September 20th, 2019

Alberta’s child advocate calls for changes to segregation, use of pepper spray


By The Canadian Press on September 9, 2019.

Alberta's child advocate wants the province to decrease the use of segregation and pepper spray in young offender centres. Alberta Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff speaks during the release of an investigative review in Edmonton on Friday, April 25, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan

EDMONTON – Alberta’s child advocate wants the province to decrease the use of segregation and pepper spray in young offender centres.

Del Graff says in a report that Alberta needs legislation similar to laws in other provinces that limit the segregation of young inmates.

He also says Alberta is one of only four provinces that allows the use of pepper spray in its young offender centres.

He says the province changed a policy in 2016 making it easier for correctional officers to use pepper spray in the youth centres.

Graff adds the use of the spray has steadily increased since then, but it should only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Alberta’s two young offender centres – one in Edmonton and one in Calgary – house an average of 90 young people a day.

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