The joint housing initiative between John Howard, Elizabeth Fry Mainland and Coverdale that has supported 34 people who have exited jail during the pandemic is being shut down as of June 30 as the federal funding has ended. Despite the groups’ best efforts we have received no commitment from the provincial government. Sara Tessier is a peer support worker for the project and has penned this op/ed.
Three community-based organizations serving criminalized people in Nova Scotia have developed and launched a pilot housing project to support people exiting jail during the global pandemic Covid-19.
News release: Today, The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) – along with the Atlantic Elizabeth Fry Societies – have learned that a former Correctional Officer at the Nova Institution for Women was arrested and charged with 6 counts of sexual assault, 6 counts of breach of trust, and 1 count of trying to procure sexual service – all related to his work at the Institution.
oday, Abolition Coalition member groups from coast-to-coast will drive past sites of confinement and hold online caravans to demand freedom for prisoners and migrant detainees subject to the violence of the Canadian carceral state during the pandemic.
Pressure has been mounting throughout the country for the release of prisoners and migrant detainees. While federal officials have delayed action, COVID-19 infections continue to spread like wildfire throughout Canada’s prison system. Stacey Gomez reports.
As of March 2020, twenty people who have been deemed ready for discharge are detained at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. They are needlessly placed at an elevated risk for acquiring COVID-19 in addition to being exposed to numerous other ethical, legal, social, and health issues.
Press release: Prisons kill on a ‘normal’ day and Minister Blair’s inaction runs the risk of contributing to premature deaths at this critical time. The Abolition Coalition remains steadfast in its message to Minister Blair – #DontKillBill, #ReleaseSavesLives, #CleanOutPrisons now! If action is not taken in the days ahead, Prime Minister Trudeau needs to #DisbandThePausePatrol and bring a new sheriff in town to clean-up the mess unfolding in penitentiary bay.
PSA: On Tuesday April 14 please join a twitter storm and email campaign to demand the release of as many prisoners as possible from federal custody. Delaying release places us all in danger.
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.