From now on any time an African Nova Scotian person is sentenced the judge will have to take into account the extent to which systemic racism and marginalization have shaped the person in front of the judge and how it will affect their carceral experience.
News release: You’re invited to celebrate Prisoner Justice Day on August 10th at the Halifax Commons. On this day every year, incarcerated and formally incarcerated people take the day to fast while prisoner justice advocates take the tie to discuss the significance of the day and what the current prison system has done and is doing and ways we can help.
Wellness Within: An Organization for Health & Justice applauds the state of Minnesota for passing the Healthy Start Act, which will give incarcerated people who are pregnant the option of receiving pre- and post-natal care and giving birth in community settings. They will no longer be separated from their newborns shortly after birth. We urge Nova Scotia to implement a similar policy.
A new report, published by the East Coast Prison Justice Society, raises serious concerns about conditions in provincial jails, miserable even under normal circumstances and now further aggravated by Covid-related lockdowns.
With the election season in full swing, it is time for another round of the Wellness Within Election Toolkit. Here are some questions for provincial MLA candidates when they arrive at your doorstep, or call. You can also email/facebook/tweet these questions to them!
Statement: We welcome and support the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) policy shift in the last few years to be trans-inclusive and we cannot let this work go anywhere but forward. We recognize that several of the women who wrote a recent Open Letter to CAEFS share that they are formerly incarcerated, and we honour their experience and pain. We do not support their discriminatory comments about incarcerated trans women, nor their assumptions about who speaks for incarcerated and criminalized women, or their calls for the creation of new prisons for trans people.
On this Mothers Day Mirinda Bray and Ashley Avery of the Coverdale Courtwork society describe how the Family Justice Program supports women and mothers who are navigating the family courts through child protection and custody matters, and mothers who are provincially incarcerated or criminalized. “I needed some good news and for once I finally got it. I got help getting a place thanks to Barry House and learned about Coverdale. Now I have reunited with my son and am so grateful,” writes a participant.
In the last day two individuals within the the Burnside jail, one an employee, have been infected with COVID-19. It’s time to let our MLAs know that that there is understanding and compassion in the community for people who are experiencing criminalization, says Martha Paynter of Wellness Within.
Press release: Wellness Within, an Organization for Health and Justice, calls for the immediate release of prisoners amid record-breaking COVID-19 outbreak
As infection numbers in Nova Scotia reach record highs, prisoner advocates are asking that the province vaccinate incarcerated individuals and correctional staff within the provincial prison system. This demand is even more urgent as the province is considering another mass release similar to the one early on during the pandemic.