As originally blogged about several weeks ago, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has called for an end to solitary confinement in Ontario prisons, and has shed light on the plight of Adam Capay, an inmate who has spent almost 4 years detained, alone, in a plexiglass cell in the basement of the Thunder Bay District Jail.
The Globe and Mail is now reporting that Thunder Bay Superior Court Justice Danial Newton has agreed to a request for an in-patient psychiatric assessment made by Mr. Capay’s new team of lawyers. Additional details about the assessment, including the reasons it was ordered, are covered by a publication ban.
Mr. Capay originally underwent a similar assessment last year that determined that was fit to stand trial. However, that was before his circumstances changed. When Renu Mandhane, Ontario’s Chief Human Right’s Commissioner, visited Mr. Capay during her tour of the Thunder Bay facility in October of this year, he informed her that he had been suffering from speech and memory problems brought on by his confinement in the cell, made worse by constant illumination by artificial light.
Several different lawyers have represented Mr. Capay, and three trial dates have been adjourned over the period of Mr. Capay’s pre-trial custody (now numbering more than 1,600 days).
Mr. Capay is represented by a team of four lawyers who, according to a statement they recently released, are working on “all aspects of his case”. Mr. Capay’s next scheduled court appearance is on January 30th.
Last week, David Orazietti, the province’s Correctional Services Minister, requested funding for new infrastructure in Thunder Bay, and sent a 25-member team to examine conditions in solitary confinement cells around the province.
Employees at the Thunder Bay District Jail have stated that Mr. Capay is considered “too dangerous” to place among other inmates in the general population unit, and that there are few confinement options available other than segregation at the overcrowded facility.
We will continue to follow developments in this matter and provide updates as they become available.
At Affleck & Barrison our firm and its predecessors have been protecting client rights since 1992. Our lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and are experienced at defending a wide range of criminal charges. We are available 24 hours a day, and offer a variety of payment options, including Legal Aid. Whatever the nature of your offence, we can help. Call us at 905-404-1947 or contact us online for a free consultation.