Canada’s omnibus crime bill will lead to more physical and mental “degradation” among prisoners and risks their reintegration back into society,  warns an article in Canada’s leading medical journal.

Bill C-1o — the Conservative government’s Safe Streets and Communities Act, which increases mandatory minimum sentences and changes eligibility for conditional sentences — will inevitably produce more prisoners serving longer prison sentences, Adelina Iftene and Allan Manson, of the faculty of law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., write in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The fallout will be dramatic increases in already overcrowded prisons, “more stress, more volatility and the likelihood of more violence,” as well as increased spread of hepatitis, HIV and other infectious diseases, Manson said in an interview.

“From both an ethical and public safety perspective, one needs to consider a simple fact,” Manson and Iftene write in the CMAJ, noting that most prisoners in Canada will eventually be released. “The intrinsic difficulties…

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