AMC expresses serious concerns regarding the unfair treatment of youth in the Manitoba Justice System during the COVID-19 pandemic
April 16, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is expressing grave concerns regarding the unlawful treatment of youth in the justice system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Solitary confinement of youth in the Manitoba Remand Centre is harsh and disproportionate punishment for children,” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “As part of the province’s COVID-19 mitigation measures, the Manitoba Remand Centre is being used to hold youth ages 12-18 in isolation prior to being transferred to the Manitoba Youth Centre; can you imagine placing a 12 year old child in an adult facility?”
When youth are eventually placed in the Manitoba Youth Centre, they continue to be mistreated. First Nations youth make up the vast majority of youth inmates. Manitoba leads the country in the incarceration of First Nations youth. As it was prior to COVID-19, there were serious concerns with how children were being treated within the Manitoba Youth Centre, with the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) reporting on the use of pepper spray in confined spaces and lengthy stays in solitary confinement. This is an added low to the way children are treated.