The Nova Scotia government has decided to end the practice of "dry celling," which involves keeping inmates isolated in cells without toilets to determine if they are concealing drugs in a body cavity.
Provincial Justice Minister Mark Furey made the announcement Thursday after a cabinet meeting.
Furey says a provincial review of the practice concluded the use of new body scanning technology has eliminated the need for dry celling.
The minister says the province's Correctional Services will update their policies, but he says he will not release the report that led to the change.
In November, a prisoner rights' lawyer told a Nova Scotia court that a law used to keep an inmate in a solitary confinement dry cell in a federal prison for 16 days last May should be struck down because it allows for cruelty.
Lisa Adams of New Brunswick was accused last May of concealing drugs in her body. At the time, she was serving time for drug trafficking at the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, N.S.
Her lawyers argued that a section of the Correctional Service Canada Act allowing segregation and monitoring of federal prisoners for suspected concealment of drugs violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Jessica Rose of the Elizabeth Fry Society told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Truro, N.S., that the law allowing for dry celling amounted to legalized torture.
Rose said the law fails to provide adequate access to a lawyer, allows for indefinite confinement and fails to offer protections used in other forms of solitary confinement.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2021.