The issues surrounding women in prison, incarceration, and segregation are in the news on a daily basis. Your elected officials need to hear your opinion on what kind of a society we want to be. Increased funding for social services, a minimum livable wage, subsidized post secondary education and restorative justice in the community are all programs that can be, and should be, enacted.
WHAT CAN you DO?
Tell your friends About Conviction. Share the trailer on social media using the hashtag #BuildCommunitiesNotPrisons. Connect with others through social media! @convictiondoc is where we live. Sign up to get on our mailing list here and be a part of our IMPACT CAMPAIGN (where we, and others, use this film to make an impact on this important issue). And if you or your organization would like to host a screening as a part of your Annual meeting, convention or panel discussion, please contact us!
RAISE YOUR VOICE. Email, write or call your municipal, provincial/territorial MLA or Member of Parliament and ask your elected officials and senators to:
Re-allocate funding from Corrections to economic redistribution, health, social and educational services — mental health accessible psychiatric and addiction services, subsidized pharma, dental, vocational and post-secondary education and child care, and guaranteed livable income.
Stop expanding and building prisons.
Ensure judges have discretion to divert from court and prison by sending/sentencing women to community service, therapy, detox and rehab in their own community instead of prison; and reduce sentences or parole ineligibility where prison conditions violate rights and amount to correctional interference with lawful sanctions/sentences.
End segregation and strip searches.
Expect judges and politicians to visit people in prison and work to alleviate conditions of confinement that violate human rights and charter provisions.
Donate your time and/or funds to a worthy local organization. Support Elizabeth Fry and other groups, to develop housing and programs as non-carceral and community integration approaches along with custom designed mentor/services for every woman — particularly Indigenous women and those with mental health issues and trauma. In every province, Elizabeth Fry Associations are operating to help women inside our prisons - they always need volunteers, donations and support. Regional CAEFS are here:
Atlantic Provinces | Ontario | Pacific Provinces/British Columbia | Prairie Provinces | Quebec
Read Women Canada's Fastest Growing Prison Population, and Why Should you Care, by Senator Kim Pate
TED talk from Deanna Van Buren about a world without prisons
Creating Choices a Corrections Canada document in 1997 that was the impetus for the closing of Prison for Women (P4W).
Native Women's Association of Canada's backgrounder on Indigenous Women in Solitary Confinement
Are Prisons Obsolete, a book by Angela Davis, exploring the US prison abolition movement. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and for the transformation of the society as a whole.
Read Senator Kim Pate's first speech as a Senator, on the over-representation of Indigenous women in Canada's prisons.
The Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights investigated Prisoners Rights in this country in 2018, find out more and get their report.