The Devil’s Playground: A Case Study of Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) Demonstrating the System Failings of the Ontario Corrections Regime


  • Nichole Kelly


Despite numerous calls to action from news outlets, prison activists, and incarcerated individuals themselves, the Ontario corrections regime continues to operate in an unlawful and inhumane manner. The last decade has seen the publication of several prison reform recommendations that are yet to be meaningfully implemented. This paper spotlights four serious issues that plague Ontario correctional institutions through the lens of one of the worst: Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre. Through its discussion of death in custody, drugs in custody, inhumane conditions, and understaffing, this paper seeks to highlight the profound gap between our democratic aspirations and the lived reality of working and living in Ontario jails. This case study urges us to finally take action and implement the roadmap for reform that has already been provided.