What are we going to do with all these prisoners?

While some worry that a change of wording may lead to more prisoner abuse, prison guards worry about overcrowding.

About 13 per cent of the male inmate population is “double-bunked” – housed in cells built for one person – and, under the new legislation, that will increase to 30 per cent (about 15,000 prisoners) before planned new construction is able to “provide relief,” added Sapers.

“Prison over-crowding undermines nearly everything that can be positive or useful about a correctional environment,” he said. “It is linked to increased levels of institutional violence, is a contributing factor to the spread of infectious disease and reduces already limited access to correctional programming and delays the safe and timely reintegration of offenders into the community.”