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TORONTO — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is demanding the Government of Ontario fix significant shortcomings in new regulations concerning strip searches in provincial prisons.

The CCLA and an individual who has been forced to endure strip searches launched a lawsuit against the Government of Ontario in 2022 over the unfettered power to strip search prisoners.

“Too many strip searches are taking place in Ontario prisons for no rhyme or reason. These new regulations demonstrate Ontario recognizes it cannot strip search everyone, but they will not stop the severe harm of excessive and unnecessary strip searches,” said Shakir Rahim, Director of Criminal Justice for the CCLA.

“Far fewer strip searches would take place if body scanners were recognized as an alternative and prisons were properly outfitted with them. It is shameful that the Ontario government has not taken this common-sense step when the federal government has already done so.”

The significant shortcomings in the new Ontario regulations include:

  • Body scanners are not recognized as an alternative to strip searches,
  • Individuals isolated due to a mental health crisis can be strip searched without suspicion they have contraband, these unnecessary strip searches carry a high risk of degrading their health and increasing the risk of suicide,
  • Strip searches of entire groups of prisoners are permitted on a lower standard, with no limit to how many people can be searched and other essential safeguards,
  • Permitted strip search methods are unnecessarily traumatic, meaning individuals who are sexual assault survivors could be retraumatized.

“The time for Ontario to fix these glaring errors was years ago. We are demanding the province take action now to ensure prisoners have dignity. The woefully inadequate new regulations mean the violence of unnecessary strip searches will continue.”


À propos de l’association canadienne sur les libertés civiles
L’ACLC est un organisme indépendant à but non lucratif qui compte des partisans dans tout le pays. Fondée en 1964, c’est une association de défense des droits de la personne qui opère à l’échelle du Canada pour défendre les droits, la dignité, la sécurité et les libertés de toute la population.

Communications avec les médias :
Alex Nanoff – 613.709.6318

À propos de l’association canadienne sur les libertés civiles

L’ACLC est un organisme indépendant à but non lucratif qui compte des sympathisant.e.s dans tout le pays. Fondé en 1964, c’est un organisme qui œuvre à l’échelle du Canada à la protection des droits et des libertés civiles de toute sa population.

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