Day 12: Three years in solitary confinement

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"I would know, because I did time there".

On Day 12 of our historic challenge to solitary confinement, BobbyLee Worm testified in court to the three and a half years she spent in solitary confinement in Canada’s federal penitentiaries.

Her story may already be familiar to you.

In 2011, the BCCLA sued the federal government on behalf of BobbyLee. Two days after the BCCLA filed its lawsuit, BobbyLee was removed from the program that had kept her in isolation for more than three and a half years. Shortly after, the government announced it would end the use of the program across Canada. If you haven't heard her story yet, follow this link to check out this video.

Now, BobbyLee has offered her experience in the hopes that others will not be subjected to the same brutal and debilitating experience.

We're recapping every day of the trial on our blog. Follow along by clicking this link.

Day 1: BCCLA Counsel Joseph Arvay, Q.C. opened the 9 week trial by remembering Ashley Smith's tragic death. He reminded the court that recommendations from the inquest into her death, concerning strict time limits and binding independent oversight, were rejected by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).

He then showed the inside of segregation cells across Federal penitentiaries, stating at the last that they were “not a place I’d like to spend more than a few minutes, much less weeks, months, or years”. Read opening arguments here.

Day 2: Glenn Patterson, a former Indigenous cultural advisor at various Federal prisons spoke of having to meet with inmates through the 18 by 4 inch food slot in their cell door.  

The court also heard from Rob Roy, the father of Christopher Roy, who committed suicide while being held in long-term solitary confinement in 2015. Read day 2 here.

Day 8: “The truth is, that inside of prison, many of the staff – they don’t treat the prisoners like human beings. Many of them have the view that these are terrible people, they always will be terrible people, and they don’t deserve to be treated like human beings. This is a systemic issue”.- Robert Clark, employee of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) for 30 years testified. Read day 8 here.

The trial is happening in Court 52 of the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver, and it is always open to the public.

We encourage you to follow along, donate to support this critical work to end this cruel and unusual practice, and come to court if you can.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="color:#481C5F;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:none;" >This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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