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Confinement in Canada


Canadian media article: “Solitary confinement violates charter right to life,
liberty, security: B.C. lawyer”, published in the Canadian Press, not only
speaks to a social problem but as well as a private problem. Solitary
confinement is a method of punishment, as well as security of the institutions
used within the prison systems worldwide. Investigations of the current method
of confinement have been analyzes on whether or not solitary confinement is
inhumane and if it is in violation of an individuals Charter of rights. In the
article, lawyers in BC argue that the use of solitary confinement for administrative purposes, “are
arbitrary, overly broad and have grossly disproportionate effects on
prisoners”. The constitutional challenge filed if successful would limit the
use of solitary confinement, “The
proposed law would establish an initial time limit of 21 days, with a reduction
to 15 days once the legislation is law for 18 months (

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better understand it is important to discuss what is a social issue, according
to the text,” social problems are behaviors and conditions that both
(objectively) harm a significant group of people and behaviors and conditions
that are (subjectively) defined as harmful to a significant group of people”
(pg9). Not all prisoners are placed into solitary
confinement although a large amount of the prison population have been. Conditions of solitary confinement transcend the
environment of the rest of the prison institution. Numerous inmates who
have been placed into solitary confinements have suffered from various mental
health effects, some inmates even committing suicide. According to Arvay, “some prisoners who are in solitary confinement
in Canada have been there for hundreds and even thousands of days, including
one inmate at an unidentified prison who has been segregated for 6,273 days, or
more than 17 years” (cite).

troubles as stated in the text, ” occur within the character of the individual
and within range of immediate relations with others; they have to do with the
self and with those limited areas of social life which we are directly and
personally aware” (cite text). Solitary confinement is
not only a social issue as it effects numerous people within the prison
population but also a personal issue as it causes individual effects on the
individuals who are placed into solitary confinement. Although it could be argued that private troubles were the mitigating
factors that lead to the incarceration of the individual and/or to the solitary
confinement, the conditions in which the prison population is subjected to is
in fact a social issue as it effects and is potentially harmful to a
significant number of the prison population that is subjected to it.

 Often times the general public does not want
to view prison issues as social problems but rather personal problems this is
called subjective element of a social problem. A subjective element as defined
in the text is, ” what people perceive as real will guide their actions and
their understanding of society”(cite text). Some of the general public perceives
issues pertaining to offenders as private problems based on the choices that
the individual offender made which lead them to be incarceration, rather than
viewing the conditions in which the offenders are subjected to as a social

Barrow speaks of social inequality
being one of the mitigating factors of social issues. Social inequality is a
large part of our social injustices and can create social issues and private
troubles. For example poverty, which is a social issue can influence an
individuals life choices. If an individual lives in poverty has no access or
means of obtaining food, they still must feed themselves therefore may resort to
committing a crime to obtain food, this would be seen as a private issue being
it was the choice of the individual, although poverty would be considered a
social issue. There is a strong correlation between social problems and
personal problems. Social problems can create personal troubles that can in
turn into social problems.






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