Administrative Segregation

Administrative segregation is a legislative measure available to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to ensure the safety of staff, visitors and inmates and to maintain the security of our penitentiaries.

What is administrative segregation?

  • Inmates placed in administrative segregation have the same rights and conditions of confinement as other inmates, except for those that must be limited due to security requirements.
  • Inmates in administrative segregation must be released from the placement at the earliest and safest appropriate time.
  • The term "solitary confinement" (as defined by the United Nations) is not applicable in the Canadian penitentiary context.
  • Administrative segregation:
    • is not a punishment or sanction
    • results from a decision made by the institutional head
    • is intended to protect the safety and security of individuals and the institution or to facilitate an investigation
    • requires reviews at mandated periods
    • may continue until the reasons for the placement have been resolved or the inmate can be transferred.

Reasons for administrative segregation

  • There are only three reasons for placing an inmate in administrative segregation:
    • the inmate represents a threat to the safety of the institution or to another individual
    • the inmate could interfere with an investigation
    • the inmate would be at risk if not segregated.
  • An inmate can request to be placed in administrative segregation if they feel that their safety could be jeopardized in the general population.
  • Administrative segregation is not justified unless there is no other reasonable alternative.

Other information

  • CSC's administrative segregation policies, programs and practices will:
    • respect gender, ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences
    • be responsive to the special needs of women, Indigenous peoples, and other groups of offenders with special requirements.
  • If the institutional head's authority to segregate an inmate is delegated to a senior manager, the institutional head must review the case within one working day of the initial placement.
  • Inmates in administrative segregation are visited daily by the institutional head and a registered health care professional.
  • The institutional head is responsible for a daily inspection of the conditions of confinement in the segregation area.
  • Administrative segregation placements are reviewed by CSC at the institutional, regional and national levels.

Updated January 2017