• Why Discrimination Is a Public Health Issue

    … black and Indigenous children are more likely to be placed in foster care and remain in care longer. They are more likely to drop out of school. In Ontario, they are three times more likely to be incarcerated than non-blacks… The high mortality rate of black men and women is traumatizing and takes an emotional and psychological toll because we see our brothers, sisters and fathers in the victims. “The thing is that as a community, when one bleeds, we all do…”

  • Make Canada great. It’s in our hands, not Trump’s

    … Australia spends just 9 per cent of GDP on health care. If Canada spent that little, we’d be saving more than $20-billion a year… How can we rethink our prison system, so that offenders, many of whom have mental health and addiction issues, get treatment and education and become less likely to reoffend? … Canada’s prosperity, though improved by American proximity and the efficiencies of trade, is not determined by it.

  • Needle exchanges in federal prisons can save money and lives

    It is simply unfeasible for CSC to lock down a prison to such a degree that no drugs will ever get inside… The problem is that inmates using injectable drugs share the limited number of contraband needles and syringes available to them. People in federal prisons are consequently far more likely to acquire AIDS/HIV or hepatitis C than the general population. They arrive in prison healthy and leave with chronic diseases that cost society millions of dollars to treat. Sometimes, they die.

  • Abolish solitary confinement for Ontario’s children and youth

    “… whatever the name, solitary confinement should be banned by States as a punishment or extortion technique,” UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez told the UN General Assembly in 2011… It doesn’t matter if you call it solitary confinement, administrative segregation, secure de-escalation, or anything else. Let’s just call it something we used to do, that we don’t do anymore.

  • Keeping the mentally ill out of solitary, and out of prison

    … medical facilities and professionals have been in such short supply in both federal and provincial prisons that those with mental health issues are often held in solitary because prison staff don’t know what else to do with them… it’s welcome news that the province plans to hire 239 more staff for its 26 prisons to care for mentally ill prisoners, as well as taking steps to keep them out of prison, never mind solitary, in the first place.

  • Once again, our prison system fails. And this time it’s the victims of crime who suffer

    When a prison fails to keep peace, order and good government inside, and fails to rehabilitate offenders, it hurts both inmates and society. And when criminals are ordered released early, not for good behaviour but as a form of compensation for the state’s bad behaviour, the justice system fails crime’s victims.

  • Howard Sapers to head segregation review

    An independent review of segregation in Ontario jails will be headed by Howard Sapers, who has served as Canada’s correctional investigator and inmate ombudsman for more than a decade… Sapers will not only look at solitary confinement, but also how to improve the correctional system overall… Alternatives to segregation can include a “more therapeutic environment,” additional time spent outside of the cell and fewer restrictions on an inmate’s movement.

  • Something Canadians can agree on: making life better for indigenous people

    … more than one in two Canadians (54 per cent) cited raising the standard of living for indigenous peoples to the same level as other Canadians… followed by ensuring that government decisions and the laws of Canada respect the legal rights of indigenous peoples (25 per cent)… regardless of their age, gender or region.

  • Realities faced by black Canadians are a national shame

    … systemic discrimination has subjected black people to racial profiling by law enforcement, soaring incarceration rates, disproportionate poverty and poor health, the over-apprehension of black children by child welfare agencies and lower graduation rates. Black women… face a rate of poverty that is almost five times higher than that of white Canadian women, and are one of the fastest-growing groups in federal prisons. Underlying these injustices, the UN Working Group has made clear, is systemic racism.

  • Governments must restrict use of prison ‘segregation’

    On August 14, 2016, there were 361 offenders held in segregation, down from 775 on April 13, 2014. And, contrary to its own predictions, CSC did not lose control of its prisons… every day that goes by without government action is another day that prisoners across the country are thrown into segregation cells when other alternatives might be just as safe — and more humane — for them and their fellow inmates.