Charabelle Silverfox, an inmate at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, has filed a petition against jail officials claiming that she’s being kept in conditions mirroring separate confinement. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmate files petition over alleged separate confinement without legal protections

An inmate at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre has filed a petition against jail officials claiming that she’s being kept in conditions mirroring separate confinement, but without any of the legal protections.

Charabelle Silverfox, in a petition filed to the Yukon Supreme Court Sept. 29, said that she’s been kept separate from the jail’s general population since July 15 without adequate justification and with adverse effects to her mental health.

However, because her situation has been labelled “Third Tier placement” instead of separate confinement, officials have “circumvented the prescribed legal framework for separately confining prisoners and therefore deprived her of the due process and legal protections contained in that framework.”

Tyler Muray, the acting superintendent at the WCC, and Andrea Monteiro, the Yukon government’s director of corrections, are listed as respondents.

Neither has yet filed a reply and Silverfox’s case has not yet been tested in court.

Department of Justice spokesperson Fiona Azizaj said in an email Oct. 1 that the department would not be commenting on the petition or the allegations as the matter is before the courts.

According to the petition, Silverfox, one of two women facing first-degree murder charges in the 2017 death of Derek Edwards in Pelly Crossing, was residing in the general population on the first tier of the jail’s Bravo Unit up until July 15.

On that day, she was moved to Third Tier, which the petition describes as “a more restrictive tier used for segregation, medical observation and COVID-19 isolation.”

She received a form later the same day saying she was in “non-disciplinary segregation.”

“The petitioner was not provided procedural fairness in the initial decision to place her in non-disciplinary segregation as the petitioner was not offered a meaningful opportunity to rebut her placement,” the petition alleges.

Since then, Silverfox has received forms saying she’s no longer on non-disciplinary restrictive confinement but is being kept on the Third Tier “due to current and past assaultive behaviour and non-compliance with officer directions.”

The petition notes that recent reforms to the Corrections Act and associated regulations lay out procedures, definitions, time limits and opportunities for formal reviews and appeals when it comes to segregation and separate confinement. However, it alleges that Silverfox, who has made verbal and written complaints about her placement on Third Tier, has been told her situation does not meet the definition of separate confinement.

It alleges that she hasn’t been provided the legal authority for her placement on Third Tier, “and therefore has had no meaningful opportunity to rebut the placement.”

The petition also notes that Silverfox is being treated for mental health issues, including those related to childhood and intergenerational trauma, and that her isolation on Third Tier has allegedly led to a further deterioration of her mental health status.

Silverfox is asking the court to order that she be “released from separate confinement on the Third Tier” and returned to the women’s general population on First Tier, as well as a declaration that her current placement meets the definition of “non-disciplinary segregation or restrictive confinement” under the Corrections Act.

She’s also seeking an expedited hearing of her petition “due to the significant ongoing and unlawful deprivation of her liberty and the severe negative consequences of the separate confinement on her mental health.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

solitary confinementWhitehorse Correctional CentreYukon justice department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Reita, Dudley and Rodney Morgan at their Whitehorse home in 2002. (P. Gowdie/Courtesy Yukon Hidden Histories Society)
Recognizing Black history in the Yukon

Yukon’s Hidden Histories Society is entering its twentieth year of researching Black… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

(Submitted)
History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

A Faro volunteer fire department truck in 2008. In a virtual press conference on Feb. 15, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, territorial Community Services Minister John Streicker and Faro Mayor Leonard Fabor announced the Town of Faro will have a new public works and fire hall building in 2022. (Genesee Keevil/Yukon News file)
Fire hall, public works building will be built in Faro

Wildstone Construction Ltd. awarded contract

Most Read