Welcome to Canadian Prison Law

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This Service consists of a collection of all the public legislation affecting federal prisons and prisoners together with annotations of decided cases. It is intended for use by all persons working in or affected by the federal legislation in this area such as, prison administrators at all levels, Penitentiary Service employees, judges, prisoners, their friends, lawyers, paralegals, students, legal assistance programs and public interest groups or individuals.

Its object is to bring together in one place the law pertaining to federal prisons and prisoners with a view to facilitating a greater awareness thereof by all concerned, a greater understanding and examination thereof by all those charged with the responsibility of applying the law as well as those directly affected by the law.

The format is designed to ensure quick and ready access to the pertinent legislation and case law applicable to any issue that might arise and to provide an introduction to certain basic legal concepts and principles that must be borne in mind throughout any examination of this subject matter.

This work could never have been written without the continued funding of the Abbotsford Community Legal Services Project of the Matsqui-Abbotsford Community Services Society by the Legal Services Society of the Province of British Columbia; special project funding during the summer of 1978 by the Programmes and Law Information Division of the Federal Department of Justice which provided for the hiring of a law student and paralegal to conduct the initial research; and funding during the summer of 1979 through the Ministry of Labour of the Province of British Columbia which permitted the hiring of two law students to continue the previous summer's work. Specific individuals who made a major contribution to this work are David Sutherland and Susan Underwood who, in the summer of 1978 put together the initial list of prison law cases and the legislation and then commenced the lengthy and arduous task of briefing and annotating the cases. Maureen Westlie, Grant Langdon and Bruce Ralston who continued briefing and annotating the following summer. Susan Morgan, Sandy Isherwood and Cheryl Doerksen, all of whom spent countless hours typing and proof-reading the manuscript. In addition, Eva Kossuth, Managing Editor of Butterworths, assisted greatly in the preparation of the book, particularly in maintaining the currency and accuracy of the legislation and making sure that I kept at it despite numerous missed deadlines.

I also wish to express my appreciation to the various representatives of the Canadian Corrections Service who assisted us in ensuring the currency and accuracy of the Commissioner's Directives.

I hope that the readers of this Service will find it to be a useful and accurate compilation of the legislation and cases in this area of the law and that they will not hesitate to bring to my attention any errors or omissions as well as any future cases that are decided. It is proposed that the work be regularly supplemented with service issues and that in the future the work be expanded to include pertinent legislation and cases for each province applicable to prisoners serving time in provincial institutions. Our readers are also reminded that in addition to the federal legislation certain provincial legislation may apply to prisoners who are serving time in a federal institution located in the province and similarly that certain federal legislation may well apply to provincial prisoners serving time in provincial institutions.

John W. Conroy, Q.C. - 1978