The Human Rights Legal Support Centre assisted an applicant in reaching an agreement with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services in relation to its policy on inmates using assistive devices within correctional institutions. The Inmates with Disabilities (Assistive Devices) Policy affirms the Ministry’s obligations under the Human Rights Code, including its duty to accommodate inmates with disabilities.

Inmates with assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs and prosthetic devices are permitted to retain the devices unless there are compelling medical, health, safety or security reasons otherwise. The correctional institution at issue adopted a new process for the consideration of the accommodation needs of inmates using assistive devices. Senior staff must be consulted and the reasons for the decision, are to be recorded. Inmates will have access to a complaint procedure.

The Superintendent distributed a directive to all staff at the correctional institution, recognizing that accommodation needs are unique to each inmate and that each inmate is to be “accommodated in a manner that most respects their dignity while ensuring a safe and secure environment for staff and other inmates.”