We rightly hear a lot about the COVID-19 related risks faced by people incarcerated in Nova Scotia’s jails and prisons. What is more or less forgotten is that the 800 to 900 citizens labeled as living with disabilities who live in institutions in this province are facing the very same risks.
“Prisoners are an often forgotten part of the public, and prisons are a public health disaster. Now is the time to decarcerate for good. Reducing the population behind bars is a first step to protecting prisoners from COVID-19, and supports creating alternatives to prison in the long term,” writes Martha Paynter.
Open letter: At this time the only adequate defence to the spread of COVID-19 inside our jails, and consequent preventable deaths, is strategic decarceration — i.e., ensuring that admissions and numbers of prisoners held in facilities are as low as possible, consistent with public safety.
In this terrifying time we are deeply worried about folks inside. WWW and all volunteer orgs have had our access to provincial facilities suspended completely and indefinitely. The prisoners may only have non-contact visits and 2 free phone calls per week. No action has yet been taken to reduce the burden through temporary releases, etc.
East Coast Prison Justice Society, Elizabeth Fry Societies (NS Mainland and Cape Breton), Women’s Wellness Within, and the NS Prisoners’ Health Coalition co-wrote the following letter.
PSA: Join us for a screening of Ombline, a gripping film by French director Stéphane Cazes that captures the experiences of a pregnant woman who is incarcerated and then keeps her child with her, followed by a discussion about the context in Canada.
Locking up people who are intoxicated is most often a bad idea. It criminalizes people who live with addictions and need help.. We spoke with Harry Critchley of the East Coast Prison Justice Society to understand the alternatives out there and the case he and Dr. Leah Genge will be making at Monday’s Halifax Board of Police Commissioners.
The East Coast Prison Justice Society is asking for submissions on the theme of deaths in custody — drawings, poems, links to related materials, to be part of a virtual vigil in remembrance of Soleiman Faqiri and all those who have died in custody.
Nova Scotia desperately needs a mandatory review process with teeth to review adult deaths in custody. The excellent East Coast Prison Justice Society, together with NS E. FRy societies, will make that case once again tonight at Law Amendments, and they would appreciate your support.
KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Last night I finally got to see the stunning and heart wrenching NFB documentary Conviction. The documentary…
This looks great! Book launch of Professor Adelina Iftene’s first book, Punished for Aging: Vulnerability, Rights, and Access to Justice in Canadian Penitentiaries. The book tackles the challenges that older individuals in Canadian penitentiaries face and their struggles for justice while they’re living their “golden years” behind bars.