Three inmates held in segregation at a prison north of Chilliwack died over an eight month period in 2012-13. The B.C. Coroners Service scheduled an inquest, and advocates for prisoners called for reforms.
It's estimated that over a third of inmates entering Canadian prisons have some sort of mental health condition, and that a disproportionate number of those people are held in isolation.
Stakeholders outside and inside the penal system maintain that there are effective and cost-efficient alternatives to solitary confinement, but authorities are not utilizing them.
In a three-part series, the Georgia Straight explores how Correctional Service Canada uses solitary confinement in B.C. prisons, sometimes with deadly results.