COVID-19: Deprivation of Liberty Information Corner

This section of the website has been specifically created to place into the public domain rapidly emerging information about deprivation of liberty in the context of the seemingly ever worsening global health situation resulting from the COVID-19 virus. In doing so, we have attempted to compile in one spot information from both Canada and abroad.

After the presentation of a list of useful resources, you will find Canadian news items and statements on COVID-19 and deprivation of liberty. Please click here to locate the international articles, of which there are many more.

The overall aim of this section of the website is to make readily available a range of opinions about the implications of being deprived of one’s liberty at a time of global health emergency and to highlight the obligations on the part of the state (Canadian or other) to ensure that those persons in their custody remain safe and healthy and that their human rights and dignity are fully respected in practice.

12a Jaleo – Elvert Barnes (2020).

Useful resources

United Nations

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, COVID-19 not an excuse for unlawful deprivation of liberty – UN expert group on arbitrary detention and its Deliberation No.11.

UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, Advice of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture to States Parties and National Preventive Mechanisms relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic (25 March 2020).

Advice of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture to the National Preventive Mechanism of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland regarding compulsory quarantine for Coronavirus, adopted at its 40th session (10 to 14 February 2020).

WHO Europe, Preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention (2020) – overview and report.

 (April 2020).

UNICEF, Technical Note: COVID-19 and Children Deprived
of their Liberty
 (April 2020).


APT & ODIHR, Practical Guidance on Monitoring places of detention in times of COVID-19.

European Committee on the Prevention of Torture, Statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic (20 March 2020) in English and French.

Dignity – The Danish Institute Against Torture, Synthesis of Global Guidance and Recommendations: How to Prevent and Manage COVID-19 in Prisons (26 March 2020).

Open Society Initiative, The Right to Health Care in Prison during the COVID-19 Pandemic (15 July 2020).

Penal Reform International, Coronavirus: Healthcare and human rights of people in prison (16 March 2020).

Penal Reform International, Coronavirus: Preventing harm and human rights violations in criminal justice systems (14 July 2020).

Prison Insider – The Information Site on Prisons throughout the World’ (for prison COVID-19 news updates) in English and French and Coronavirus : la fièvre des prisons (for an overview of the the global situation).

Observatoire International de Prisons, Coronavirus en prison – L’essentiel (updates en francais-in French).

Covid-19 Morale Booster – Ross Dunn (2020).

Week 14 – 20 September

CBC News, ’61 new cases of COVID-19 point to ‘concerning’ trend, mayor says’ (CBC News).

CBC News, ‘Inmate’s family concerned over COVID-19 protocol after positive case at Windsor jail’ (CBC News).

CBC News, ‘Parliamentary police service member tests positive for COVID-19’ (CBC News).

CBC News, ‘Ontario long-term-care homes could face brutal 2nd wave of COVID-19, doctor warns’ (CBC News).

Ryan Cook, ‘N.L. travel ban upheld in provincial Supreme Court ruling’ (CBC News).

Greg Davis, ‘Coronavirus: Outbreak declared at Fairhaven long-term care home in Peterborough’ (Global News).

Mason DePatie, ‘COVID-19 outbreak at Manitoba care home grows to 14 cases’ (CTV News).

Megan Devlin, ‘Two employees at Mission Institution test positive for coronavirus’ (Daily Hive).

FR24 News, ‘Canada to keep border with United States closed until at least October 21, source says’ (FR24 News).

Daina Goldfinger, ‘‘They were supposed to keep her safe,’ says family of long-term care resident who died of COVID-19’ (Global News).

Sherina Harris, ‘Feds ‘Urgently’ Need To Make Private Nursing Homes Public After COVID-19 Outbreaks’ (Huff Post).

Julianne Hazelwood, ‘University education program still on hold for inmates across Canada’ (CBC News).

ICI, ‘Ottawa a exempté une milliardaire américaine de l’obligation de la quarantaine’ (ICI).

Hilary Johnstone, ‘Outbreak of COVID-19 at West End Villa home worsens’ (CBC News).

Stefan Labbe, ‘Leaked document details missteps during deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in B.C.’ (Times Colonist).

Grounded, Hinkler Park – Blue Mountains Library (2020).

Andrea Lawson, ‘Inquiry into COVID-19 response at Ontario long-term care homes begins’ (CHCH).

LDL, Les résidences privées ont le devoir de ne pas provoquer la mort sociale des aîné-e-s.

Jennifer Lee, ‘Long-term care homes in Alberta brace for COVID-19 resurgence as requirements change’ (CBC News).

Letters, ‘Ontario must address challenges in long-term care homes’ (The Courier Press).

Luis Millan, ‘Virtual justice in COVID era comes at a heavy cost, legal scholars say’ (The Lawyer’s Daily).

Karl Nerenberg, ‘Canada could provide a safe haven for refugees suffering U.S. abuses’ (Rabble).

Elizabeth Payne, ‘Long-term care: ‘We said we would never let this happen again’ (Ottawa Citizen).

Penticton Herald, ‘Jail outbreak declared over’ (PH).

Josh Pringle, ‘Nine deaths linked to COVID-19 at Ottawa long-term care home’ (CTV News).

Josh Rubin, ‘Canada’s largest private retirement home operator wants to stop quarantining new residents — but experts say that could put seniors at risk’ (The Standard).

Samir Sinha, ‘Underfunded long-term care system is still vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks’ (First Policy Response).

Shelby Thom, ‘COVID-19 outbreak at B.C.’s Okanagan Correctional Centre declared over’ (Global News).

Thunder Women Healing Lodge Society, ‘Updates on the Lodge Project’ (TWHLS).

Various, ‘Advocates sound alarms as long-term care homes see COVID-19 cases rise’ (CTV News).

Various, ‘Billionaire critic of COVID-19 restrictions says Ottawa let her skip 14-day quarantine’ (CBC News).

Mike Vlasveld, ‘West End Villa reports five COVID-19-related deaths’ (Ottawa Matters).

Andrew Weichel, ‘2 more employees test positive for coronavirus at Mission Institution’ (CTV News).

Moira Welsh, ‘Nursing home doctors were repeatedly asked to visit residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. They didn’t come’ (The Star).

Alec Woods, ‘COVID-19 Outbreak At B.C.’S Okanagan Correctional Centre Declared Over’ (CA News Ottawa).

Week 7 – 13 September

Sonia Aslam, ‘Matsqui Institution employee tests positive for COVID-19’ (City News 1130).

BC Local News, ‘Mission volunteers help keep prisoner-run farm alive during pandemic’ (BCLN).

Yannick Bergeron, ‘Un premier procès devant jury à Québec en temps de pandémie’ (ICI).

Tim Bousquet, ‘There hasn’t yet been a COVID outbreak in Nova Scotia’s jails, but it could still happen’ (Halifax Examiner).

Michael Bramadat-Willcock, ‘Indigenous vice-chief calls on correctional service commissioner to resign’ (National Observer).

CBC News, ‘Saint-Jérôme seniors’ home in quarantine after COVID-19 outbreak’ (CBC News).

CBC News, ‘Rally planned over ‘heartbreaking’ rules on family caregivers at long-term care homes’ (CBC News).

CBC News, ‘Coroner’s inquest into death of prison inmate Daniel Tokarchuk rescheduled after COVID-19 delay’ (CBC News).

CP, ‘Ford accuses Ottawa of failing to enforce quarantine orders in Ontario’ (CP-Midland Today).


Trevor Dunn, ‘Ontario jury trials to resume next week—but not in a courtroom’ (CBC News).

Global News, ‘COVID-19: Are Ontario’s long-term care homes ready for a second wave?’ (GN).

Global News, ‘Canadian long-term care homes prepare for second COVID-19 wave’ (GN).

Global News, ‘Doctor pushes for mandatory testing in long-term care homes’ (GN).

Cindy Harnett, ‘Thousands respond to survey on care home visits and impact of pandemic’ (Times Colonist).

ICI, ‘Toujours pas de cas de coronavirus parmi les détenus de Roberval’ (ICI).

Colin Jones, ‘WATCH: Quebec may detain citizens at COVID-19 isolation facility, public health authority says’ (The Post Millennial).

Justin Ling, ‘Bill Blair orders prison data to be turned over, but does the data even exist?’ (Macleans).

Kimberley Molina, ‘COVID-19 outbreak at Ottawa nursing home spreads to 28 residents, 3 staff’ (CBC News).

Self isolation – Mike Finn (2020).

Bob Munro, ‘B.C. families encouraged to rally for greater visitation rights in long-term care homes during COVID-19’ (Infotel).

Paige Parsons, ‘COVID-19 patients, families launch class-action lawsuit effort over Edmonton care home outbreak’ (CBC News).

Laurie H. Pawlitza, ‘Pandemic has forced Ontario courts to embrace the future, but questions over technology use remain’ (The Whig).

Betsy Powell, ‘After six months off for COVID-19, Ontario jury trials quietly resume with a Brampton trafficking case’ (The Star).

Ted Raymond, ‘COVID-19 outbreak at West End Villa expands to 31 cases’ (CTV News).

Ted Raymond, ‘COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare Laurier Manor grows to 15 cases’ (CTV News).

Ryan Ross, ‘Man who had COVID-19 and didn’t self-isolate pleads guilty to two charges’ (The Telegram).

Michael Spratt, ‘Ontario’s plan to build new prisons is wrongheaded’ (Canadian Lawyer).

Ryan Stelter, ‘OPINION: Kenora Jail doomed to repeat history without reform’ (Kenora Miner & News).

Week 31 August – 6 September

Samantha Wright Allen, ‘Software likely to blame for CSC’s ‘unfortunate’ failure to report solitary confinement data, says watchdog’ (The Hill).

Rachel Bergen, ’13 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba as outbreaks at 2 Winnipeg care homes reported’ (CBC News).

Taylor Blewett, ”We’re all really scared’: Province stays mum on LTC, congregate-care employees who also work in schools’ (Ottawa Citizen).

CBC News, ‘Toronto unveils plan to deal with 2nd wave of COVID-19 that medical officer calls ‘inevitable’ (CBC News).

CBC News, ‘1 new COVID-19 outbreak reported at Kitchener long-term care home’ (CBC News).

CBC News, ‘Alberta eases COVID-19 restrictions on residents of continuing care homes’ (CBC News).

CP, ‘Coronavirus: Ontario government clarifying rules for long-term care home visitors’ (CP – Global News).

CP, ‘Family caregivers can visit Ontario long-term care homes with no time limits, province clarifies’ (CP – CBC News).

CP, ‘Mounties issue travel reminder after U.S. boater fined for ignoring COVID-19 law’ (CP – Powell River Peak).

City News, ‘Long-term care homes are ‘not okay,’ says advocate’ (CN).

City News, ‘Inmate at Toronto East Detention Centre tests positive for COVID-19’ (CN).

Mason DePatie, ‘COVID-19 identified at another Brandon care home, fourth outbreak in the region’ (CTV News).

Keith Fraser, ‘U.S. man who has repeatedly come to Canada illegally enters guilty plea’ (Vancouver Sun).

Len Gillis, ‘Long-term care has become a factory assembly line according to care worker’ (Timmins Today).

Rachel Gilmore, ‘Nearly 1,000 flights in Canada have carried COVID-positive passengers since February’ (CTV News).

Caitlyn Gowriluk, ‘2 more Steinbach residents with COVID-19 die, as Manitoba’s worst care-home outbreak grows’ (CBC News).

ICI, ‘Appel à l’interdiction de l’isolement pour les détenus ayant un trouble de santé mentale’ (ICI).

Adelina Iftene, ‘Governments have failed to protect the incarcerated during pandemic’ (Policy Options).

Heather Lawson, Decriminalizing Race: The case for investing in community and social support for imprisoned racialized women in Canada (CCPA).

Simon Little, ‘COVID-19 detected at two new B.C. long-term care homes’ (Global News).

Kelly Garaldine Malone, ‘Two more deaths linked to outbreak of COVID-19 at Manitoba care home’ (CP – The Star).

Kendra Mangione, ‘Burnaby long-term care home dealing with COVID-19 outbreak’ (CTV News).

Another COVID-19 Day Dawns – muffinn (2020).

Kevin Martin, ‘Alberta Court of Appeal introduces remote access to files in response to pandemic’ (Calgary Herald).

Elizabeth McSheffrey, ‘‘I hate this place’: Families protest on behalf of long-term care residents, compare isolation to prison’ (Global News).

Kevin Nielsen, ‘Travelling to Canada? Here’s how to prepare for quarantine’ (Global News).

Ontario Government, Premier Ford to Recognize the Heroic Efforts of the Canadian Armed Forces in Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes.

Miriam Pinkesz, ‘Ontario Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission Launched’ (Top Class Actions).

Jody Porter, ‘Ontario breaks its own rules on use of segregation in jails, human rights commission says’ (CBC News).

Daniel Renaud, ‘Bordeaux: le directeur relevé provisoirement de ses fonctions’ (La Presse).

Laura Stone, ‘Ford government under fire for position on long-term care lawsuit’ (G&M).

The Star, ‘Ontario should tell the public about COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces’ (The Star).

Nicole Williams & Brian Higgins, ‘Dozens protest treatment of man who tested positive for COVID-19 and was jailed for not self-isolating’ (CBC News).

Week 24 – 30 August

Ben Bengston, ‘B.C. launches survey to measure impact of COVID-19 visit restrictions at seniors care homes’ (Richmond News).

Allan Benner, ‘Persistent COVID-19 outbreak ends at Garden City Manor’ (The Standard).

Lauren Boothby, ‘Five more outbreaks at care homes in Edmonton, including two Shepherd’s Care homes’ (Edmonton Journal).

CBC News, ‘2 more die in south Edmonton care centre COVID-19 outbreak, total now 31’ (CBC News).

CAEFS, Oversight of Segregation in Prisons not Operative: The Abolition of the Practice of Segregation is Necessary and Urgent.

Bernise Caralino, ‘First jury selection and full jury trial in Canada since COVID-19 crisis proceed in New Brunswick’ (Canadian Lawyer).

Cite Right, COVID-19 Resources – Practice directives across Canadian courts.

CP, ‘PEI to further ease restrictions on visits to long-term care homes beginning Sept. 1’ (G&M).

CP, ‘Top court to sit in person, start session early to catch up on COVID-19 delays’ (CTV News).

Janeen Christoff, ‘American tourist faces jail, $500G fine for violating Canada’s coronavirus restrictions’ (Fox News).

Josh Crabb, ”Something we’ve all been fearful of’: COVID outbreaks at care homes in Manitoba leave many worried’ (CTV News).

Gary Fields, ‘Amid virus lockdowns, prison ministry groups had to adapt’ (AP – Infotel).

Kathleen Harris, ‘Federal stonewalling left solitary confinement panel ‘powerless,’ says ex-member’ (CBC News).

Brian Higgins, ‘Lack of jail space is creating backlog in courts, says judge’ (CBC News).

Stay Safe Toronto – Sajith TS (2020).

Andrea Huncar, ‘Lawyer questions province’s audit of pandemic protocols at Edmonton Remand Centre’ (CBC News).

ICI, ‘Cas positif de COVID-19 dans un centre d’isolement d’Ottawa destiné à des Nunavois’ (ICI).

Emma Jacobs, ‘Canada is granting residency to some asylum-seekers working in pandemic health care’ (The World).

Nicholas Johansen, ‘Early parole denied again’ (Castanet).

El Jones, ‘“Worse than lockdown”: prisoners at the Burnside Jail are being held in solitary confinement conditions for COVID lockdowns’ (Halifax Examiner).

Justin Ling, ‘Head of Panel Reviewing Solitary Confinement Blasts Trudeau Government’ (Vice).

John Longhurst, ‘Virus blocks inmates from Bible studies’ (Winnipeg Free Press).

Newsbreak, ‘Kentucky man faces jail time, $750,000 fine for violating Canadian COVID-19 regulations’ (NB).

Sam Thompson, ‘Manitoba care homes looking at prevention after outbreak, death in Steinbach’ (Global News).

Colleen Underwood, ‘Visitors to some long-term care centres subject to COVID-19 waiver before seeing loved ones’ (CBC News).

Various, ‘A response to COVID-19 requires global action’ (Policy Options).

Various, ‘Restoring trust: COVID-19 and the future of long-term care in Canada’ (FACETS).

Teresa Wright, ‘Panel overseeing alternative to solitary confinement blocked from doing its job’ (CP – The Province).

Teresa Wright, ‘Panel on solitary confinement in prisons will receive needed data, Bill Blair says’ (CP – Global News).

Tera Wright, ‘Le comité sur l’isolement des détenus a été empêché de faire son travail’ (CP – La Presse).

Week 17 – 23 August

Madeleine Andrew-Gee, ‘Immigration detention: Lack of legal representation’ (The Lawyer’s Daily).

Chris Campbell, ‘Burnaby resident dies from COVID-19 as outbreak spreads to 12 cases’ (Burnaby Now).

CBC News, ‘COVID-19 outbreaks at Kitchener long-term care home declared over’ (CBC News).

CP, ‘Ontario ends police access to coronavirus database after legal challenge’ (CP – Global News).

CP, ‘Kentucky man could get $750K fine or six months in jail for breaking Canadian quarantine rules’ (CP – The Province).

CP, ‘Quebec moves to shore up long-term care homes ahead of second wave of COVID-19’ (CP – O Canada).

CP, ‘Quebec announces another inquiry into government’s management of COVID-19 pandemic’ (CP – The Star).

Colin Dacre, ‘Prison case count up to 6’ (Castanet).

Global News, ‘Coronavirus: Quebec to prohibit movement of employees between long-term care homes in 2nd wave plan’ (GN).

This James, ‘Trend of decreasing Sask. jail inmate population during pandemic reverses’ (Star Phoenix).

Aly Laube, ‘The Case for Reviving Canada’s Once-Thriving Prison Press’ (The Tyee).


Margaret McGregor & Charlene Harrington, COVID-19 and long-term care facilities: Does ownership matter? (CMAJ).

Lauren McKeon, ‘Did Prisons Ever Work?’ (The Walrus).

Jennifer Moore, ‘I crossed the U.S. border during COVID-19 to drop my daughter off at college. Here’s what happened’ (The Spec – Paywall).

National Self-Represented Litigant Project, The Two-Fold Dilemma of the Self-Represented Litigant: COVID-19 and Navigating the Court System (SLAW).

Paul Osmok, ‘The post-pandemic future: We will drastically reduce the number of people in Ontario jails—and prevent more crimes in the process’ (Toronto Life).

School Closed Stay Home – Travis Wise (2020).

Alex Roslin, ‘Canada’s Hidden Shame: How COVID-19 Exposed Years of Systemic Neglect in Long-Term Care’ (Zoomer).

Ryan Ross, ‘Court case adjourned for man in P.E.I. who tested positive for COVID-19’ (The Chroncle Herald).

John Tatrie, ‘Halifax seeks venues for jury trials as cases delayed by COVID-19 mount’ (CBC News).

Danton Unger, ‘COVID-19 outbreak declared at Manitoba care home’ (CTV News).

Various, For-profit long-term care homes and the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks and resident deaths (CMAJ).

Ben Waldman, ‘Running hard to boost rights of prisoners’ (Winnipeg Free Press).

Karena Walter, ‘Migrant worker rally calls for Status for All’ (Welland Tribune).

Moira Welsh, ‘Should long-term-care homes be ‘old-person storage’ or places to live? New construction in Ontario could hold the answer’ (Welland Tribune).