Monday, 14 October 2019

News release: On January 30, 2019, in light of Bell Canada’s “Let’s Talk” campaign, Women’s Wellness Within would like to take the opportunity to join our friends with the Jail Accountability and Information Line (JAIL) in highlighting the importance of mental health for prisoners in Canada. Limiting communication for incarcerated Canadians exacerbates the already pronounced effects of confinement on prisoners’ mental health. We are asking our decision-makers to prioritize the mental health of all Canadians.

NDP Justice critic Claudia Chender on solitary confinement and other prison-related issues. “Our provincial jails are a black box. We have very little idea of what goes on behind those walls at all. It’s time for some transparency in our correctional system. It’s time for an independent review of the practice of solitary confinement. It’s time for the government to start listening.”

On the evening of September 9 police forcefully removed some thirty protesters attending a rally outside of the Burnside jail in support of the non-violent prisoners’ protest taking place inside. Rather than making an effort to resolve the matter in a civilized fashion, police threatened protesters with a dog, used pepper spray, and threw one protester violently to the ground and then arrested him. All this without a warning, according to the protesters, and while they were just about ready to call it a day.

We, the members of the Halifax Monthly Meeting of Quakers, are writing to express deep concern for the inmates at the Central Nova Correctional Institution at Burnside whose basic human rights are not being addressed, in fact, are being violated in multiple ways. We support the prisoners in their peaceful strike for we believe that all their demands for better treatment and conditions are legitimate requests.

A new statement on the peaceful Burnside prison protest by Sheila Wildeman & Hanna Garson (for East Coast Prison Justice Society). “We ask the Ministers of Justice and Health: How do they propose to show that they are listening? How do they propose to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that conditions of confinement are improved to meet basic human rights standards?”