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This is what documents obtained by CBC reveal.

Inmates stay in prison longer than expected

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Toronto South Detention Center opened in 2014, but has faced criticism during the last years. (Archives)


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At least 54 inmates remained in the prisons of the' Ontario longer than expected last year, according to documents obtained by CBC through a freedom of information request.

It indicates the number of detainees, between the beginning of October 2022 and August 2023, who remained behind bars even though they had the right to be free.

17 inmates were held longer than expected at the Toronto South Detention Centre. At Maplehurst Correctional Complex, there are 9 inmates. 6 others suffered the same fate at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Center. In 13 other Ontario prisons, 3 or fewer inmates were subject to such action.

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Establishment Number of detentions
Toronto South Detention Center 17
Maplehurst Correctional Complex 9
Hamilton Wentworth Detention Center 6
Central East Correctional Center 3
North Bay Prison 2
Southwest Detention Center 2
Thunder Bay Prison
Detention Center 'East of Toronto 2
Vanier Center for Women 2
Algoma Processing and Remand Center 1
D Detention Center 'Elgin-Middlesex 1
Fort Frances Prison 1
Monteith Correctional Complex 1
Quinte Detention Center 1
Sudbury Prison 1

< p>Data dated between October 2022 and August 2023

Source: Ministry of the Solicitor General

Some of these documents indicate that in some cases administrative errors between courts and prisons are the cause of prolonged detentions. In one case, prison staff say they have not received documents from court staff. In at least one other case, an inmate even had to inform staff that he was to be released.

By email, a spokesperson for Ontario's Solicitor General says late inmate releases represent less than 0.2% of all releases. The department is conducting investigations to determine the cause of these situations and whether process changes are necessary.

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Ontario's total prison population was 33,571 in 2022.

Any time someone is detained beyond their release date, it is unacceptable, says Asgar Manek , a defense lawyer in Hamilton, whose client was improperly detained.

Mr. Manek indicates that& #x27;he once had a client who remained in jail a few days past his release date due to a documentation error.

Former federal correctional investigator and former independent advisor to Ontario on corrections reform Howard Sapers believes that the gaps in communication between departments, staff shortages caused by lack of budget, and staff shortages in monitoring are all factors that lead to these errors.

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Howard Sapers is the former independent advisor to the Ontario on Correctional Reform. (Archive)

Problems like this happen over and over again because people just aren't enough attentive, he notes.

The total of 54 inmates may seem rather low compared to the province's overall prison population, but the situation must be taken seriously, says Kelly Hannah-Moffat, a professor at the Center for Criminology and Education# x27;sociolegal studies from the University of Toronto.

I don't think it diminishes the& #x27;effect on the individual, she explains.

Stephanie DiGiuseppe, associate of Toronto law firm Henein Hutchison Robitaille LLP and member of the Criminal Lawyers' Association [Association of Criminal Lawyers, free translation] believes that this is an inexcusable and shocking number.

It's a very simple task to do, she said. Every day of detention is a day of loss of a person's freedom and ability to earn a living.

Stephanie DiGiuseppe also believes that detainees may be entitled to redress if their rights are violated.

Ms Hannah-Moffat would like the process to be more transparent and call for audits of the administrative system to be put in place, as the circumstances raise questions about the way in which the files are kept.

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Several inmates remained behind bars due to administrative problems, according to documents obtained by CBC. (Archives)

Howard Sapers and Asgar Manek want the province to invest more money in the systems judicial and correctional.

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This would include hiring more staff to courts and prisons, improve their remuneration and modernize technology, insists Asgar Manek.

There must be direct intervention from the Solicitor General to examine the reasons for these situations. There needs to be a public explanation and action taken, notes Shakir Rahim, director of the criminal justice program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).

Even just one inmate held beyond his or her release date is one inmate too many.

With information from Bobby Hristova of CBC News

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116