Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Inhuman treatment" in Canada

A deaf prisoner is accusing Canada's correctional facilities of inhuman treatment. Michael Mickelson is now out of jail, but he says during his near decade of incarceration the system failed to accommodate his deafness. Mickelson is an ASL user and says his requests for interpreters were routinely denied. This meant, according to Mickelson, he did not have confidentiality with his attorney and was unable to contact his family, and that his parole was denied for not taking part in a rehabilitation program - something he could not do without an interpreter. Mickelson also says he was placed in solitary confinement after he was not able to defend himself against accusations because he did not have an interpreter. The West Coast Prison Justice Society in British Columbia says the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires correctional facilities to treat "offenders with disabilities" with "equitably”. The Correctional Service of Canada has not yet responded to the grievance filed by Mickelson. Read more about the case here.