This quarterly advocacy report provides an overview of the issues discussed during 659 calls from Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre prisoners and their loved to the JAIL / Jail Accountability & Information Line during the first three months of our operations. It also summarizes the advocacy activities of hotline volunteers. As noted in our first report released in January 2019, most of the calls (n=148) received during month 1 of our work reported inadequate medical and mental health care, the impacts of the restrictive and expensive institutional phone system, problems associated with canteen expenses and policies, lack of appropriate winter gear to access yard time, and poor conditions of confinement stemming from the management of intermittent sentencing. During months 2 and 3 of our operations, we continued to receive calls (n=272 and n=239) regarding these issues, notably concerning medical and mental health care and the jail phone system. A number of concerns newly reported via the hotline during this period include inadequate access to drug treatment medications, barriers to access to justice, the excessive use of segregation and problematic interactions with some staff members. These issues require resolution and we have included 23 recommendations to reduce the damage of incarceration at OCDC to the degree that is possible in a detention setting.
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