Saskatchewan

Sask. prisoner kept in segregation for more than 2,000 days in dire need of help, say advocates

Prisoner advocates are calling on the Federal Court to help an Indigenous man from northern Saskatchewan who has spent more than 2,000 days in segregation.

Prisoners' Legal Services says Toutsaint is suffering mentally and is at risk of committing suicide

Prisoners' Legal Services, a B.C. based group, has filed an injunction with the Federal Court to have Joey Toutsaint transferred from the Saskatchewan Penitentiary to the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon. (CBC)

Prisoner advocates are calling on the Federal Court to help an Indigenous man from northern Saskatchewan who has spent more than 2,000 days in segregation.

Joey Toutsaint has spent most of his life in prison and is a convicted dangerous offender serving an indeterminate sentence at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert.

Prisoners' Legal Services, a B.C. group that provides legal aid to prisoners, says Toutsaint is suffering mentally and is at risk of committing suicide.

Nicole Kief works with the group and says Toutsaint has been in and out of segregation for years instead of getting the mental health help he needs.

Her group recently filed an injunction with the Federal Court to have Toutsaint transferred to the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon, where he would receive regular one-on-one therapy.

Court documents say Toutsaint has a history of suicide attempts and self-harm.

Kief says he is being kept in an observation cell where the lights are on 24-hours a day and he has to sleep on a concrete slab.

The executive director of the John Howard Society says Toutsaint's case is brutal, and it is inhumane to keep people in solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time.

Catherine Latimer says inmates deserve access to health care and says those who are seriously at risk should be transferred to psychiatric centres.

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