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Politics Ottawa faces new challenge on solitary confinement

Kent Institution, a federal maximum-security prison in the Upper Fraser Valley community of Agassiz

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

The federal government is facing a second court challenge to the use of solitary confinement in prisons.

This time, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies have filed a petition in Ontario Superior Court.

The petition seeks to challenge the constitutionality of isolation, which the groups call cruel and inhumane.

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They say the practice is "fatally flawed."

Last week, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and a group that speaks for male prisoners began a similar action in British Columbia.

The federal government has insisted prison authorities must have the option of placing inmates in solitary where needed.

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