Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

Surrey Pretrial Services Centre is the subject of yet another human rights complaint lodged by an inmate.

The pretrial centre has been the target of several largely unsuccessful human rights complaints over the past couple of years. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed part of this latest case but another aspect of it will proceed to a hearing.

Surrey Pretrial is a remand centre for inmates awaiting trial or sentencing related to criminal charges and anywhere from 400 to 500 people are incarcerated there at any given time.

Kevin Miller lodged a complaint against Surrey Pretrial for refusing to provide him with a second mattress to assist him in managing arthritis pain despite his doctor having recommended one.

“Second, he says that the respondents failed to provide him with reasonable access to mental health services,” Tribunal member Emily Ohler noted in her Dec. 2 reasons for decision.

READ ALSO: Surrey Pretrial inmate claims staff left him handcuffed during

epileptic seizure

READ ALSO: Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

READ ALSO: Transgender inmate loses court case against Surrey Pretrial

Miller filed his complaint against the centre, the Provincial Health Services Authority and Chiron Health Services but Ohler dismissed his complaint against the two health agencies. She also dismissed his complaint related to mental disability but decided his physical disability complaint, concerning a period from Sept. 6, 2017 to Dec. 11, 2017 will proceed.

All three respondents denied discriminating. The pretrial told the tribunal that an extra mattress is a security concern inside a prison because it can be used to hide contraband, to clog plumbing or hide what’s going on in an inmate’s cell by propping it against the door.

Ohler also noted the pretrial centre argued an extra mattress might “increase tension between incarcerated people by acting as a status symbol or a resource to trade.”

READ ALSO: Transgender inmate makes human rights complaint against Surrey Pretrial

READ ALSO: Human Rights Tribunal rejects Surrey inmate’s sex discrimination complaint

READ ALSO: A look at Surrey Pretrial’s storied history

The tribunal heard that on Sept. 6, 2017 Miller saw a doctor who recommended a second mattress for him, he didn’t get one, and that he saw a doctor on Dec. 11, 2017 who declined his request for one. Miller managed to somehow sneak a second mattress into his cell but it was confiscated. He was released from custody on Jan. 15, 2018.

In the end, Ohler decided against the pretrial’s application to have Miller’s complaint dismissed.

“I am not persuaded that there is no reasonable prospect that Mr. Miller could succeed in establishing that Corrections’ denial of a second mattress breached the Code,” she said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

CorrectionSurrey

Just Posted

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in South Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Surrey Fire Service battled a fire at an apartment building in Fleetwood late Friday night (May 14), near 84th Avenue and 160th Street. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Surrey firefighters continue to work to put out ‘stubborn’ fire

Four-storey building located at 84th Avenue near 160th Street; crews on scene for nearly 12 hours

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Most Read