The Same Rights, Privileges and Conditions of Confinement
The provisions of the CCRA make it clear
that prisoners in administrative segregation shall be given the same rights,
privileges and conditions of confinement as the general inmate population,
except for those that can only be enjoyed in association with other inmates
or cannot reasonably be given owing to limitations for security requirements.
The William Head Segregation Unit Inmate Handbook specifically provides
that inmates will receive their cell effects as soon as this can be arranged,
but not later than two days after admission to segregation. The Handbook
also states that individuals held in SCU are entitled to wear personal
clothing. The only items which a prisoner is not entitled to possess in
segregation are those "construed as dangerous, or as having the potential
to be used as a weapon."
Notwithstanding the provisions of the CCRA
and the Inmate Handbook, Gary Weaver was not provided with his personal
effects until March 25, forty-five days into his segregation, even though
he had made several requests for them. The IPSO, Mr. Hamer, had told Mr.
Weaver on March 5 that he was denied his personal clothing and effects
at the beginning of his segregation because of the existence of a search
warrant for certain specified items, including clothing and footwear.
That search, however, had been executed on February 16, so there was no
reason they could not be released to him. Yet it took another twenty days
for that to happen. In his affidavit Mr. Weaver described how his belongings
had been treated.
Everything I owned, including clothes, books and
my Buddhist and Aboriginal spiritual items, had been carelessly and haphazardly
packed in boxes and garbage bags. When I looked through my personal effects
I was outraged at the total disrespect that had been displayed toward
my religious and spiritual items. A tapestry valued at $400.00, that I
use for Tantric practice, was stuffed in one of the bags as if it were
a dishcloth. An eagle feather, which is of great significance in Aboriginal
ceremonies, was crushed under other items. The disrespect shown to my
spiritual items matched the disrespect the Correctional Service of Canada
has shown to my legal rights in continuing my placement in Segregation
and failing to comply with the provisions of the C.C.R.A. (Affidavit of
Gary Weaver, April 1, 1999, para. 67)
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