USJE Urges Senators to Vote in favour of Bill C-83

Today, USJE National President Stan Stapleton reiterated his support for Bill C-83 on behalf of thousands of public servants from Correctional Service of Canada who go to work every day to prepare offenders for their safe return to society.

“As a longstanding federal employee of 30 years who has worked in maximum and medium security federal prisons, USJE believes Bill C-83 is a step in the right direction towards reforming the current practice of solitary confinement. It will provide for more meaningful human interaction with individuals, while still allowing for the management of extremely violent offenders,” emphasized Stapleton.

“This includes greater medical attention, access to programs and more ‘face-time’ with correctional professionals which USJE believes will ensure more effective and lasting rehabilitative treatment for offenders which will directly influence public safety outcomes.”

While not perfect, Bill C-83 will help to form a foundation for further and more meaningful reform in Canada’s prison system. For these reasons, USJE is in favour of the Bill.

Mr. Stapleton began his career in 1980 as a Correctional Officer – at Drumheller medium security and Edmonton maximum security institutions. After 22 years, Stapleton left the Correctional Officer ranks to become a social programs officer. 

“In all my years working in federal prisons, I’ve always felt that you need to treat people like people. Having worked in segregation for almost four years, I don’t recall one offender coming out of the CSC’s current system of segregation a better person than when they went in,” noted Mr. Stapleton.

USJE strongly believes that a robust policy environment must be in place in order to effectively change solitary confinement. If not, Canada’s courts will end up dictating the practice of solitary confinement in Canada’s federal correctional institutions without meaningful input or dialogue with those who are on the front lines of rehabilitation.

USJE encourages Senators and members of the public to contact USJE with any questions or concerns. 

USJE also published an opinion piece in the National Observor earlier this month which can be found on their site.