Class Action Against the Government of Ontario Over Youth Segregation in Youth Justice Facilities Certified by Ontario Court

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TORONTO, Jan. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – On December 17, 2018, Mr. Justice Perell certified a class action against the government of Ontario on behalf of all persons who, while under the age of 18, were placed in Youth Segregation at Youth Justice Facilities that were directly operated by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services between April 1, 2004 and December 17, 2018, including:

  • Bluewater Youth Centre,
  • Brookside Youth Centre;
  • Cecil Facer Youth Centre;
  • Donald Doucet Youth Centre;
  • Invictus Youth Centre;
  • Justice Ronald Lester Youth Centre;
  • Roy McMurtry Youth Centre;
  • Sprucedale Youth Centre;
  • Toronto Youth Assessment Centre

“Youth Segregation” refers to the segregation at one of the above Youth Justice Facilities of a person under the age of 18 alone in a designated room or area for more than 6 consecutive hours without any meaningful human contact. It does not include segregation by reasons of a lock-down at a Youth Justice Facility and the routine locking of youth in their rooms overnight at Youth Justice Facilities, as authorized by statute.

The claim alleges, among other things, that Ontario has been negligent, breached its fiduciary duties, and violated sections 7, 9 and 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, by subjecting inmates to Youth Segregation at the above Youth Justice Facilities.

C.S. has been appointed as the lead representative plaintiff in the action. While C.S. was under the age of 18, C.S. was incarcerated at Roy McMurtry Youth Centre and Brookside Youth Centre. C.S. claims that he was placed in Youth Segregation on multiple occasions during his incarceration.

Kirk M Baert, lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP, stated: “The class members are all young people who are subject to segregation for extended periods of time. This practice is shocking and unacceptable. We will continue to push the case forward seeking justice for all class members.”

The allegations have not been proven in court. Now that a class action has been given the approval to go ahead by the Court, the next step will be for the parties to litigate the case on its merits.  

Koskie Minsky LLP and Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP have been appointed as class counsel.

SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP

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