The consequences of pre-trial detention Canada is a signatory to the United
Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states that
accused persons are to be segregated from convicted persons and treated
appro priate to their status as accused persons. Appropriate treatment is
further defined in other United Nations documents to indicate that untried
persons should be afforded better living conditions and freer access to the
community than sentenced prisoners.
This certainly is not the case in Ontario. In addition to the “ normal” toll
of the loss of liberty and of prison life on the incarcerated person, the
prison experience in Ontario is often harsher for untried prisoners than for sentenced prisoners.
All remand prisoners are held in maximum security prisons, regardless of the nature of the alleged
offence and whether the person is a first-time offender or has an extensive criminal background.
Conditions in these facilities are often overcrowded and unsanitary and dangerous.