Canada: bringing law into prisons

A tool for defending prisoners

The law struggles to enter Canadian custodial settings. Associations are typically not authorised to enter prisons. Very few lawyers are familiar with prison law. Prisoners are not adequately informed of their rights. The book Droit carcéral et gestion des peines (“Prison Law and Sentence Management”) combines law and clinical criminology in an attempt to increase knowledge of prisoners’ rights and the duties of prison facilities.

Philippe Bensimon, Doctor of Criminology, and Mélanie Martel, a lawyer practicing prison law, participated in writing this work. They reflect on how the book came to be and the issues concerning the respect of prisoners’ rights in Canada today. Prison Insider asked them three questions.

Prisoners are often poorly informed of their rights, as no one is there to help or guide them.

The work needs to be reasonably readable, as our goal is for it to circulate in the libraries of provincial/territorial correctional facilities and prisons.