Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Monday, August 13, 2018
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Vigil being held on the eve of Prisoners’ Justice Day to commemorate deaths in custody and demand justice for human rights abuses behind bars
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2018 (Algonquin Territory / Ottawa) – Prisoners’ Justice Day (PJD) emerged as a prisoner-initiated day of non-violent strike action to commemorate the death of Eddie Nalon in the segregation unit of Millhaven maximum-security penitentiary on August 10th 1974. It was first observed in 1975, and in 1976 the prisoners of Millhaven issued a communication calling for one-day hunger strikes in opposition to the use of solitary confinement and in support of prisoners’ rights, in memory of Eddie Nalon and Robert Landers, who also died alone in solitary confinement. Since then, PJD has become an internationally-recognized day of solidarity and action, both inside and outside prison walls, to commemorate deaths in custody and to demand justice for the human rights atrocities that governments and their officials authorize and engage in.
According to the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, 99 people died in provincial jails and federal penitentiaries in the province between 2014 and 2016. A vigil will be held tonight at 7pm at the Human Rights Monument (corner of Elgin and Lisgar) on the eve of PJD to commemorate these and other deaths behind bars. Following a land acknowledgement and brief introduction to PJD, former prisoners from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre will speak, while statements by current prisoners will be read by allies in the community. Together they will reflect upon the many human rights issues plaguing provincial jails and prisons, as well as federal penitentiaries and immigration detention centres. Former prisoner and member of the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project Souheil Benslimane notes, “incarceration is an inherently dehumanizing experience that subjects people to physical and psychological pain. We need to diminish the use of imprisonment and improve conditions of confinement”. In the latest issue of the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons, Shakib Talib Mujahid underscored how this could be done by abandoning punishment to affect a transformation in the “life circumstances” of the criminalized “through social and economic investment”.
The vigil on the eve of PJD is taking place at a time when the new provincial government has yet to issue a statement on whether or not they will follow through on the previous Liberal administration’s plans to build a new and bigger jail in Ottawa. Current and former prisoners, along with their allies in the community, wish to take this opportunity to encourage Premier Ford, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Tibollo and other Ontario Cabinet members to enhance public safety by abandoning jail expansion, committing to improving conditions of confinement and increasing alternatives to imprisonment, and reinvesting the funds saved into community services that will enhance our collective well-being.
Concerned members of the community are encouraged to participate in this non-violent action. Journalists are also welcome to attend.
To arrange for media interviews with former prisoners and their supporters contact:
Justin Piché, Journal of Prisoners on Prisons, 613-793-1093 or email@example.com
Criminalization and Punishment Education Project
Journal of Prisoners on Prisons
Millhaven Lifers’ Liaison Group
uOttawa Criminology Graduate Students’ Association
Friday, July 20, 2018
Monday, June 25, 2018
* Updated on 29 June 2018 *
Ontario's new Premier Doug Ford named the members of his cabinet today. To welcome Michael Tibollo, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, to his new portfolio, the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP) is encouraging its members, members of other community groups and organizations, and other concerned residents of eastern Ontario and the province to do the following.
Please take 10-15 minutes today or next week to contact Minister Tibollo to encourage him to immediately halt the province’s plans to replace the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre with a new and bigger jail, and to hold a public consultation on how to enhance the collective well-being and safety of the residents of Eastern Ontario.
This demand can be conveyed using one or more of the five methods outlined below.
- Tweet Premier Ford @fordnation and Minister Tibollo @michaeltibollo
- Write a Facebook message to Premier Ford @fordnation and Minister Tibollo @michaeltibollo
- Phone the Minister’s office at 1-866-517-0571
- Fill-out an online form on the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services website indicating "Corrections" under "My feedback concerns" and "Question for the minister" under "I am inquiring about"
- Mail a letter to:
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
25 Grosvenor Street
In your communications with the office of Minister Tibollo, you can also point to one of the many alternatives to jail expansion being shared via the #got99solutions – but a bigger jail ain’t one campaign on CPEP's Facebook page.
- June 29: increasing community re-entry resources
- June 28: end bail conditions that set people up to fail
- June 27: invest more in college instead of crime school
- June 26: reduce class sizes in our elementary and secondary schools
- June 25: invest more in early childhood education / daycare
- June 24: invest more in legal aid to speed-up court processing
- June 23: honour our TRC obligations / end Indigenous mass incarceration
- June 22: end immigration detention
- June 21: invest more in counselling
- June 20: increase access to opioid substitution treatment
- June 19: provide access to food
- June 18: increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour
- June 17: invest more in university instead of crime school
- June 16: increase access to rent supplements
- June 15: hire more peer support workers
- June 14: hire more bail and re-entry support workers
- June 13: invest more in prevention
- June 12: invest more in drug treatment
- June 11: invest more in harm reduction
- June 10: invest more in intensive case management
- June 9: invest more in permanent and supportive housing
- June 8: hire more educational assistants in elementary and secondary schools
Today, next week and beyond, say #NOPE / No Ottawa Prison Expansion and #YESS / Yes to Education and Social Services!