to review prisoners' concerns about such things as meals, showers, exercise, and legal calls -- failed to include the Board's primary function, which is to review whether there are reasonable grounds for continued segregation of a prisoner and reasonable alternatives to such segregation. Mr. Callahan began the hearing by advising Mr. Weaver that he would be maintained in segregation while his case was reviewed for a transfer to higher security. The original legal justification for Mr. Weaver's segregation was to prevent interference with an ongoing investigation. Segregation for the purposes of reviewing a prisoner's security classification is not an authorized basis for segregation under s. 31(3) of the CCRA. As he had done at his five-day review, Gary Weaver protested his innocence of any wrongdoing in the assault of Mr. Caziere, and he sought to bring to the Board's attention the preliminary results of the RCMP investigation and the IPSOs' investigation, which corroborated his innocence. The Segregation Review Board made no efforts to respond to Mr. Weaver's arguments.

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