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Digest of the Week — Termination of Program to Keep Prisoners and Babies Together Reversed


Inglis v. British Columbia (Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General) |  (WestlawNext Canada)
2013 CarswellBC 3813 |  (Westlaw Canada)
British Columbia Supreme Court 

Constitutional law | Charter of Rights and Freedoms | Nature of rights and freedoms | Life, liberty and security | Miscellaneous

Constitutional law | Charter of Rights and Freedoms | Nature of rights and freedoms | Equality rights | Miscellaneous

Constitutional law | Charter of Rights and Freedoms | Miscellaneous



Alouette Correctional Centre for Women (ACCW) previously provided program allowing provincially incarcerated mothers and their babies to reside at institution together — Decision was made to cancel program — Plaintiffs, former inmates of ACCW and their children, claimed that decision infringed their rights under ss. 7, 12 and 15 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — Plaintiffs commenced action — Trial was held — Decision to cancel program was set aside — Decision was state action that constituted infringement of rights to security of person under s. 7 of Charter — Infants would be separated from their mothers during critical formative period of their life, which would interfere with their attachment and deprive them of benefits associated with breast-feeding — Mothers would suffer adverse consequences of separation from their infants — Infringements were not in accord with principles of fundamental justice — Decision's basis in determination of mandate was not legitimate objective, and decision was arbitrary, overbroad and grossly disproportionate to concern with respect to safety of infants.
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