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CBC Forum: When should Canada's correctional system use solitary confinement?

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is calling on the province to halt solitary confinement, which provincial jails use hundreds of times a month. What do you think? When should Canada's prison system use solitary confinement?

Ontario Human Rights Commission calls on province to abandon the practice

Segregation cells at the Thunder Bay District Jail in northern Ontario are often occupied by mentally ill inmates, a correctional officer says (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is calling on the province to end the use of solitary confinement.

The recommendations were among 10 the commission made to the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, which is conducting a review of the practice known officially as "segregation."

Solitary confinement means keeping a person locked in a small cell for up to 23 hours a day with few or no privileges. The United Nations says that more than 15 consecutive days of solitary confinement amounts to a form of torture.

Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services says solitary confinement was used at least 1,600 times in a five-month period, though those numbers include separate occasions when the same person was placed in segregation.

What do you think? When, if ever, should Canadian prisons and provincial jails use solitary confinement?

Let us know in the latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion about topics of national interest.

Can't see the forum? Click here. 

With files from CBC's Lucas Powers