You are on page 1of 12


havens and loop holes.

And yes, right now, we can get down
to the crucially important work of an-
alyzing and changing the conditions
that lead to violence and harm in the
first place and that make scapegoats
of entire communities - the poor,
people of colour, the addicted, the
scarred, the “uneducated”, the alien-
ated, the desperate, the different…
Here's where transformative justice
processes can play a pivotal role
here. Transformative justice can be
understood as a vision for commu-
nity-based forms of justice which,
as in restorative justice models,
responds to harm and conflict not
by punishment and incarceration
but by encouraging support, healing
and understanding - for the survivor,
the person who caused harm, the
community. Transformative justice,
however, goes beyond specific rela-
tions and conflicts and looks to the
empowerment of people to challenge
the very structures of oppression
that lie at the root of violence and
social harm and which create and
sanction scapegoating.
As such, transformative justice
directly implicates capitalism in the
production of poverty and despera-
tion; patriarchy in sanctioning sexual
domination and violence against
women and children; racism and spe-
cifically white supremacy in creating
fear towards and distrust in people
of colour; heteronormativity in mar-
ginalizing queer and gender non-con-
forming people; and a combination
of these and other oppressive struc-
tures in significantly contributing to
various forms of addiction, depen-
dence, despair, illness and - it must
be stated - in creating the appalling
third world conditions by which too
many of our Indigenous brothers and
sisters are forced to live.
Transformative justice directly
implicates the state and society as a
whole in fostering harm and conflict,
and, as a solution to such, it calls for
nothing less than the transformation
Why are we Inside? caused. However, due to an innocent ment comes invariably not because wouldn’t be realistic. I do believe,
of our world so as to make it a saner
and more just place for all people,
Part II transcription error, the passage was
mangled and unfortunately rendered
of but despite our being incarcerated.
Indeed, considering the cold, imper-
however, that this is the direction in
which we should be moving, and that
regardless of class, colour, creed,
gender or gender ambivalence, sexu-
By Nick Paccione incoherent in the published version sonal, dehumanizing concentration this process can begin now. al preference, ability or disability, etc.
In Part I of Why are we Inside ("Cell of the article. camps that prisons are, rehabilitation Right now, the majority of prison- The question then, "Why are we
Count", Summer 2017) I pointed to But as crucially important as it is cannot be anything but a continuous ers and would-be prisoners can be inside?" can perhaps be reframed as
the entrenched relations of power for I and other prisoners to take full uphill struggle for even the most better served through alternatives to "Why do prisons exist?" It is clear, I
and privilege that stand behind the responsibility for our actions, the determined and well-intentioned of incarceration that include imagina- hope, that the answer has nothing
myth of equality before the law to fact remains that our rehabilitative prisoners. Consider the following syl- tive combinations of house arrest, to do with public safety or reducing
explain the true reasons why prison potential cannot be fully realized in logism, a form of reasoning in which community service, community crime. No, I think as good an answer
is deemed an acceptable and even a “corrections” system that not only a conclusion is drawn from two rehab (drug, alcohol, sex, gambling, as any is provided by the philosopher
an automatic response for one fails to correct but which actively premises. Major premise: people etc.) counselling, restorative justice and social activist Angela Davis, who
class of criminals, the lower-class makes it extremely difficult for cor- housed in vile and violent places are processes, monitoring, and so forth. in her book, Abolition Democracy:
or “street” criminal, and not for the rection to occur. very likely to become vile and violent Right now, we can divest money and Prison, Democracy, and Empire
more pervasive and pernicious type I’ve been inside for 20 years straight themselves; Minor Premise: prison- other resources from prisons and (2005), writes that prisons are used
of criminal, the corporate criminal. In now, and over these years I would ers are housed in prisons, which are re-channel them towards educa- as "a way of disappearing people in
the article, I looked mainly at the we become more troubled and poten- vile and violent places; Conclusion: tion, harm prevention, community the false hope of disappearing the
part of the title "Why are we inside?" tially dangerous until exactly one prisoners are very likely to become infrastructure, and genuine healing underlying social problems they rep-
In this article, I will take a closer look year and two months ago, when, out vile and violent. Simple, eh? Well, it processes and facilities, all of which resent” (p.41). In other words, it truly
at the "Inside" part. of sheer exhaustion and despair, I truly is that simple! would serve to greatly reduce social is all about the scapegoating.
First, allow me to disclose that I’ve turned to meditation and Buddhism Since most prisoners are eventually harm and benefit society as a whole. Dialogues about the bogus policies,
done some truly terrible things and for help. My life has since dramat- released back into society, it should Right now, we can stop the abomi- practices, and categories supporting
have caused much harm and suffer- ically improved and continues to be equally simple to all Canadians of nation of punishing and caging the prisons and the punitive myth have
ing for which I am fully responsible improve as I work tirelessly towards all political stripes that incarceration, mentally ill (with which prisons are the radical potential to shift collective
and genuinely sorry. Part I of "Why positive change. Many prisoners, in offered as a solution for social harm, replete) and we can funnel - or re-fun- ideas about punishment and incar-
are we Inside?" actually includes a fact, manage to improve their lives ultimately serves only to create more nel - into mental health care vast ceration and to mobilize support
passage that spoke to the impor- through hard work and, crucially, harm and violence. sums from the billions of dollars we towards the kind of structural trans-
tance of not excusing the actions or with the love, support, and kindness Now, I’m not suggesting that we im- literally give to giant and super-rich formation that may one day render
dare minimizing the terrible suffer- of others. mediately stop incarcerating people corporations who annually cheat the unnecessary the question "Why are
ing that many of us prisoners have But here’s the thing: this improve- and close down all prisons. No, that public of billions more through tax we Inside?" So speak!

INSIDE 2 3-4 5-8 11 12

2 // bulletin board
Brown at: P.O. Box 53222 Marlborough where people can send in questions about vari-
CRO, Calgary AB. T2A 7L9 or www. ous topics, and have them printed. Readers can" answer these questions, and the answers would
If you have had success using a pen be printed in the issue after. Start by sending
pal service (other than ours) and would your questions to us at: Cell Count Questions,
like to share it with other Cell Count PASAN, 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON, M5A
subscribers, please write to us or call. 1R3 or call Sena at: 1-866-224-9978
We can list it in a future issue. Submission deadlines
Moving? Cell Count submission deadlines are the following:
We were getting about 75 Cell Counts Winter: January 15th
sent back to us each mail-out labelled, Spring: April 15th
‘Not Here’. Please help us reduce our Summer: July 15th
mailing expenses by letting us know of Fall: October 15th
any address change, ASAP! Thank you Bring PASAN to your group
for the consideration.
Are you a PEC/APEC worker or part of a Prisoner
Workload run group? PASAN regularily visits and holds
PASAN has been around for 25 years workshops at prisons, if you would like to request
now and over the years our client us to come and be a part of your work give us a
population has increased dramatically. call at 1-866-224-9978. It is a free call from any
As a result of this increase in work- phone and we would love to hear from you!
load, clients may not be able to spend Contact Numbers
as much time on the telephone with
staff as we would like. The staff and If you are in any Federal/Provincial Institution
volunteers are dedicated and commit- or Detention Centre call us only with this #:
ted and will continue to provide the Toll-free 1-866-224-9978
best care possible. Thanks for your ID Clinic
patience and understanding!
The Partners for Access and Identification
Calling all artists, writers (fic- (PAID) project opens doors and breaks down
tion, non-fiction, short stories, barriers for individuals who do not have a fixed
etc), illustrators, cartoonists, or permanent address.
poets, journalists (aspiring or The ID Clinics are held at PASAN on the 1st & 3rd
otherwise), and other creative Thursday of each month, 1:00-2:00pm
types: The project operates at various sites across the
We want your submissions! We get city of Toronto. The PAID project also connects
lots of letters from our readers telling individuals and families to other services, such
Land Acknowledgment parody, satire, criticism, review, and news re- us how much they love seeing all your work as: primary health care facilities, sources for
PASAN's office, where we publish Cell porting does not infringe copyright.” and they’re hungry for more. Send us your housing, sources for food & Legal Aid.
Count, is on the historical territory of the stuff and get published in Cell Count. When We also provide guidance and awareness
Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most A Note about Pen Pals: you send us stuff, please make sure you write a regarding other programs that are available,
line in that gives us permission to publish your including community-based support services.
recently, the Mississaugas of the New Credit We've received a lot of calls and letters asking For more information, please call: Neighbour-
Indigenous peoples. This territory is covered about Pen Pals, and it's been difficult delivering work. Also, let us know if you would like your
work returned to you or sent on to someone hood Link Support Services at 416-691-7407.
by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt the sad news that we no longer have the ca- Also at the Toronto South D.C. Put in a request
Covenant, an agreement between the Haude- pacity or funds to run it anymore. We know it's else!
Writers: We get a lot of great work sent in that to see them.
nosaunee and the Ojibwe and allied nations been a really important piece of Cell Count, and
to peaceably share and care for the lands that it has led to some amazing connections we are unable to use because of very limited Prison Radio
and resources around the Great Lakes. for our readers in the past. We really wish we space. Apologies. Please consider the column
could continue it, but due to a lack of resources width & keep articles/poems tight & to the KINGSTON AREA - CFRC Prison Radio airs
HIV+/HCV Client Services point. Honestly, the first items to go in are the every Wednesday evening from 7-8pm on 101.9
it is no longer possible for us. We will continue
In order to be a client & access these services to keep a running list of alternative places you ones that fit nicely and leave space for others FM. CFRC is the Queen's University communi-
you need to have confirmed HIV+/HCV status can send your ads and photos, although some – quality and quantity! Also, let us know in ty radio station and every last Wednesday of
and be a prisoner or ex-prisoner (all times East- come with a cost. We cannot personally vouch writing if it’s ok to edit your work for grammar, the month. CFRC can be heard from Millhaven
ern Standard time) for these options, so please use them at your spelling and so we can fit it in. Institution, Collins Bay Institution, Joyceville In-
• Phone Hours: Mon – Fri from 9-5, except own discretion: Please note: If you do send something to stitution, Bath Institution, Frontenac Institution,
Tuesday mornings Canadian Inmates Connect: Currently, there is us, please give us a call if you can so we can Pittsburgh Institution, and Quinte Detention
a $35/year subscription. Your ad will be placed look out for it in the mail. Also, call us again Centre.
• Workshops and Programming - Scheduled at least a week after you send it to make sure
usually on Mondays or Thursdays, give us a on a website, and people with internet access MONTREAL AREA – CKUT Prison Radio airs
browse through to decide who to connect with. we got it. If not, if you're sending in a piece of on 90.3 FM on the second Thursday of every
call or check out our website for a complete writing, we can transcribe it over the phone for
list of events we have scheduled. A point of caution: you are asked to say what month between 5-6 pm as part of the Off the
you have been convicted for, and your full you, so keep a copy of everything you send us! Hour show and on the fourth Friday of every
• ID Clinic – 1st & 3rd Thursday 1:00-2:00 every We're especially looking for submissions
name will be published online. Melissa is the month between 11am and 12pm. It can be
month - for everyone. from women-identified folks! Women are the
person to contact for more information. Write heard from Bordeaux, Rivière-des-Prairies,
• Release Funds - $50 (twice a year max) or call her at: Canadian Inmates Connect Inc. fastest-growing prisoner population in Canada, Centre de formation fédéral, Leclerc, Montée
• TTC Tokens – 2 each for clients who attend 3085 Kingston Rd, Suite 267, Toronto, Ontario, but often their experiences are marginalized St-Francois, Centre de détention pour les immi-
workshops M1M 1P1 - (647) 344-3404 in conversations about the prison system. We grants, Archambault, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines,
Black and Pink: Specifically for queer and trans want to hear your take on prison, life, family, and Cowansville institutions.
• Harm Reduction Materials – Mon – Fri from or anything else you're interested in writing
9-5, except Tuesday AM (Safer-Crack-Use- prisoners. They are based in the United States, VANCOUVER AREA – Stark Raven Collective
it does not cost anything to be part of the list, about. We can guarantee confidentiality, and
Kits, Safer-Needle-Use-Kits, Piercing Needles, can publish your pieces under a pseudonym if runs the CFRO Prison Radio show on 100.5 FM
Condoms, etc.) - for everyone. and you don't have to tell them your convic-
tion. Here is how to reach them: Black and Pink you want! Please submit your articles, poetry, as part of Vancouver Co-operative Radio. It
Sometimes we and the phones are very busy so art, or letters to the Cell Count editor at 526 broadcasts on the first Monday of each month
please keep trying! National Office, 614 Columbia Rd, Dorchester,
MA 02125 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 - in the from 7-8 pm Pacific Time
About Cell Count 617.519.4387 meantime, check out Concrete Blossoms on HALIFAX AREA - Dalhousie University's CKDU
Prison Fellowship Canada: This is a faith- page 5. at 88.1 FM. Listen or call in for poetry and rap
PASAN publishes ‘Cell Count’, a minimum of based, Christian organization that connects on the Black Power Hour, which airs Wednes-
4 issues per year. We are based in Toronto on To all the talented Tattoo Artists
prisoners with volunteers of either the same Inside days from 1:30-2:30pm , and is co-hosted by
the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of gender, or where there is a 15-20 year age former Halifax poet laureate El Jones. The show
New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, difference. The point is for you to have an PASAN is doing a fundraiser to help support focuses on social and cultural issues relevant to
the Huron-Wendat and home to many diverse outlet to express yourself to someone who will our work, which includes going into prisons to Black communities, but is open all listeners.
Indigenous peoples. It is sent out for FREE to listen. If you are of the Christian faith, this may talk about health and harm reduction, answer-
Clients & Prisoners in Canada. If you are on be a great option for you. You can reach them ing calls from people inside, Cell Count, doing Logo Contest!
the outside or part of an organization, please for more info at: Prison Fellowship Canada - community work with ex-prisoners living with
consider a donation @ $20 per year. We are HIV, advocating for prisoner rights and more. Our Indigenous program is having a Logo
National Office, 5945 Airport Road, Suite 144,
proud to release our 82nd issue to you. We are We would like to put together a booklet made contest! PASAN's Indigenous program gives
Mississauga, ON L4V 1R9
also grateful for all the wonderful feedback we up of art from prisoners that we can hand culturally appropriate support to Indigenous
have been receiving from our readers, and en- out to tattoo parlours around Toronto, and if prisoners and ex-prisoners who live with and/
Prisoner Correspondence Project: "..a sol-
courage you to keep putting your two cents in. people come in asking for a tattoo from the or are affected and/or at risk of HIV. Winner
idarity project for gay, lesbian, transsexual,
Our goal is to have most of our content written booklet, part of the proceeds will go to us! The will receive $100. The Logo will be featured in
transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex,
and produced by prisoners and ex-prisoners, so booklet will also have information for folks on our next issue of Cell Count and will be used on
bisexual and queer prisoners in Canada and the
we highly encourage you to get in touch with the outside on why harm reduction is import- resources such as brochures and fliers that in-
United States, linking them with people who are
us if you're interested in being part of the Cell ant but difficult when it comes to tattooing volve our Indigenous program. All submissions
part of these same communities outside of pris-
Count team. inside. will be considered. Deadline is May 1st, 2018.
on." - From their website. Write to them here:
Publisher: PASAN QPIRG Concordia c/o Concordia University If you or someone you know would be
526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 interested in this project, please get in touch Welcome to PASAN Chaman Agarwal!
1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal, QC H3G
Circulation: 400+ - Recirculation: ??? 1M8 with us at: PASAN Tattoo Project, 526 Richmond Chaman joined the PASAN team in the begin-
All original artwork, poems and writings are the Inmate Ink: "Help us bring Hope to a prisoner St E, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R3 or call us at 1-866- ning of 2018 as the Office Coordinator and
sole/soul property of the artist and author. one letter at a time. Offers memberships from 224-9978 book-keeper. She will be taking care of all
Fair Dealing in the Canadian Copyright Act: $20 - $40. Your completed ad will be pub- Advice Column administrative and accounting tasks. She looks
lished on our website for anyone in the general forward to work with the team towards quality
Sections 29, 29.1, 29.2: “Fair dealing for the public to view and contact you directly. For an We had a suggestion by a subscriber and of service to the clients of PASAN and offer
purpose of research, private study, education, application or more info, please contact Tasha writer for Cell Count, Mr. Valley, to do a section support in all areas as and when required.
3 // from inside
“We Rise” I had the chance. that Suhoor has not passed me by.” I do blame the government Let me drown forever, Let me swim
By A.V. I looked it in the eye, “I’ll break my fast tonight at Maghrib, They need to do more! out and never come back, For you
Black people rise, no matter how far with more than a passing glance. the one time a year we get to eat a We need to fight, are my one, Forever
we may fall I never knew the power, date. For our right, “Guilty (and/or) Innocent”
Our pride keeps our heads high, it of doing the right thing So please don’t take them for grant- To get high safely!
ed my brothers, because for us it’s By Chris Mayer
keeps us standing tall Until I took the chance, just too late.” Untitled Guilty (and/or) Innocent,
You, me, us, we are champions on what those words could bring. We still must stay,
With a powerful drive, strength and “After Isha I’ll pray Tarraweeha, 20 By Jay Bevan
The Judge says,
ambition ALLHAMDULILLAH! rakahs alone in my cell. A midnight beauty, the sun shines on It must be that way,
They say things “used to be hard” But I’ve only memorized the last ten you so freely, been waiting for her to
By Alam M. Hai Once they have us,
because of the colour of our skin Surah’s, no Qataam’ ul Qur’an for me, come free me, to be my rider. Tried Behind those grey walls,
“Spiritual and psychological warfare, oh well ...” to make that big buck, had no such
But it doesn’t seem like much has The men in white shirts,
who said the world was fair? I lie here “In the last ten nights I’ll search for luck, now the cuff’s r locked, sittin in Make all the calls,
changed since then in my cell tasting nothing but regret
Racial profiling, because of how we the night of power and decree. the dark, so long in da back of some With their rules and their regulations,
and pure despair. And spend each night with tears in truck, wondering how shit turned With no respect,
look, or what we’re driving Wondering if I still care? Do I still
Or because we live in low-income my eyes, begging Allah to please set out the way they did, da fed’s only They keep us in segregation
have a heart? me free.” see things their way, pulling me over We’re punched, kicked and shoved
housing Is my consciousness dead? Has it “Eid celebrations will come and will on da freeway, they never let me be, around
Leaving us at a disadvantage to those really gone that far? Fell apart ... But with our self respect,
with privilege go, but will anyone share lamb and even if I could turn back just one day,
Sometimes I can’t remember what it Mubarak with me? Nah, probably I’ll never go back to Collins Bay, no We never go down,
So we learn to make due with what feels like to cry, my oh my... Our cell doors beep open and beep
we have not, I’m too far away to remember, fucking way, smoke a fat jay, what do
Just another soul in turmoil, it’s do or locked up out here in the peniten- closed
Through our trials, we come together ya say, were were made for some- When will we be free nobody knows
die, as time flies by. tiary.” one, she’ll find me, in the Toronto
Through the struggles, we help one Often I wish that I could just fly free, With Barbed Gates and Electronic
another “So the next time you’re in a Masjid East I’ll be, what a beast, such a feast. Doors
Rasoolullah, 7th heaven, you and me. and the Imam says stand shoulder Drop me a line, at any time, maybe
With each other we conquer and It’s almost like a house of horrors!
Beyond these prison walls, why won’t to shoulder, heel to heel. Take a we can wine and dine some time. They say we are here to be rehabili-
overcome tribulations they just leave me be, you see ...
Elevating each other to receive God’s moment to whisper a prayer for me, Looking for that one who’ll ride. tated
I’m sentenced indeterminately. Be- because maybe now you know a little
blessings hind bars, so many sins and scars. Flowers in the Sand We end up leaving this place,
Even though you may be struggling of how I feel.” Full of hatred, I am only one man,
I’ve prayed so much until my fore-
now head was bruised and bleeding,
Got old in jail By Brian G. Kerr Who made a wrong turn,
There are a people But treating me like this, I’ll never
Know that there is light at the end of pleading. learn,
each and every one of your tunnels By Larry Cardinal Who once shared our
Broken and battered, just another Got so fucken old Guilty or Innocent, I still must stay,
So continue to rise, rise high like a soul that needs feeding, healing. Precious land The Judge says it must be this way.
tower of power Should’ve did what I was told But today are prisoners
Yet I still have to battle the demon, Behind Bars
Because it’s not just a hashtag, it’s the one that’s within me. Got cold in jail I like to call – flowers in
true that Black Lives Matter. I won’t let them take the Penance Even in July The sand By Anthony Curwin Baptiste as
Still I Rise out of Penitentiary! Their New World Only heat inside They possess a certain beauty, read by Melesha Bryan for Black
Order, Novus Ordo Seculorum. Is in a guard’s eye You can tell by the smile in History Month celebration inside
By Yasmine Mohamoud Behind Bars we no longer have the
Call these places institutions now, They taught me to hate Their eyes
Still I rise in the depths of my dark- need of such props as wealth, suc-
that’s their new decorum, a false Too late On the edges they may appear
ness forum. cess and greatness.
For rehabilitation A little rough, So drop the false mask
Still I rise in the name of my justice But I still see through their evil tricks Learned my lesson But I assume you – it’s only a disguise We are all people
For those who have come before me and Dajjallic ways. Beaten in the police station Really they are our brothers, From the same region, with the same
And those who come after me True freedom only comes through
Substance faded the memory Sisters, fathers and mothers too upbringing
Still I rise in the name of love Allah’s praise, Allah’s praise.” So why do we have to boast and
And so I got old They got caught up in a moment
For that shall conquer all Struggling to Surrender Grey salts the mane disrespect our own.
For not knowing what it is to be Black And didn’t know what to do Behind bars we as people
By Alam M. Hai As pain rules the days But whence we’re gathered together Have the right and privilege to deter-
and proud
“Would you like to know what its like Minds fogged as rain Our roots become intertwined mine our own destiny,
Still I rise for my sisters and brothers
to live in a 6’x10’ box? The limited And morning dews display We understand certain defaults Make the right decision with our own
who have sacrificed space you have to pray puts the Another twenty four And the blunders of the human mind mentality,
Life, love and family all because of toilette in your Qibla spot!” And remember there is a God above.
Of nothing more Does this make us different
their coloured skin “So I hang a curtain across as a Satar Behind Bars some people need
Then getting old Or better or all the same?
For ignorance is bliss of separation. acceptance.
I’m Struggling to Surrender my soul And cold as bars Perhaps it doesn’t matter We want to impress our own peers.
Still I rise with pride in my eyes
to Allah, it’s the price I pay for my Hat float So long as we’re here to blame! So we lie, because if we don’t we
Still I rise for they get threatened by
incarceration.” Until the melt The point is, we stand as an equal; would be branded a failure
the passion in my voice
“And even as I stand and pray, I know From rays of sun Before our judges and our peers And we as a people should know, we
And in my eyes are not here on earth to please man,
on the other side is a filthy bowl. But So merciless And in the end we’ll always
Still I rise knowing Judgement Day I but God.
on this side I’m cleansing my heart As corrections Be a beautiful creation; Whether
lived my life and trying to purify my soul.” And if God accepts us.
Not correcting
Servant of the Ever-Merciful “Maybe I can get a cell change?
We be held captive for days Why should we fear what man will
One that puts the Qibla in another
Hourglass Months or even years say.
By Zakaria Amara This is why we hope to Don’t be a slave of the past
direction. By Howard Richmond Because you would be like a gambler
If you are not But the Qibla in this new cell gives Be noticed, because we tend
At first, I thought my time in here, worrying
As Beautiful as the sun me only a three-foot section.” To persevere
Was like a candle burn slowly down About a bet after it’s placed.
When it spreads its light “Watch out for that shelf? I say to And no matter how many of Don’t allow the past to have any
myself, on the way down to Sajda - Like watching a wasted day or year
Upon the face of lands and seas Us fall, there will always be bearing
prostration. Time that will never again run ‘round
If you do not glow A few of us here On your present spiritual condition
I whack my head off that same shelf, But now I see it’s more like sand because as people we have already
As the full moon does That’s why we need to bond,
when I rise back up to attention.” In the double sphere of and hour- been given
In the midst of darkness And stand as one…
“I could pray sitting down, there’s a glass The foundation, it is up to us to con-
Illuminating the way for life’s travel- Hand upon hand.
Sunnah way I tell myself. For when at the bottom it all does tinue and break out of the legacy of
ers But why should I be denied the full Remembering we are not just pris- Black people Behind Bars.
If you are not as graceful reward, from the possessor of all oners.
As the lofty Clouds
I just turn it over for another pass Justice
Bringing Shade to the heat scorched “I’ll look forward to yard the one time
And like the trenches I have seen Living? By Gary Edwards as read by Elaine
a day I get to pray in Jammah. Or the oceans, or the miles Biddersingh at Black History Month
inhabitants By Forgotten Warrior
But the guards don’t like us organiz- I am a jigsaw of what I have been Living this life in heartache, living this 2018 celebration inside,
Raining water upon their parched lips
ing prayers; you know that Shaytaan And life is made of scars and smiles. life in pain What is Justice? Does anyone truly
Showering life upon their dead lands
hates the Salah.” know?
Then I am afraid Casualties of War Living this life of loneliness – living a
Is it the man sentenced to life
“They think we’re all terrorists, an ISIS life thatz insane
You have misunderstood Or the man who’s guilty, and let go?
or Al-Qaeda sleeper cell. By Dwight Luke Nicholson Living a life for all the wrong reasonz,
What it means to be We’re just trying to surrender our The casualties are great, They lock you in cages for days upon
living just 2 die
FORTUITOUS wills to Allah, in this our daily living We`re dropping like flies, Living without my baby girl meanz
hell.” The government waits And hold you there until you consent
By Michael Hector living my life in vain This is their trend, my friend.
“Maybe this week we’ll get a Juma, if While we all die
Have you ever wanted, From court to court they bounce you
we’re not on a lockdown. My brothers, my sisters, around
or wished you could, But who’s qualified to stand up and My enemies, my foe, Hoping you will plead guilty to the
Say you were sorry, give Khutbah, blank faces sit down I bid my farewell before we all go, charges of the crown.
like you knew you should.. and look around.” Deep in my head I say my goodbyes, If you have money, the best lawyer
Did you let it pass, “The Imam or Muslim volunteers Never knowing who`s next you can buy
without a word spoken. come in, oh maybe once in a blue Never knowing who`ll die And if not, Legal Aid is all you can try
Knowing full well, moon. The people in charge of the govern- Try as they may, you must never give
you would be leaving it broken. I wish I could see the new moon like ment in
you so that I could know that Rama- Just don`t care! But with a bought lawyer, you’ll be
If this is your chance, Too busy having thousand dollar cast out as sin
dan is coming soon.”
is it something you ‘re willing to take. “I’ll look out my window that only dinners As the scales of justice carry a narrow
Do you want to move forward, fight
faces west and hope there’s no white After taking quarter million dollar Pure Love
or would you rather seem fake. thread in the sky. Then I’ll make my trips, And she blinds anyone who shifts to
To make a difference, intention to fast for Allah, and pray ``Who Cares?” By Forgotten Warrior the right.
4 // from inside
Distant Drums Struggling to Surrender from Allah, but do - precisely - what answered, noticing the jail lingo.
they are commanded.” “What’cha do? I mean what are you
By Anthony Curwin Baptiste as By Alam M. Hai accused of doing?” he corrected him-
Surah AI-Tahrim Ch:66 V:6
read by Elizabeth Gaye at a Black The following is script is from a self with age old rule that everyone in
Fire in My Eyes:
History celebration inside semi-fictional autobiography of the prison is innocent.
“At the brink of destruction, fire in my
Listen to that Distant Drum author titled Struggling to Surrender. “Armed Robbery times ten, pied out
eyes; A grievous chastisement for all
And hear the chants of our ances- It is adapted from the 2l5t chapter to five.” I said almost proudly.
of my lies.
tors, and describes my first trip to the “Big time eh!” he smiled. There is
Flames of hell scorching my flesh to
Listen carefully I say Federal Penn’ in 2000. a certain amount of foolish pride
the bones; By a fire whose fuel is of
Because we don’t understand I boarded the Goose double cuffed and honour amongst thieves and
Men and of Stones!
Why? Because we fail to interpret its and padlocked. Tight fitting ankle criminals in terms of their crimes.
At the edge of the pit, fire in my eyes;
meaning. shackles cut away at my Achilles How many and how much news and
Carried away in captivity, accursed
We are mistreated and abused Tendons. I looked at my Federal trav- notorious notoriety they received in
and despised.
By mankind is called justice. elling companions and even though I the media and underground street
Flames that burn flames, actions not
Which vividly prevails in our society had never been Down Below, I could sub-culture.
condoned; By the fiercest of fires in
today. recognize which ones were repeat “Yeah, Scarborough Bandits!” I
order to be atoned.
I am alone and quiet, but not lonely. offenders compared to the New Fish. boasted.
At the end of my rope, fire in my
Sometimes I sit and cry, but I am not Their time in shows on their faces.
really sad Hardened men will have a more
eyes; Nobody really lives, but every- “Scarborough Bandits! That’s Big Untitled
body dies. Time!” he said rather loudly.
I shout and get angry, but not really serious, wiser look to them. “You with the bandits?” a voice from By Brian G. Kerr
Flames that blaze one hotter than This goes out to all the ladies alone
mad. I sat down where I was instructed in front of me asked bluntly without
the other; We are enemies to our- and in the cold, because I know how it
You don’t know me, so why judge to sit and looked out the caged wind turning around, and I thought to
selves, one to another. gets being in this fold.
me? ow. I only turned briefly to give the myself what if this guy had beef with
At the end of the line, fire in my eyes; The walls are freezing and the doors
You don’t even understand me. Nod of Respect to the young man the bandits or Malvern?
A wolf in sheep’s clothing was the are unbearable, no parkas are
You can’t begin to analyze me. whom the guards had sat next to “Yeah “ I answered cautiously. The
disguise. allowed and the jumpers are simply
Is it because I am a human being, me - another New Fish, like me. I young black man turned around,
Kindled from a spark, burst into a terrible.
And I have feelings and mood swings, stared out the window as the goose another new fish. “Do you know The mascara hardens and irritates
flame; Engulfed by the smoke and I’m
Like everyone else, made its way to the 401 and east off so-and-so and so-and-so?” (Sorry no the eyes, but it holds back the tears,
the one to blame. At my last breath
Or is it because I am proud and being towards Kingston. Taking in as much names) he asked curiously. “Maybe?” followed by the woes and they why’s.
of life, fire in my eyes; Time to leave
myself of the Scarborough landscape as I I was exercising an air of caution. (Not that I wear it, but I truly under-
this worldly life and break all my ties.
And you think I have a chip on my could. I feared I would never see my “Yeah, well so-and-so is my cousin. stand) and I’m sure it doesn’t matter
There is One God whose fire I must/
shoulder? old stomping grounds again. I rub- Do you know him?” he asked. the name of the brand.
ear; Dear God! Put out that fire with
Well, if you think that way, I suggest bernecked at the 401 and Morning- “Yeah I know him, he’s my home- But the beauty is in the heart of the
this my last tear.” beholder and I know you would like
you side, north towards Sheppard where boy.” I answered, no longer perceiv-
Feelings of impending doom and to share it; as this is what we’re meant
Emancipate yourself from that men- my mom had died so tragically. Re- ing a threat. “My names Blacks, heard
utter desolation came over me as to do.
tal slavery calling all the years together with her about you bandits, out of the ‘VERN’
‘Dogs of War and Men of Hate ‘ Rather than to hold it and have to
And listen again to that…..DISTANT and family growing up in Malvern. aren’t’cha?” “Something like that.” I
surrounded the outside of the goose! bare it, too!
DRUM. The ride up was cramped and com- answered.
The exterior of the bus was sniffed It’s always nice to know that someone
As a people pact, but I did not notice. Instead,
by the dogs as the guards, with large “Yeah, they got me accused of hears our cries. Sometimes it’s just a
I set my mind to my family. I had armed robbery too, but I’m appealing whisper or a line passed out to one of
By Anthony Curwin Baptiste as mirrors looked under the belly of the
to align my thoughts and focus on it.” Blacks said and resigned back to our ties.
read by Siobhan “Bella” Ferguson beast that I was seated in. The dogs
making the best of a bad situation, facing forward. But in the end the response we get is
at a Black History month celebration then boarded the bus. Huge German
focus on making a better life myself. “Me too!” Bailey interjected and upon which we truly depend, because
inside Sheppard ‘ s with heads the size of
Focus on surviving the Federal Penn! then said in a voice that was loud and to be understood is how we recognize
As a people, doesn’t matter what bears! Mean and hungry! Salivating
I must have fallen asleep around the turned the busses attention in our we’re still human.
they call us, like Pavlov’s dogs for raw meat! They
Bellville - Quinte area ... I was awoken direction ... “The Three Banditos!” he It soothes our souls and it calms us
We are spirited. sniffed out the bus and its chained from our overfume’n.
rudely by the yelling of the coach exclaimed, and we all shared a laugh.
Our parents and grandparents passengers whose destination was In these places we need all the love
driver’s voice . . . “Shut your F@CK!NG Pie holes! This
We’re strong men and women a one-way ticket to hell, just beyond and encouragement we can find, as
“Okay you maggots! Welcome ain’t a F@CK!NG comedy club!” yelled
Keeping the faith is part of our legacy the second set of iron doors. I could we struggle to leave our burdens and
to your new F@CK!NG home! The the driver as he put the bus in gear
We have suffered dispersion and bar- already feel its intense heat, and our demands behind.
Kingston F@CK!NG Penitentiary!” he and pulled out of the yard.
baric oppression smell its foulness! So when you’re down and feel you
bellowed. “Next stop. The Millhaven F@
We have come too far not to go the Then one those, big, mean and would like a friend; “Please feel free to
I looked out the caged window, CK!NG Penitentiary you slobs!” he write me, please feel free to send!”
distance ugly dogs came up towards me.
sleep still in my eyes. There I saw a announced. The three of us looked My name is at the top of this letter or
We live in a racist and sexist society My body tightens in anticipation of
solid stone wall just meters away, at each other and knew we had just poem if you will; but most important-
But remember negative thoughts attack. Don’t make eye contact. I told
and as I looked up, then up and up made a new alliance ... ly, keep yourself warm and try not to
and action myself. It can smell your fear! What
some more. A sinking feeling like a literally “chill.”
Block love, peace, wisdom, knowl- tight knot in my stomach that pulled
if it smells my fear!? I tighten up Afro of Ginormous Lion
edge and understanding some more! If it attacks me I cannot
at my every vein, nerve, muscle and
defend myself! My wrists are hand By Doctor T.L.C. ets O
Slavery was just a journey, not a tendon gripped me ... and then up, Spoken from a lion beasting for his nTwe
destination and up and up again. I swallowed
cuffed! A bead of sweat trickles down
the center of my back. What will I do lioness: I lion am ginormous. My Priso
The purpose of that journey was to down hard to look up some more ginormous lion’s afro represents
learn if it does? I can’t run my ankles are
and then finally seeing the top of me like my reputation preceeding
Yes, learn to affirm our individual shackled too! Dogs of war go straight me, whereas I outdo my reputation.
what I can only describe as an impen-
beauty for the throat! If it attacks, I’m done What’s a reputation if you don’t live
etrable medieval fortress whose
An idea developed by Jeff Craig

And up keep our legacy As a people. walls said to me - “You don’t leave up to it.. what’s a reputation if you
The goose passed the inspections don’t bring it with the fortitude of the
this place ... ever!” did I then think to
MMIW and the second set of double doors upmostest nodessertive, battering Cell Count contributor Jeff Craig
myself - “Wow! When they said I was
opened just as creaky and ominous ram defeating the resistance, black came up with "Prison Tweets." A
going to the Big House they really
2 all those that feel my pain as the ones that had let us in. The tent , leaving nothing but devasta-
meant it!” The place looked like a me- "tweet" is a super short quote,
Those who live the pain every mo- goose then pulled forward and tion, even Chastity’s belt met the
dieval castle. A stronghold you could lion earthquake every building block shoutout, piece of wisdom, thought,
ment of every day came to a halt inside the yard of the
never escape from. A place built with overturner and destroyer? I the update, or anything you can come
Forgotten warrior gives you a shout Kingston Penn’, which looked as ever
punishment in mind, cynical punish- must surpasser successful knows up with! Mail us or call with a tweet,
out foreboding as the outside. Several
ment! My stomach lurched and bow- not failure. The ginormous lion and and you might see it in an upcoming
For all my Red brothers and sisters stone buildings surrounded a central
els went south as we approached the it’s afro mane has always outdone issue. Let's see what you got!
locked away towering stronghold. This was all just
Be strong, be real, keep your head
great dungeons walls.
too creepy. The place looked old and
the lioness and her puny cave. The Ricky J's Tweets
The goose pulled up to its sally Doctor is mighty Nephilim and some.
up, never give up in disrepair. There was no green foli- The offspring like godson.
port. Two large solid steel riveted Ya I know out of the blue right
And always, always remember age to be seen, only stone and brick.
doors that opened down the center The Sevil and The Devil from left centre, no worriez life and
To live the life you love and love the I swallowed down once again and
almost the full height of the prisons shit bout 2 get interesting
life you live asked the young man next to me ...
ominous walls - “This is just too sur- By The Sevil
-In memory of Georgina Pepin--- “Is this where we’re doing our time?” Yahweh said to the Devil “from
real” I thought. The great dungeons One cannot leave this life without
RIP - Forgotten Warrior “Nah man. This is K.P. They’re just where do you come?” and the Devil
doors creaked as they opened and paying 4 their sins first
dropping guys off here at the T.D.
MMIW#2 let out a loud Boom! When they
unit - temporary detention for parole
answered “from going to and fro on
came to rest. The goose pulled slowly the earth, and from walking back and Live like they don't love you any-
No more drugs 2 mask my hurt violators - we’ll go to Millhaven from forth on it. “Then Yahweh said to the
into the huge sally port as the giant more
No more alcohol 2 mask my pain here...Hey! My names Bailey, but my Devil “The Sevil is demigod by you as
steel doors creaked and slammed a Sevilized Sevilian Beast Lord Obtain
Time 2 think, reflect and feel friends call me Admiral,” the young
shut behind us. Locking, trapping us Our Dominion Beast King.” The Devil Think-live-be-outside the box of
Clear mind, tormented fucken soul light-skinned man introduced him-
in. I looked up to see armed guards replies “He I the Sevil; demigod first social programming
2 those that my pain has touched self. I had not spoken to him on the
with AR-15 assault rifles patrolling hafling of the fiery red race, like a colt
Forgive me for my ignorance ride up with the exception of the nod
the top of the prisons ominous walls, four five he comes with Autonomous LMS
I just didn’t want 2 hurt alone of respect when he first sat down.
ready to shoot on sight any inmate Ruthless Sevilian Organized Nation Love
2 those that my anger has touched “ADMIRAL BAILEY” I replied in a Ja-
who would dare try and escape. I and Blood Legionnaires Obtaining The triumph of belief over doubt
Forgive me for my ignorance maican accent (Admiral Bailey being Our Dominations two crowns now
knew to myself that I was in a hell Marriage
Just didn’t want to hate alone a Jamaican Reggae Artist) mentioned.’ Yahweh says “Two
on earth. One that I would never get The triumph of hope over experi-
From G.P-2-KML, strong wind wom- “I’m Alam, but my friends call me crowns now mentioned; fire power
out of. ence
en, she who carries fire Moe.” I introduced myself. “Your first and from fire comes the red dragon.
“0 ye who believe! Save yourself Soul Matez
Forgive me for the miery I shared time down below?” he asked. The Magnificent Usurper Red Dragon
and your families from a fire, whose The triumph of love becoming
I just couldn’t live it alone “Yeah, you?” I exhaled a sigh of relief. Ever Royal Ever Right King Infused.
fuel is Men and Stones. Over which reality
“Uh-huh ...” he munted. He pleases my will.” The Devil replies
are - appointed - Angels stern - and “Blood Killa 666 Bad Leadership
To the girls that were taken! None of “How long you looking at?” I asked.
- severe. Who flinch not - from exe- Obtains Our Destruction Killa Beast. If you could fly would that still
you are ever forgotten “A deuce-plus ...soft. You?” he
cuting - the commands they receive The Sevil is me” make you a pig?
R.I.P - Forgotten Warrior returned the question. “A Truce” I
5 // news on the block

What's New in Prison News? with those directly involved with

the offender’s care, and only when
In recognition of Black
History Month 2018 A note from
the editor
Kingston prison farms return- could be publicly defended by the In addition, offering individualized For the
ing with new federal funding service or minister, on any ground.” protocols for offenders looking to be women
Under the CSC’s new directives, an accommodated on the basis of gen- of colour
CBC News, Feb 28, 2018 der identity or expression to ensure, who’re in- By Sena Hussain
assisted death is to be carried out in
Two prison farms in Kingston, Ont., a community hospital or other facility among other things: carcerated
will be coming back with new money — but the procedure can take place -The safety, privacy and dignity of an at Grand
from the federal Liberals, nearly a in a penitentiary regional hospital offender when they access shower Valley Insti-
decade after the program was cut by or treatment centre in exceptional and/or toilet facilities. tution
the previous Conservative govern- circumstances and at the request of -The choice of male or female staff I’m here to
ment. the inmate. to conduct frisk and strip searches, introduce
This week’s federal budget commits CSC told CBC News it has received urinalysis testing, and camera sur- myself as
$4.3 million to restore the farms at eight requests related to MAID and, veillance. a legacy of
the Joyceville and Collins Bay institu- to date, three inmates have been transatlan-
tions later this year or in 2019. Justice system report slams
approved for medically-assisted Alberta for hiding Indigenous tic slavery and colonization; and fur-
“We are really excited that the money death — though not all three have ther to introduce myself as a fellow
has been given to restore the farms,” incarceration rates
completed the procedure. Two of the human being with lived experience of
said Jeff Peters, part of the Pen Farm inmates were already living in the By Geordon Omand, The Canadian criminalization and incarceration.
Herd Co-op, which bought cattle community. Press This is my letter to you
from the prison farms when they In his letter, Zinger said the first The government of Alberta is being My biological father’s last name is
were shut down. “It’s been a really documented case of a federal inmate lambasted in a review of Canada’s Davidson; my father who raised me,
long haul.” receiving MAID occurred recently, justice system as the only province to his last name is Fullerton. These are
Peters was one of hundreds of with two correctional officers helping keep secret the number of Indige- slave names.
people who campaigned to save the to escort the inmate to the hospital nous people it has locked up over the My last name is Brown, taken from
program, and one of dozens who where the procedure took place. last five years. my mother. And I’m not exactly sure
were arrested in 2010. In May 2017 He said he believes the parole The criticism comes as part of an an- where that comes from considering
Peters became part of federal advi- system needs to be changed to accel- nual report card released Monday by that her side of the family’s history
sory panel to look at the possibility of erate requests from dying inmates, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute that died with my Great Grandmother;
doing just that. while the federal government should ranks the provinces and territories in a Cree woman from Manitoba who
The budget said the government consider legislative reform to include terms of access to justice, efficiency, married a white man some time after
wants “to provide federal inmates medical parole. Most terminally ill cost, public safety and support for leaving her reserve at a young age.
with training opportunities to acquire inmates don’t pose a danger to pub- victims. Welcome the 83rd issue of Cell
You see, that’s where my knowledge
new skills, while preparing for em- lic safety, he said — and if there is a Alberta is the only province that Count. This will be the 5th issue that
of my Indigenous roots ends, and
ployment and successful reinte- risk, it can be managed. doesn’t make public its dispropor- cont'd on page 7 I have helped publish in my time
gration and rehabilitation into the “If it serves no public safety purpose, tionately high Indigenous incarcer- with PASAN. First off, I want to thank
community.” if it’s costly and if it is an affront to ation rate, said report co-author
Greetings all my Relations! all the people who submitted their
According to Peters, the money By Lanna Moon
human dignity, you should probably Benjamin Perrin. art, poetry, writing, ideas, thoughts,
will be available beginning in April, My name is Lanna Moon , I am
change the system to make it more “It’s unconscionable to keep secret suggestions and feedback to this
and will help pay for a new barn to currently the Indigenous Programs
responsive,” he told CBC News. the number of Indigenous people publication. If you did not see your
replace the 50-year-old structure that who are being sent to jail in that Coordinator at PASAN. I have been
piece in this issue, please get in
still stands on land at the Collins Bay Big Changes for Transgender province every year,” Perrin said. hired to work with Indigenous prison-
touch and we can talk about it. I am
Penitentiary. Inmates in Canada’s Federal He is a law professor at the Universi- ers and ex-prisoners who live with,
absolutely blown away by all the
Peters said the goal is to be up and Prisons ty of British Columbia in Vancouver. are affected by or at risk of HIV and
talent from inside that I am so lucky
running before next winter, begin- “We flagged this as a problem in our HCV.
by Kelly Roche, inhalton, Feb 15, to come across. It is the contributors
ning with 33 cows, a few of which first report in the fall of 2016. We Currently our Indigenous program
2018 and readers who make Cell Count
were part of the original program expected (Alberta) would start giving hosts the Neechi Circle in Toronto
Major changes are on the way for so special and unique. I have also
when it closed in 2010. this data, but it hasn’t.” every Thursday at 11am in Allen
transgender offenders in Canada’s had opportunities to visit the federal
Peters said the barnyard will even- Alberta’s Justice Department did not Gardens, where we get togeth-
federal prison system. institutions in Ontario and gotten to
tually expand to include chickens, respond immediately to a request for er with community members of
“We have heard the concerns raised speak to readers and contributors
pigs and possibly a colony of bees to by trans individuals and advocates, comment, but the Edmonton Journal all backgrounds and sing, share,
directly. The face to face conversa-
make honey. and we are pleased to see these quoted a government statement eat and pray together. Everyone
tions and discussions I’ve had with
Organizers are also looking at mak- significant improvements become a saying it had missed last year’s Sta- is welcome! We are working with
you have been so important for me
ing cheese out of the milk. reality for the rights of transgender tistics Canada deadline because of a partner agencies to create an
as the lead editor. I’ve also learned a
“The artisan cheese industry and job offenders and their families,” said software turnover and would provide Indigenous peer support group that
lot from these conversations.
demands are growing like crazy in chief commissioner of the Canadian the information moving forward. is trauma-informed and certified to
eastern Ontario, so that’s a great skill Secondly, because of the volume
Human Rights Commission Ma- “That’s a bit like ‘the dog ate my facilitate workshops, conduct healing
for the prisoners to have.” of submissions we have received, I
rie-Claude Landry. homework’ kind of excuse,” Perrin circles, network with other peers
Peters would eventually like to see all am happy to announce that we have
“This is about respect and human noted, saying it failed to explain why and cultivate community healing and
six prison farms across Canada re- expanded Cell Count to 12 pages! As
dignity--something that every person, the government has neglected to activism. We are currently putting a
opened, and sees the Ontario farms long as you keep those submissions
including those in our prison system, release the information since 2012. bundle together and will be having
as examples of what’s possible. coming, the paper will stay above
is entitled to.” “This comes at a time of very serious a pipe ceremony this spring to birth
“We are determined to keep going,” 8 pages. I know it’s not always the
Privacy, preferred names and concern about the treatment of and feast this bundle. We are also ex-
he said. easiest thing, so I thank you for the
pronouns, and choosing a men’s or Indigenous people by the justice sys- ploring doing some arts and crafting
effort you make to create and get
Watchdog calls for ‘compas- women’s institution according to tem. People have a right to know.” programs and even an Indigenous
your work to me. I am also happy
sionate’ parole as prison sys- their gender identity are some the While Indigenous incarceration rates garden! If you are an Indigenous
that this issue has seen a diverse
tem adopts new assisted death modifications in store. are disproportionately high every- prisoner are looking for supports
representation of contributors across
policy The revisions come in the wake of where in Canada, they are especially that PASAN can offer, please call (1-
race, gender, faith backgrounds,
Parliament’s recent change to the high in Alberta, B.C., Ontario, Sas- 866-224-9978 ext 234), write or stop
By Kathleen Harris, CBC News Feb katchewan and Manitoba, the report language, age, sexuality, and gender
Canadian Human Rights Act, which by and introduce yourself (PASAN,
25, 2018 noted. expression. This was one of my big
added “gender identity or expres- 536 Richmond St E, Toronto ON, M5A
The federal prison watchdog is urg- Indefinite solitary confinement in Ca- goals as the lead editor, so it warms
sion” to the list of prohibited grounds 1R3).
ing more “compassionate” parole op- nadian prisons ruled unconstitutional my heart to see stories and art from
of discrimination. I am looking forward to meeting and
tions and a ban on medically assisted by B.C. court so many different perspectives. This
The Correctional Service of Canada working with each and every one of
death behind bars as Canada’s prison kind of diversity is another thing that
(CSC), the Canadian Human Rights B.C. Civil Liberties Association you.
system manages an increasingly makes Cell Count so unique. It is my
Commission (CHRC), and Prisoners’ had challenged federal gov- In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and
sick, mentally ill and elderly inmate belief that the more we are able to
Legal Services (PLS) have been collab- ernment on ‘inhuman’ practice Leonard Peltier
population. understand one another, although
orating. All Our Relations, Lanna Moon
Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger we may seem very different, we will
New operational practices for CSC By Jason Proctor, CBC, Jan 17, 2018
said new guidelines brought in on include: A B.C. Supreme Court judge has be able to relate to even a small part
November 29, 2017 allow the prison -Placing an offender in a men’s or ruled that the practice of prolonged of one another's stories, and this
system to act as a “facilitator or women’s institution according to and indefinite solitary confinement in understanding is the driving force to
enabler” of death, breaching the sys- their gender identity, if it is their Canadian prisons is unconstitutional. achieve justice for all.
tem’s legal and ethical obligations. preference, regardless of their In a lengthy ruling released Wednes- Thirdly, I want to thank my PASAN
In a Feb. 12, 2018 letter to acting anatomy or gender on their identifi- day, Justice Peter Leask found that team members and our volunteers
Correctional Service Canada Commis- cation documents, unless there are the laws surrounding what is known for helping me get this issue out.
sioner Anne Kelly, Zinger condemned overriding health or safety concerns as administrative segregation in pris- Publishing Cell Count is a big job, and
the new policy, insisting that ter- which cannot be resolved. on discriminate against Aboriginal due to hitting a rough patch, it has
minally ill inmates should be given -Using an offender’s preferred name and mentally ill inmates. been difficult for me to keep up with
conditional release on “humanitarian and pronoun in all oral interaction He said the existing rules create a the volume of work and amount of
and compassionate” grounds. and written documentation. situation in which a warden becomes focus required to get this paper out
“Practically and perceptually, I simply -Allowing offenders to purchase au- judge and jury in terms of ordering to you all. They helped me out with
can not imagine a scenario where thorized items from CSC catalogues extended periods of solitary confine- transcribing articles, proofreading,
it would be considered acceptable for either men or women if there are ment. picking up the finished product from
to allow an external provider to no safety, health or security concerns “I find as a fact that administrative the printers, and, the biggest job: the
carry out a MAID (medical assistance according to the security level of segregation … is a form of solitary mail out. I would not have been able
in death) procedure in a federal their institution. confinement that places all Canadian to get this issue done without your
penitentiary,” he wrote in the letter, -Taking steps to maximize the privacy inmates subject to it at significant help.
obtained by CBC News through an and confidentiality of information risk of serious psychological harm, If you would like to send me feedback
access to information request to his related to an offender’s gender iden- including mental pain and suffering, for this issue or Cell Count in general,
office. please feel free to write or call: 1-866-224-
tity. Information about an offender’s and increased incidence of self-harm 9978 ext 228, Cell Count, 526 Richmond St
“I do not see how such a decision gender identity will only be shared and suicide,” Leask wrote. E, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R3.
6 // news on the block

An Open Letter of Pain The values behind restorative justice dreams By Michael Hector
along the My fellow sentient beings,
hastings My name is Michael Hector and not
street too long ago I was asked to write a
strip. I little something about Restorative
Justice. Not an easy task for some-
think of
one who has the affinity I have for
her from the process and all it brings to every
time 2 table it has ever been invited to.
time and It is my hope that this will be at least
I pray 4 a three-part series on Restorative Jus-
her 2 our tice and in doing so it will greaten it’s
Creator (Restorative Justice) audience overall.
and Now let’s see, first of all you might
know wonder what my qualifications might
she is be to expound on this particular
By Ricky J with her subject. I have taken it upon myself
This is 2 those that know my pain, a people and watching over her family to become involved in Restorative
pain I don’t wish on my worst enemy. and at times late in the night when I Justice by first helping to bring a
The following letter is a true story. cant sleep my ghosts come 2 haunt Restorative Justice group to Stony
This is a tribute 2 all those that knew me. My memories spring forth and Mountain Institution about six years
her- my lover, my friend, my kick ass I hurt, I rage at the pain, I cry 4 the ago. I was an inmate in that prison at
loss. I hurt deep from the memories- that time and was asked by a gentle-
partner in crime. Georgina Papin was man at John Howard Society to help
a strong proud Nish who walked with if she was here she’d want prison
put a group together and although I Maybe before I continue I should say names in the Restorative Justice field.
pride. I was in the Quebec Max when justice!! Georgina Papin, you’ll always
didn’t know anything about it at the that I am in no way advocating an My last contribution to this article
they came and told me. The day was be in my smudge, you and the rest time I was intrigued by the original is something I have learned while
end to Retributive Justice but I do feel
beautiful, but not 4 long. The RCMP of the girls, never forgotten, always pitch. I was told that one of the main we have moved too far away from being involved in a Restorative
missing persons task force broke remembered. I love you my Krazy goals of the program was to bring the principals of Restorative Justice. Justice Program. During one of the
the news 2 me that the woman I had ass Nish and always will. Forgive me inmates and community members Restorative Justice is not new yet it many sessions I was lucky enough
loved, respected and cared for was 4 not being there when you needed together in a ‘’pay it forward” type has only started to really gain any to participate in, I was asked, “Of the
found on that fucking goofs farm. me the most I can’t deal with the program. I couldn’t know at the time traction in the last few years. Values list five that you believe are
I was in shock, I couldn’t take it. I injustice happening 2 our people what a tremendous impact the group One of the earliest recorded instanc- the strongest and describe why. “
walked away back 2 the prison yard, I anymore! My eyes are opened, the and program would have on me and es where Restorative Justice was put Respect, Honesty, Trust, Humility and
couldn’t deal with the thought of her Red nation needs 2 wake up! Put my overall perceptions. I think it is to the test was here in Canada, in Empathy are the five that I would say
pain in the end. Someone I cared for down the bottle, put down the nee- important to mention that the fund- the city of Elmira, Ontario (1974) the are the strongest values. The why
was taken and I was locked away in dle and the pipe, people grow aware ing for the group ran out before the Mennonite Church with the help of for me varies within the structure
prison. I failed her, couldn’t protect of what’s happening 2 our people group could really get any genuine a Judge and a Parole Officer. It was a of each situation that I find need
her, wasn’t there for her when she around you. We, the Red nation, traction but it did inspire at the very bold initiative to utilize Mediation in for these values but I would like to
had really needed me the most. I are the keepers of this land, of this least: me. a case that involved two youths and point out that they are the values
planet, and of our people, so when I am serving a life sentence for the the 22 victims of their vandalism. that bring out the other five “values”.
have carried that failure with me
you see a brother or a sister down, murders of three people and yes, From that time until now it has been For example, I believe that when you
every day since, when I went to the I owe a debt that I couldn’t possi-
try not 2 judge because their pain something utilized in various scenar- find yourself Trusting others (or even
yard and was in a daze. Then it hit bly ever repay but I have learned ios around the world from here to yourself for that matter) you will
me, the dam had burst and my ha- may be greater than you could ever
through Restorative Justice that I Rwanda in February of 2007 to help inevitably bring Courage to the table
tred exploded. I screamed at the sky, imagine!! must at least try. I have also learned at the same time. When you show
bring some sense of closure to the
I beat the ground with my fist and I now see, I feel and understand. that when you can’t give back to your families involved in the genocide of Respect and Honesty you can’t help
cried. I wanted 2 kill everyone around I’ve learned 2 some degree 2 deal victims you need to find a way to give 1994. A conflict that was responsible but find yourself Sharing, leaving
me, I wanted 2 die, remembering all with the pain, the emptiness and back to your community. Now that for the deaths of almost one million yourself open to Love and even one
the good times we shared, the pain the loss, but my anger will never be may sound somewhat simplified but people. It was said to be an invalu- day a possibility for Forgiveness.
we shared, the old school love that gone, just controlled . I want 2 be it really is meant to be an unpreten- able program that helped to bring In closing, I would like to say that
that krazy Nish had 4 me was off the one of the ones who make it , who tious process. broken families and entire commu- for myself personally I have no
scale and as I raged and beat the survived the hell and now can help all Perhaps now would be a good nities back together. It is also being expectation of forgiveness. It is a
ground, yelled at God for the injustice those who are still suffering. Those time to mention the Three Pillars of used in the Youth Courts of New non-quantifiable reaction to the man
of her being gone I thought to myself who need it most that would make Restorative Justice: 1. Who has been Zealand, and with enthusiasm and I have become when I know full well
“why her?” 2 those that knew her, she her proud. Georgina Papin, you are harmed? 2. What are their needs? 3. a sense of hope for our future, you what terrible things I have done in
always had her game on, always had loved and missed every day by many Whose obligations are these? can find Restorative Justice Principals my past. At best I owe my life for the
that smile, a hug and would help out people whose lives you touched! So Here are three questions on the op- being used in our Communities from life I have taken and having taken
a Red brother or sister in distress. If Georgina, hey woman, I made it! I posite side of the Restorative Justice grade schools to the Federal Prison three fives, as I said earlier, I owe a
am finally clean, finally sober, it’ hard coin. In Retributive Justice you will system. debt that I can’t possibly ever repay
you were dope sick, she had ya- or if
with the ghosts in my head and heart hear the questions: What laws have Before I bring this article to a close but it behoves me to try each and
you were hungry she had some food. been broken? Who did it? What do every day to make a difference with
but im doing. Im content but never I would like to give you a name that
The game didn’t make her cold, didn’t they deserve? you can research for considerably the difference that Restorative Justice
make her heart less. If anything it hapy and im going 2 try and make
With that little bit of information, more information. The name I would helped me to find.
made her heart more, it that is even a difference like we always talked I want to say welcome to the great “When you take you leave a hole
like to mention is Howard Zehr and
possible. Those that knew her, you about my Nish. debate. Or perhaps you would like a happily share his name because he and when you give you can fill a
remember don’t ya? Whatever you Rest in peace my krazy ass Nish, little more information to help you is one of the teaching authorities on space.” I only ever want to be a
do, please don’t ever forget her heart your hearts still beating. Forgotten make what I would refer to as an Restorative Justice and his literature person who helps to fill a space as I
filled actions amongst the broken warior, warrior forever. Jethro. informed decision. will inevitably lead you to other move forward in this life.

After Hope: Finding Meaning Behind Bars and Beyond

By Zakaria Amara
Some of us wake up some morn- Without air, our bodies die; without deal with it day by day, a constant raging, strive to extinguish them. And not fall. So he clutches hold of a wild
ings and see nothing but rows upon meaning, our souls die. In every one struggle to fill each day’s worth of above all, when it is time to worship bush growing in a cleft in the wall of
rows of prison bars for as far as our of us is a void that cries out to be meaning.” the One who brought you into exis- the well. This alone suspends him be-
mind’s eye can see. On those days, filled. Those of us who sought to fill How can we achieve that? By tence, then humbly present yourself tween the death awaiting him above
we wonder if we have forever lost it by climbing the summits of fame, responding to the demands of the in gratitude before Him. and below. But his hands grow tired.
the chance to make something of our fortune, power, physical appetites, moment. Whether you are free or By fulfilling the rights of the Creator He feels he must soon let go. Then he
lives. and even knowledge, have all found serving the longest sentence ever and those of His Creation, our own sees two mice, one white, one black,
We look back and see nothing but a themselves consumed by the very handed down to a human being... Ev- need for meaning is inevitably ful- gnawing at the roots of the bush.
haunting past littered with shattered void they sought to fill. Mitch Albom, ery moment of your life beckons you filled. Ironically, what we are seeking Soon, even if he manages to keep
dreams... We look ahead and see the best-selling author, writes, “There to respond to it. The Prophet Mu- from an elusive distant dream is right hold of the bush, it will break off and
nothing but a future as dark as a was a stretch where I could not hammad (Peace be upon him) said before our very eyes. These simple he will fall into the mouth of the
raven flying on a moonless night. have worked more hours in the day that on the Day of Judgement God acts of kindness and devotion are dragon. At that moment, he sees
We wonder if our lives even matter without eliminating sleep altogether. will say to a man: “O son of Adam, I what the Quran calls “Eternal”. They some drops of honey on the bush’s
anymore. It kills us inside to think I piled on accomplishments. I made became ill yet you did not come to take a transient moment that could leaves and reaches to lick them.
that we achieved nothing significant, money. I earned accolades. And care for me!” The man will reply with have been wasted on a meaningless That, says Tolstoy, is life. The dragon
to think that our lives might be as the longer I went at it, the emptier I astonishment: “O my Lord, how could pursuit and transform it into an is death, the white and black mice,
worthless as the froth on the ocean’s began to feel, like pumping air faster I have cared for you when you are eternal memory that transcends time our days and nights. And all our
surface. and faster into a torn tire.” the Lord of all Creation?” God will itself; like a dove gracefully ascend- pleasures are no more than drops of
Rabbi Harold Kushner tells us: So how then do we attain a respond: “Did you not know that my ing ever higher towards the celestial honey on a bush that will soon give
“I believe that it is not dying that meaningful life? Is it possible for a servant so and so became ill, yet you realms. way.”
people are afraid of. Something else, prisoner to even contemplate such did not go and care for him. Indeed, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks while refer- Whether we are free or incarcerat-
something more unsettling and more a goal? Rabbi Kushner tells us that had you gone and cared for him you ring to a parable given by Tolstoy ed, the clock is ticking down for us
tragic frightens us. We are afraid of we must first get rid of the illusion would have found me with him” writes, “Once there was a traveler all and life is far more fragile than we
never having lived, of coming to the of the “Grand Solution”. He writes, Therefore, even in prison, when you who, wandering in the steppe, sees realize. Tomorrow is not promised to
end of our days with the sense that “Trying to find one Big Answer to the find a sick man, care for him. When coming towards him a ravening us but today is here, and it beckons
we were never really alive, that we problem of living is like trying to eat you come across a hungry woman, beast. To save himself he climbs into us to respond to it. We all have the
never figured out what life was for.” one Big Meal so that you will never share your food with her. When you a waterless well, but he looks down opportunity to live meaningfully; “The
We may not realize it, but the drive have to worry about being hungry see a sad face, make it smile. When and sees at the bottom a dragon, sad sight of human life untouched by
to seek a meaningful existence is as again... We never solve the problem you see tears flowing, gently wipe its jaws open, waiting to eat him. transcendence” is what we manifest
necessary as our need to breathe. of living once and for all. We can only them. When you see fires of conflict He dare not climb out and he dare when we choose not to.
7 // news on the block

And that’s what we call social rehab: really?!

By Jonathan Levesque-Gervais saying I don’t want to change … shanks and sexually abused, people about the “not so safe working inmates and some institution force
Howard Sapers (former senior They claim I never did the so called who saw someone getting killed in place”. This is prison for everyone. outdoor for 2 full hours straight. As
correctional investigator) recently ICPM-M program but they never front of their eyes, people who wit- PAL. usual, if the outdoor weather is not
reported inmates were living in inap- offered it to me yet since “I have a nessed suicide, the list goes like that Inmates are left alone, messing good, inmates are confined in their
propriate toxic environment. That long term” to do (10 years total). for quite a bit. I mean, prison is very with contraband, getting involved in cell and CSC is not allowing indoor
means, CSC’s breaching our rights Upon my first interview with my old dangerous and this is not only in- debt and getting attacked by other exercise as CCRR prescribe. I mean,
of security (Section 7 of the Charter). PO @ my medium institution, she mates fault. It’s mostly government inmates or guards. Even the female I can’t go to the open visit to see
There is a caselaw about it “serious said to me “forget your 1/3, you meet fault. It’s mostly government fault. guards are getting sexually assault- my family even if I don’t have any
psychological tension induced by the criteria for a detention review so Correctional officers are out of con- ed and they’re saying that they are incompatible on file but I am forced
state is against S. 7 of Charter” See I wouldn’t count on your 2/3 and you vention for 42 months and it’s going scared to use the so called “anony- to group rec with crazy people in soli-
Blencoe v. Canada (Human Rights have a long term so you aren’t a pri- to be expired in +- 6 months which mous complaint line” because they tary confinement unit. Non-sense. It
Commission) 2000 2 R.C.S. ority for programming." And that’s means they will be grieving some are in fear of retaliation! I would be is not even legal to force inmates to
I have been told that I will never be what we call social rehab: really?! more because their convention is curious to see if there is any statistics go outside with other inmates since if
able to go back to a medium security Let’s be serious, we’re now talking never getting settled and its getting on the mistreatment denounciation you read the Annex A of the CD 709
institution as a solution to alleviate about “carceral trauma” which is expired again. So they don’t do their protocol of the policy (CD 060) which it describes very well what “preven-
my xxx days of segregation trip that the equivalent of PTSD except you job properly and worst, they mistreat are supposed to be used by correc- tive isolation” is and it is to separate
has begun to play tricks on my mind. develop this particular trauma inside us because they can’t bear their own tional staff who notice such mistreat- inmates from having contact with
I mean, I was in a medium security prison. Personally, I never saw any stress regarding their Phoenix pay ment from staff toward inmates. others inmates. Now with that been
level at fire, then for no valid reasons kind of violence toward anyone since system being down. I mean, they Finally, the segregation policy change said, I hope y’all stay safe, get tested
but arbitrary ones, I got maxed out. I started my pen bit, but I met people never really did their job properly on 2017-08-01 about CD 709 and the regularly for hepC/HIV and seek help
I’m scared. I never been physically who have been suspected of mur- but now it’s the lowest state. They living condition as not changed, it got from A.A. or N.A. program if you are
violent toward anyone, I never drank dering other inmates, people who purposely induce inmates mistreate- even worse. Now CSC force inmate an alcoholic or drug addict, you won’t
alcohol or used drugs but CSC is have been threatened by 3 guys with ment of all kind, then they complain to go out of their cell with other regret it and it will save your future!
Black History Month 2018
cont'd from page 5
my knowledge of the fragmentation
Sticking up for my in the last few months, and it’s due
to my skin colour, being loud, when
in doubt, I’m actually being pas-

LGBTQ-2S Community
sionate and trying to voice myself. I
of my mother’s side of the family have come to a realization of what
begins. Yes, my Great Grandmother’s God has put me on this earth for:
relationship with my Grandmother I’m gonna become that voice for
was volatile; yes, my Grandmother my people and for those who don’t
was physically and psychologically By Mark Zammit awaiting a date for our first week’s
have a voice. I’m not gonna become
violent with my mother; yes, my So I’m finishing up a rather long bit meeting and in order to promote
another statistic in the federal sys-
mother was abandoned by both my and I am able to finish it quite com- our success we hung flyers on all the
tem, nor any other system. Once my
Grandfather and Grandmother, and fortably where I'm at in Ontario. units, in healthcare and all the other
warrant is up, I will come back here,
was on the street at young age; yes, Since 2005 I have been to a few buildings as well as put a notice on
not as Inmate Mohamoud, but as an

concrete blossoms
a similar dynamic has trickled down different pens and different level the joint channel.
advocacy worker for Black women,
and significantly affected my relation- security pens, due to cascading as Since the flyer and t.v. post went
I’m very driven and passionate about
ship with my mother. well as some stupidity on my behalf. up, sadly enough so did the homo
it. Someone has to speak for my
It is also true that my relationship Having said that, I am now clean and and transphobia. Don’t get me
with my biological father, an Afri- doing well. But from all the differ- wrong, some of the real men stood A column for self-identi- sisters. With conclusion, ladies, keep
shining, keep smiling, and here’s one
can-Caribbean man from Jamaica, ent pens I've been, the homo and up and congratulated our success, fied women, genderqueer of my favourite quotes we can all
transphobic childish behaviour and but the true colours of the fearful,
Saint Ann, is non-existent; and that
I was lucky enough to have my little nonsense runs more rampant at the uneducated, childish and deeply clos- and non-binary folks. relate one time or other. We’ve all
been told you’re not capable, “You’ve
sister’s father, an African-Caribbean medium institution I'm at now more eted came very much forward. To those who have forgotten been tricked! You’ve been had! Hood-
man from Trinidad who is more than all the other mentioned joints In less than 24-48 hours, some flyers us: Say it out loud I’m Black winked! Bamboozled!” – El-Hajj Malik
blood to me than many of my biolog- put together. were torn down, some graffiti’d with and I’m proud El-Shabazz aka Malcolm X.
ical kin, step in and raise me from the For a time, I was the only openly “Faggot, Fudgepacker and pole puff-
gay man at Collins Bay and yes, er”… lol … once again, not overly orig- By Yasmine Mahamoud Jordy Mackay
age of 3.
Unfortunately, not a one of us can it sucked having to deal with the inal. The rumours started: My range My friends call me Jazz, my govern- By Karissa Radcliffe
tell you where in Africa we are de- immature behaviour and actions of was a huge fuck fest, I got caught ment is Yasmine, I am finishing up a Jordy Mackay was and is a dear
scended from; nor can we identify or the homophobes, but as time moved blowing my trans friend by the 8.5 year sentence this December 3rd. friend of mine. He always knew
speak the languages indigenous to on there, many cons (mostly old guards, I have HIV… Oh yes, the same I am a two time loser, I’m not being when I needed him to comfort me,
our ancestors. school) stepped up, had my back and childish, uneducated and pathetic harsh to myself, because I am encourage me, or simply tell me
Some people would say these are the odd one coming out to me of all lies, stories and rumours I’ve put up not proud of my actions that a joke to make me smile.
“risk factors” that contributed to people. It was a breath of fresh air with my entire life. My range is now got me two federal senteces. He was the sunlight in dark
my eventual incarceration. I say, to see the real old school cons step labelled as “The Rainbow Range”, and My first was 2007 – 2009, my times and listened with his
these are symptoms of a racial caste up and help squash the attempted there are only two gays on the range. second was from November heart, free of judgment.
system so effective by design, that bullying and shit talk. Thanks guys, Lol… I can only laugh. 29, 2010 – April 22, 2016. He loved music, reading, and
among other systems, it can be you know who you are. Anyways, my fellow cons, the rea- I started out with a three helping people. He also was a
found in the innermost reaches of its Then an opportunity to cascade son I wrote this article is simple, to year and reached almost E.D.M. dancer in his cell :) We
close sibling, the “justice” system— slightly to BCI comes up, so why not, promote 2 messages. nine years. When I was in even joked about asking for
where it continues to penetrate black I go. I may as well crush the last The first, is to my fellow LBGTQ-2S my 20’s, I had no respect glow sticks and black lights in
minds and bodies today. couple years in comfort, right? community whom are still afraid to for authority, my peers, our cells.
So I’m here to tell you that we, as Oh My God! I feel like I am back in be themselves. Stand up and be and most of all for myself. I received his last letter to me
racialized women navigating this grade 7 or 8 with all the childish, proud of who you are. Do not allow But when I was released in the day before he took his life.
society, are not the sum (a.k.a. grand immatures, gay jokes, cat calls, name the weak minded haters dictate who 2016, before that I had been He was filled with excitement
total) of our involvement with the calling, shit talking and story telling. you are or can be. On this side of the detained on four different about his success getting ap-
justice system. Yes, there are ways Sad part being, that the jokes are the wall, if you're in on a solid bit, you are occasions. The parole board proval for an LGBTQ group.
we operate, and decisions we make, same ones from 30 plus years ago. not an informant, your word is good thought I would cause bodily harm, He conquered many accomplish-
as individuals that put us into conflict The new school homophobes are still and your debts are paid? Then stand even kill someone, if released before ments while in his sentence. He
with the justice system. But let us living off last generations pathetic up and show your pride, because you my warrant. I have proved them and even went so far as to become an or-
also recognize, and not forget, the jokes. They have zero knack for are more real and true than the hat- myself wrong. This is my third time dained minister while incarcerated.
systemic factors (like colonization, creativity. Lol. ers and liars who go out of their way coming back on a breach since 2016, The youngest person to be declared
institutional racism, and poverty) that Because BCI doesn’t have, nor to hurt you. Love is Love, if you have no new charges, just not abstaining a Dangerous Offender was actually
shape us as individuals and largely even had an LGBTQ group, me found it like I have, then embrace it from alcohol and weed. But I learn a role model for all those learning to
determine our life and health experi- and a gorgeous Transgirl whom I and hold on to it. Gay, Bi, Trans or something new about myself each find a better way to live.
ences and outcomes. For me, it is this care for a great deal have started other! You matter and you are loved. time I’ve come back, especially right Jordy, your spirit lives on and my
awareness—an awareness of how an LGBTQ-2S support group that The second reason is to say this to now. I was raised in an all-white life has blossomed because of your
these systems impact my choices will meet bi-weekly with meetings, the haters, the hate mongers and the town called Maple Ridge in BC. I was compassion and encouragement.
and how my choices impact these guest speakers, support, available phobes: my name is Mark Thom- placed in foster care at age 13, I am If only you were here to be with me
systems—that is a motivational force literature and any and all LGBTQ-2S. as Zammit, I am here, I am queer, now 34, will be 35 this year. Imagine now; I know if I could see your face,
for me to do the systems change and Quite simply it is a group so the cons get used to it cuz I am not going being Black and gay over 20 years it would be filled with joy and love
harm reduction work that I do. in my community know that they anywhere. My bit is solid, my word ago. That my friends, was a night- for who I have become. I was living
*** are not alone. Str8, Bi, Gay, Trans, is gold and my debts are zero, that mare. You know the movies where a different life then but you didn’t
This is me signing off as a daughter, all flavours are welcome. This is my alone puts me above a lot of you. the Black kid gets chased in trucks judge me, instead you listened and
a sibling, a life partner, a friend, a baby and I am proud as hell. If you tear or deface my flyers, they and beat up, and they’re writing “die warmed the cold, scared, lonely child
peer, a constant source of support, Myself and my Transfemale Vice will be put back up the next day. If f----t n----r” on my desk at school, it I had trapped inside of me, which
and a human being who loves and Chair have both endured homo and whom I love bothers you, then you wasn’t a movie, that was my life, and happened to be a girl.
is loved. Peace and love to each transphobia bullshit since arriving need a life. Hate takes way too much to some parts it still is. But as I was Jordy, I love you and miss you. I
one of you. In spite of—and as here by bloody staff let alone the energy and only breeds weak minded saying, I learned something new. I always think of us when I hear E.D.M.
a tribute to—our history on this inmates, so this place needs an people and no matter how much you was never proud of being Black, if especially Deadmau5.
continent, let’s get back to building LGBTQ-2S support group. hate my LGBTQ-2S family, we will anything I hated my own people. I Forever your friend and older baby
up our sense of community, through All the channels were given atten- always find love and peace with or would sit and laugh with the white sister, Karissa Radcliffe.
unity, by supporting each other tion to, from the Warden to Social without you. Stop trying to change kids about Black jokes in my 20s. And P.S. Many thank yous to you and I
to overcome. Keep your head up. Development to the Committee and us and have the courage to change even now, I still do sometimes. But pray for your family.
– Kay Kay we are approved and literally are yourself. I have dealt with so much injustice Love always, Karissa
8 // news on the block

By Jesse Belanger one directly in the middle. Did had to be the key that freed heart with my feelings meant to be
I have always believed that my that mean that I needed five the heart. Which key was that? alive and fully present in the moment
outer world is a mirror reflection keys to get out and if so where Was that even possible? Did with no form of thought whatsoever.
of my inner world and that every were they and what were they? such a key even exist? Then Here is where I discovered that I was

situation and condition is an outer I immediately began thorough- it dawned on me, the last key my own best friend. Some say that
effect of an inner thought pattern. ly searching my cell from top had to be FORGIVENESS!!! the longest journey is from the mind
I am currently serving a three year to bottom but could not find Forgiveness had always been to the heart and I firmly declare that
sentence at Grand Valley Institution; anything. I could not find any something that I have strug- to be true, especially with my experi-
however, on the inside I feel like I keys or clues anywhere. My cell gled with. I have always had a ence. Once I began to accept my pain
have given myself a life sentence of was completely empty. I was hard time forgiving others as and acknowledge that most of my
solitary confinement by the walls the only thing it contained. I well as myself but what I real- suffering was self -inflicted as a result
that I have built and confined myself was instantly paralyzed by an ized is that it was not forgive- of not dealing with it, that is when
to for all these years. To me, this overwhelming sense of hope- ness itself that was difficult, I began to develop understanding,
prison is an outer manifestation of lessness and defeat. Were the it was my perception of for- compassion and love for myself.
confinement of an inner prison of keys something that I had to giveness and what I thought it That is when I was finally able to for-
guilt, shame, hopelessness, power- find or something that I already meant. I used to think that by give myself. Forgiveness, along with
lessness, anger and low self-esteem. possessed? Was I locked in forgiving someone it was like acceptance, understanding, compas-
These inner walls may not be visible here forever? saying that it was okay to do sion and love were the five ultimate
to the outside world; however, to me Being locked in a cell with my- what they did. What I realized keys to my inner freedom.
and within me they are very real. I self meant being locked in a cell is that forgiveness is a gift that I am a year into my sentence and
am sitting here in a cell looking back with my own worst enemy with you give yourself. It does not I can honestly say that I have never
and wondering how I got here and no way of getting out and that mean that the other person felt freer in my entire life. I may
where it all went wrong. Did I really was the most terrifying feeling deserves it; it just means have physically lost my freedom;
create my own prison? in the world. I always said that that I deserve to be free of it. however, in return I have gained
Reflecting back on my life, I now living by myself and living with Forgiveness to me means that freedom of choice, freedom from
realize that the things that protected myself are two different things I am not going to allow this active addiction and freedom from
me as a child actually imprison me as because living with myself experience to hold me back bondage of self. Sometimes I believe
an adult. All the defense mechanisms implies that I am two people any longer. It is a choice and it that we have to lose something in
that I have adopted and acquired, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and is choosing to move forward order to gain far more in return. We
which consist of my attitudes, beliefs that is exactly how I felt. I was by accepting the reality of are always looking outward for the
and perceptions, in turn keep me constantly battling an inner what happened. By harbour- answers as opposed to inward. I
from attaining the very things that I conflict that I could never win ing grudges and resentments, truly believe that all the answers lay
need to make me whole such as love, and one that went on in my I was giving my power away within and I firmly believe that we
intimacy, relationships, etc... I built mind all day long. It was at that and allowing someone or are the master key to our freedom
walls of toughness, walls of emotion- moment that I had finally sur- something to control what I because within us we contain all the
al deadness and walls of rebellious- rendered because I knew that think, how I feel, what I say, keys and answers to life’s problems
ness and defiance. I built these walls I could not change my outer what I do and where I go. I was as well as our own struggles. For me,
as a means of protecting myself from circumstances. I know from also imprisoning myself in a the first wall that I had to tear down
the outside world; however, these previous experience that trying prison of hatred, anger and was the one that separated me from
same walls that protected me now to change something outside bitterness and as a result, all myself. It was from that point on that
imprisoned me and I was confined myself renders me powerless way I could. So why couldn’t I do my relationships suffered. Even I began to work with myself rather
within them and trapped with the and contributes to an overwhelming that for myself and why couldn’t I be by seeking revenge or hating some- than against myself. I felt like I had
one person in the world that I hated sense of powerlessness which deep understanding and compassionate one, I am keeping myself attached been reunited with my best friend. It
the most: myself. I had secluded down I had felt my whole life. towards myself? Did I really hate to that relationship because I am was the greatest feeling in the world
myself from everyone and everything Therefore, I knew that if I could not myself that much? I always feared wanting or expecting something that and a whole new sense of freedom
thinking that I was keeping myself change something I had to accept abandonment and rejection at my I may never get. It is like taking a pair that I never dreamt possible. We can
safe but what I didn’t realize is that it and accepting something did not core, which stemmed from a deeply of handcuffs and putting one hand- be either our biggest obstacle or our
I was the one that I needed to be mean that I had to like it or even rooted unmet need for love that I cuff around my wrist and putting the biggest asset. Ultimately, the decision
saved from. That is when I realized agree with it. It just meant that I was so desperately wanted and needed other handcuff around the wrist of is always up to us.
that subconsciously I had created my acknowledging that it happened and but could not get from anyone or the person that I hate. I literally carry I called this story the keys to
own prison and had become my own it is only from that point on that I anything. As a result, I concluded that with me everywhere I go. For- freedom because to me this title is
worst enemy. was able to move forward. With ac- that I was unlovable. By concluding giveness releases the prisoner and symbolic in more than one way.
All these years I had been holding ceptance came a sense of peace. At that I was unlovable, I would attract is about realizing that the prisoner is This story contains two different
myself hostage and my outer and that moment, I knew that acceptance people that could not love me which me. I noticed that the more I forgave meanings depending on how we
inner world reflected that. I was my had to be one of the keys because reinforced my beliefs. Looking back, I others, the easier it was for me to perceive things and from what
own worst critic tormented by my with it I began to feel more free. understand that it is not that they did forgive myself. I also believe that it is perspective we perceive them. How
own thoughts. I was a prisoner in As I began accepting my circum- not love me or that I was unlovable, through forgiving others that we are the world looks depends on how we
my own mind and of my own past. I stances, I came to the realization it’s that they didn’t love themselves. truly forgiven. Once I forgave myself look at it. I like to view things from
used to think that it was me against that maybe I had been looking in How could they give something away for my past, it no longer had power an outer world perspective which is
the world but what I realized is that I the wrong direction this entire time. that they did not have? Furthermore, over me and instead became my life from the outside looking in and from
didn’t hate the world, I hated myself. Instead of looking outward maybe how could I receive something if I story. It is now one of my greatest as- an inner world perspective which is
The world was just a mirror reflec- I needed to start looking inward. did not know what it was and if deep sets in which I use to help others. from the inside looking out. From the
tion of my inner most thoughts and It is at that point that I began to down I did not feel deserving of it? Forgiveness immediately freed me outer world perspective, the keys to
beliefs about myself and the world in look within myself, which had been That is when I realized that I would from being my own worst enemy. freedom symbolize an actual set of
general. I attracted all those people, something that I had avoided for not attract or be attracted to those I was no longer a prisoner in my keys, which signifies being released
places, circumstances, situations and many years. I also realized that I was kinds of people because they did not own mind or of my own past. I was from prison, which we as prisoners
events with my own thoughts, wheth- the only person that I was going to correspond with my inner thought completely and utterly amazed at all all eventually experience once we
er conscious or subconscious. Did I spend eternity with and the thought pattern and subconsciously I did not the insight and understanding that I have served our sentence. However,
really hate myself that much that I of being locked in a cell with myself feel worthy of love. had gained into myself. That is when are we truly free? This perspective
felt the need to punish myself? scared the hell out of me. I began The truth is deep down I feared I realized that the cell that I had implies that someone or something
All these years I have been waiting thinking that maybe I should start love and was hiding and running physically been locked in also sym- outside ourselves contains the keys
for someone or something to come being kinder to myself. After all, I from it my whole life. Coming to bolized the prison in my mind that I to our freedom, which may appear
and set me free. I always thought could never seem to get away or that realization filled me with an had mentally confined myself to. It to be the case with the outer prison.
that the perfect relationship or job escape from myself because no mat- excruciating sense of sadness. It is was in my mind that I realized that To me, that is just a false sense of
could free me from this prison but ter where I go there I am. Someone at that point that I began to develop I was my own worst enemy. Hence freedom because I truly believe
not this time. Not even all the money once asked me if I treated my friends understanding, compassion, and the phrase, ‘prisoner of your own that if we do not free ourselves on
in the world could buy me freedom the way I treated myself, how many love for myself. I also noticed that mind’. The keyholes in each corner of the inside, which is mentally and
for it was a priceless gift and to me would I have? The answer is none, with understanding, compassion, the lock also symbolized each of the spiritually, then we will never truly
one that far exceeded any amount of the truth is I would never treat my and love came a tremendous sense four chambers of the heart and that be free no matter where we are or
money. Every day I hear the sound friends the way I treated myself or of freedom. At that moment, I knew is where I had concealed and locked where we go. From an inner world
of keys, wondering if today would be anyone for that matter. I have been that understanding, compassion, and all my deepest darkest secrets along perspective, the keys to freedom
the day when I would be released. criticizing myself for years and look love had to be three of the missing with all the pain that I had tried to symbolize answers to our inner most
But even if I was released I would still where it has gotten me. Why don’t I keys. I could instantly feel my inner deny and repress. The middle key, struggles and those keys come in the
be imprisoned on the inside which try approving of myself and see what walls beginning to come down. It which was directly in the center form of spiritual principles such as
means that I would still be a prisoner happens? I took this as an opportuni- is from that point on that I made of all the other ones, symbolized acceptance, understanding, compas-
in my own mind and of my own past. ty to get to know myself and to gain a commitment to honour myself, the center of the heart and it was sion, love, and forgiveness. Once we
I would be free physically but not insight and understanding as to why to love myself unconditionally, to forgiveness that ultimately freed the free ourselves on the inside, we will
mentally or spiritually. So then how I am the way I am and why I do the encourage and support myself, to heart from its bounded chains along be free no matter where we are and
free would I really be? Is that even things I do. After all, I had nothing have my best interest at heart, and to with all the agony that its chambers regardless of our outer circumstanc-
freedom? If so, how long would it but time and nothing to lose. I had always be there for myself no matter contained. es. I had to accept my outer circum-
last or would it even last? I had so already lost everything, including what. Those were all the qualities Once I freed myself spiritually, I could stances in order to change my inner
many unanswered questions but the myself. that I looked for in a friend so why release myself mentally. Being a circumstances. I also had to accept
biggest one of all was, “Who had the Looking back, I realize that child- couldn’t I be that friend to myself? I prisoner of my own past also meant that I could not change my outer
keys to my freedom?” hood was not easy and that if all the could not believe how much more being imprisoned in my mind with circumstances; however, I could use
As I got closer and closer, I realized things that I had experienced and liberated I felt. my thoughts because the past can my outer circumstances to change
that the lock on the cell door was endured would have happened to I was still missing one key and it only be lived in the mind and once me. I ultimately had to make the in-
actually on the inside. Did that another child, I would have definite- was the one that all the other keys again, it was in the mind that I was ner changes for the outer changes to
mean that I contained the keys to ly have been understanding and surrounded. It was the one directly my own worst enemy. That is when I occur. Once I had that inner freedom,
my own freedom? As I inspected it compassionate. After all, I genuinely in the center, which to me, from an came to the realization that the past no outer circumstance could hinder
further, I noticed that it contained and truly cared about other people inner perspective signified the heart is not a place of residence but rather that. That is the true meaning of free-
five keyholes, one in each corner and and would help them in whichever and all the walls that enclosed it. It a place of reference. To live in the dom and the joys of being free.
9 // art

Top Row (Left to Right): Jeremy Hall,
Brendan Roshinsky
Middle Row: Brendan Roshinsky (1st and 2nd),
Brian G. Kerr (see accompanying poem on pg 10)
Bottom Row: Jeremy Levesque-Gervais,
ChinkoPettzz 1221
10 // art

By Brian G. Kerr (see clown image on page 9)
There once was a clown who used to make people laugh
Then he became hideous, a major pain in the ass...
Artists His mind became deluded, full of obscenities, perversions
Top Row (Left to Right): Jeremy Hall, ChinkoPettzz 1221 and carnal destruction.
He would resort to murder, kidnapping and all forms of abduction.
Bottom Row: Forgotten Warrior Penny loafers was too kind of a name, so he had to come up with something,
"Something awesome!"
When one day at the pop of a red balloon, right in the midst of a very hairy fit
Thank you to all the artists who have contributed to the winter issue of Cell Count! Some of He thought I know, I'll call myself IT.
these pieces were also submitted to us for a fundraiser we are doing, so an extra thank you to
those artists! If you don't see your work in this issue, it's probably because we're saving it for a Ever since that day, he's been scaring kids away...
future issue. Who is this creature? The one with the orangish hair?
To other talented folks, please send us your work! If you need us to print it under a pseud- And why is it, he's so determined to give us such a scare.
onym or would like us to send it back to you, please write a line stating so with the work you Perhaps, it's just his thing... Perhaps... Some say it's Stephen King.
mail in. If you want us to send your work as published in Cell Count to your family and friends, But I guess we'll never really know, until then we'll just have to sit back and...
please also let us know that too. Just write their name and address and we'll send them a copy
of Cell Count with your art printed in it. Enjoy the freak'n show!
11 // health and harm reduction
Tattoo programs in Canada's prisons Re: Appointment of the next Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada
Council Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
would help curb hepatitis, HIV: Memo Minister Goodale and Mr. Wernick:
We write you in relation to the
Tattoo programs in Canada’s prisons His annual report said tattooing in
would help curb hepatitis, HIV: Memo prison frequently involves sharing impending retirement of Don Head,
Corrections Ombudsman Ivan Zinger and reusing dirty homemade equip- current commissioner of the Cor-
says tattooing in prison frequently ment — linked to higher rates of rectional Service of Canada (CSC), in
involves sharing dirty equipment — hepatitis C and HIV among inmates February 2018. The appointment of
which is linked to higher rates of hepa- — and there is often no safe means a new CSC Commissioner presents a
titis C and HIV among inmates. of disposing of used tattoo needles. key opportunity to promote prison-
By: Jim Bronskill The Canadian Press In 2005, the prison service began a ers’ right to the highest attainable
Published on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 pilot program involving tattoo rooms standards of physical and mental
OTTAWA — Setting up tattoo par- in six federal institutions, but two health care and to uphold prisoners’
lours and needle-exchange programs years later, the Conservative govern- rights under the Canadian Charter of
in penitentiaries would help reduce ment of the day ended it. Rights and Freedoms (“Charter”) —
the spread of hepatitis C, the federal The memo to Goodale says an rights that all prisoners retain.
prison service has told the Trudeau internal evaluation of the pilot Many prisoners in Canada face
government. indicated that it increased awareness inadequate health care, including
lengthy waits for medical attention, work with people in prison, we The new CSC Commissioner must
A Correctional Service memo about disease prevention and had believe the next CSC Commissioner also ensure that conditions of
obtained under the Access to In- the potential to reduce exposure to misdiagnoses, poor pain man-
agement, a lack of mental health must be committed to protecting the detention do not violate Charter pro-
formation Act advises Public Safety health risks. In addition, neither in- health and human rights of all feder- tections against cruel and unusual
Minister Ralph Goodale the propos- mates, staff, nor volunteers reported support, as well as inhumane living
conditions. CSC also continues to al prisoners and to ensuring full re- punishment or international human
als “warrant consideration” to round health and safety concerns with the spect for and implementation of the rights law, and instead protect and
out existing and planned measures program. deny prisoners access to essential
harm reduction measures such as United Nations Standard Minimum enhance health. This would require
to fight hepatitis and HIV in prison. “In fact, the evaluation indicated Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners reducing the number of prisoners in
Prison tattooing and needle-ex- that the majority of staff believed the sterile injection and sterile tattooing
equipment, despite extensive evi- (the “Nelson Mandela Rules”) and each prison and establishing panels
change programs for drug users initiative made the institution safer other international human rights of independent specialist physicians
have generated intense controversy for both staff and inmates.” dence (and in the case of tattooing,
CSC’s previous Safer Tattooing Prac- standards, including the principle of and nurses (who are not affiliated
over the years and the March 2017 Safer tattooing could reduce hepati- equivalence that requires access to with CSC) to carry out mortality re-
memo says detailed research should tis C virus transmission within federal tices Pilot Initiative) demonstrating
the numerous health and workplace health care in prison that is at least views in the case of all prisoners who
be carried out before embarking on a prisons by 17% a year, the memo equivalent to that available outside die while in the custody or control
syringe needle program, in particular, says. safety benefits of such measures.
According to the Office of the Correc- prisons. of CSC.
“to avoid unintended and negative The Correctional Service has tried This should include a commitment to The health of federal prisoners
consequences for inmates.” to keep illicit drugs from entering tional Investigator, “On a consistent
basis, delivery and access to health implementing, without delay: would also be enhanced by transfer-
In response to questions, the prison prisons, but acknowledges that some • prison-based needle and syringe ring responsibility for prisoner health
service and Goodale’s office said still make their way into penitentia- care services remains the number
one area of offender complaint to programs; from CSC to community health care
Monday they were exploring options ries. Although the prison service has • the reinstatement of the safer tat- services, whereby health care deci-
“to better prevent, control and man- made bleach available, it has drawn the Office…. Under the Corrections
and Conditional Release Act, the Ser- tooing initiative, that was successfully sions are made independent of cor-
age infectious diseases” but did not the line at offering clean needles. piloted before being cancelled by the rectional administration and security
provide details about possible tattoo A program to provide clean drug-in- vice must ensure reasonable access
to health care in conformity with previous federal government; protocols, and equivalence of health
or needle programs. jection needles to prisoners could • universal access to opioid substitu- care can be more readily measured,
The current approach to pre- reduce the spread of hepatitis C by professionally accepted standards
of practice.” [emphasis added] Not tion therapy and HIV and hepatitis C monitored and evaluated.
vent and control blood-borne and 18% a year, the memo says. treatment; Prisoners do not lose their human
sexually transmitted infections In the case of both safer tattooing only is the inadequacy of health
care in federal prisons a violation of • yearly physical and dental examina- rights upon incarceration, and they
includes screening, testing, educa- and needle programs, it wasn’t tions based on a standard protocol should not be denied access to
tion, substance-abuse programs and possible to gauge the potential effect prisoners’ right to health, but it also
has a disproportionate impact on for all federal prisoners; health care that is available outside
treatment. on HIV prevalence or spread among • prompt medical appointments lead- prison. The next CSC Commissioner
The prevalence of HIV among fed- prisoners due to the existing low HIV Indigenous and Black prisoners, who
are shamefully overrepresented in ing to swift diagnoses and treatment has an opportunity to take concrete
eral inmates decreased to 1.19 per rates. of potentially serious conditions; steps, including the ones outlined
cent in 2014 from just over two per The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal federal prisons.
As human rights advocates who • health care that includes eye care, above, to fulfill these rights. We urge
cent in 2007, according to the memo. Network has long argued for nee- dental care, mental health care that you to take this into account in the
But it stood at six times that of the dle-exchange programs in Canadian includes broadly available trauma appointment.
general Canadian population. prisons. However, Correctional Soins spécialisés a des counselling, and medical care for Sincerely, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal
Similarly, the proportion of inmates
with the hepatitis C virus fell to 18.2
Service officials have raised concerns
about syringe needles being used as
Détenus qui souffrent chronic and episodic conditions such Network, PASAN, Pivot Legal Society,
Prisoners’ Legal Services, Criminal-
as HIV, hepatitis C virus, multiple
per cent in 2014 from 31.6 per cent weapons. de la maladie mentale sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dia- ization and Punishment Education
in 2007. Yet the incidence was still The memo to Goodale recom- Par Alain Ducap betes, lung disease, heart disease Project, Journal of Prisoners on Prisons,
about 23 times that of the general mends weighing the effect a needle and Alzheimer’s disease and for pain Aboriginal Legal Services, Canadian
Bonjour Mme Hussain Aboriginal AIDS Network, HIV/AIDS
population. program might have for workplace Je vous écris cette lettre pour vous management;
Federal prison Ombudsman Ivan safety regimes, and it suggests more Regional Services, The Right Rev. Mark
donné cette nouvelle de c qui ce • quality palliative care and simple, MacDonald, National Indigenous Angli-
Zinger recently called on the Correc- research be done on the effective- passe ici ou U.S.D. Pénitencier Fédé- swift compassionate release for pris- can Bishop, Canadian Harm Reduction
tional Service to bring back its safe ness of such an initiative from both ral Canada. oners who are terminally ill; and Network, Millhaven Lifers’ Liaison
tattooing program. clinical and cost standpoints. Savez-vous que le gouvernement • culturally relevant and wholistic Group, Department of Criminology,
de Justin Trudeau et le Sénat du treatment for Indigenous prisoners, University of Ottawa.
Canada ont approuvé la construction as recommended in the Calls to Ac- 1240 Bay Street, Suite 600, Toronto,
d’une unité pour santé mentale en tion of the Truth and Reconciliation Ontario, Canada M5R 2A7
détention au pénitencier du C.R.R. Commission of Canada. Telephone: 416 595-1666
242 Montée Gagnon Ste-Anne-des-
Plaines (Québec) ou les Détenus qui
souffrent de santé mentale von taller
mourir a cette endroit un couloir de
la mort.
Le Pénitencier Fédéral d’Archam-
bault a déjà une unité en santé men-
tale pour les Détenus qui ont besoins
des soins spécialiser.
Au Québec il-y-a deux hôpitaux qui
offrent des soins spécialisés a des
Détenus qui souffrent de la maladie
mentale. Une est Pinel de Montréal
et l’autre, Robert Giford à Québec.
Ils ont des professionnels pour enca-
drer et donner les soins nécessaires Contact PASAN for more info about this!
a c’est gens-là. From Ontario provincial institutions call Lindsay: 1-866-224-9978 ext. 231
La construction est déjà commen- From Ontario federal institutions call Zachary: 1-866-224-9978 ext. 230
cée en Janvier 2018 dans une range
de la Détention du C.R.R. Centre de
Quel genre de personne peut avoir
des idées aussi tordue un couloir de
la mort ou les Détenus souffrent de
maladie mentale vont aller mourir a
cette endroit.
Le Canada est supposé êtes le meil-
leur pays au monde.
Le gouvernement Fédéral, le
Service Correctionnel du Canada
on été signé des entente avec les
Nations-Unies et on inclus la charte
Canadienne de droits et libertés
devant les 182 Pays signataire.
12 // resources & about pasan
EAST COAST Accept collect calls lect) PEEL HIV/AIDS NETWORK Accept collect calls
1750 Rue Saint-Andre, 3rd Flr, Montreal, BLACK INMATES & FRIENDS ASSEM- Accept collect calls RR 1, Site 1, Box 133, Onoway, AB, T0E
ALLY CENTRE H2L 3T81-877-847-3636, 514-495-0990 BLY 160 Traders Blvd, Unit 1, Mississauga, 1V01-866-971-7233, 780-913-9036
Take collect calls COALITION des ORGANISMESCOM- 2518 Eglinton Avenue West L4Z 3K7 NINE CIRCLES COMMUNITY HEALTH
150 Bentinck St, Sydney, NS, B1P MUNAUTAIRES QUEBECOIS de LUTTE- Toronto, Ontario M6M 1T1 1-866-896-8700, 905-361-0523 (Collect) CENTRE
1G6 902-567-1766 CONTRE le SIDA (COCQSIDA) ph (416) 652-3131 PETERBOROUGH AIDS RESOURCE 705 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0X2
Accept collect calls 1 est, rue Sherbrooke, Montréal, H2X Accept collect calls from registered Accept collect calls PLWA NETWORK OF SASKATCHEWAN
1675 Bedford Row, Halifax, NS, B3J 1T11- 3V8 514-844-2477 clients 302-159 King St, Peterborough, K9J No collect calls
800-566-2437, 902-425-4882 COMITÉ des PERSONNES ATTEINTES (Recommend that you get a case man- 2R81-800-361-2895, 705-932-9110 (Col- Box 7123, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 4I1 306-
AIDS COMMITTEE of NEWFOUND- du VIH du QUEBEC (CPAVIH) ager to get registered with them) lect) 373-7766
Take collect calls 2075 rue Plessis bureau 310, Montreal, 3C9 905-984-8684 or toll free 1-800- Accept collect calls ASSOC.
47 Janeway Place, St. John’s, NL, A1A H2L 2Y4 1-800-927-2844 773-9843 Hepatitis C Treatment Program235 No collect calls
1R7 1-800-563-1575 ANISHNAWBE HEALTH AIDS PRO- Wellington St, Kingston, K7K 0B5 613- 54 10th St E, Prince Albert, SK, S6V
AIDS NEW BRUNSWICK ONTARIO GRAM 549-1440 (Collect) 0Y5 306-763-5356
65 Brunswick St, Fredericton, NB, E3B 2-SPIRITED PEOPLE of the 1ST NA- No collect calls THE AIDS NETWORK (TAN) RED RIBBON PLACE
1G51-800-561-4009, 506-459-7518 TIONS 255 Queen St E, Toronto, M5A 1S4 416- Don’t accept collect calls (ALL NATIONS HOPE AIDS NETWORK)
AIDS PEI Accept collect calls 360-0486 101-140 King St E, Hamilton, L8N  2735 5th Ave, Regina, SK, S4T
Take collect calls 145 Front Street East Suite 105 Toronto, ASIAN COMMUNITY AIDS SERVICE 1B2 905-528-0854 toll free 1-866-563- 0L2 1-877-210-7622
2-375 University Ave, Charlottetown, PE, Ontario M5A 1E3 416-944-9300 Don’t accept collect calls right now (they 0563 STREET CONNECTIONS
C1A 4N4 902-566-2437 AIDS COMMITTEE of TORONTO (ACT) will in 2-3 months) THE WORKS No collect calls
AIDS SAINT JOHN 543 Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON. When prisoners call, they offer them Accept collect calls 705 Broadway Ave, Winnipeg, MB,
Don’t accept collect calls M4Y 1Y5 416-340-2437 (Please note, small bursaries to cover their calling fees 277 Victoria St, Toronto, 416-392-0520 R3G 0X2 204-940-2504 WOMEN: 50
115 Hazen St, NB, E2L 3L3 506-652-2437 they do not accept collect calls) 107-33 Isabella St, Toronto, M4Y (Collect) Argyle, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0H6 204-
1-800 565 4255 AIDS BLACK COALITION for AIDS PREVEN- Accept collect calls from clients
3-15 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y TION 200 Gerrard St E, 2nd Flr, Toronto, M5A WEST COAST 
No collect calls, call PASAN
2N21-800-565-4255, 902-492-4255 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, M5A Accept collect calls 2E6 416-506-1400 AIDS VANCOUVER ISLAND
MAINLINE NEEDLE EXCHANGE 1R3 416-924-5256 20 Victoria St, 4th Flr, Toronto, M5C Toronto Community Hep C Program Accepts collect calls. 713 Johnson St,
Calls from within Nova Scotia are free AIDS COMMITTEE of CAMBRIDGE, 2N8 416-977-9955 (Collect) Accept collect calls 3rd Flr, Victoria, V8W 1M8 250-384-
Don’t accept collect calls KITCHENER,WATERLOO & AREA CANADIAN HIV/AIDS LEGAL NET- 955 Queen Street East, Toronto, M4M 2366 or 1-800-665-2437
5511 Cornwallis St, Halifax, NS, B3K Accept collect calls WORK 3P3 PLBC - PRISON OUTREACH PROJ-
1B3 902-423-9991 Have a toll-free number Accept collect calls 416-461-1925 (Collect only on Tuesday & ECT
SHARP ADVICE NEEDLE EXCHANGE 2B-625 King St E, Kitchener, N2G 1240 Bay St #600, Toronto, M5R 2A7 416-595- Friday, 11am-5pm) 1107 Seymour St, Vancouver, V6B
Accept collect calls 4V4 519-570-3687 (Collect), 1-877–770– 1666 (Collect) Once out, please call 416-417-6135 5S8 Toll Free: PROV - 604-525-8646
150 Bentnick St, Sydney, NS, B1P 3687 FIFE HOUSE FED - 1-877-900-2437 (#’s approved
6H1 902-539-5556 (Collect) Accepts collect calls  PRAIRIES 
AIDS COMMITTEE OF GUELPH by institutions and are NOT Collect
SIDA/AIDS MONCTON Accept collect calls, prefer that people 490 Sherbourne St, 2nd Flr, Toronto, M4X 1K9  HIV COMMUNITY LINK Calls)
Accept collect calls as long as they’re use their 416-205-9888 Accept collect calls
HIV related 89 Dawson Rd, Unit 113, Guelph, N1H HIV & AIDS LEGAL CLINIC OF ON. 110-1603 10th Ave SW, Calgary, AB, T3C NATIONAL
80 Weldon St, Moncton, NB, E1C 3X2 1-800-282-4505; 519-763-2255 (HALCO) 0J7 403-508-2500 CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF ELIZA-
5V8 506-859-9616 (Collect) Accept collect calls AIDS SASKATOON BETH FRY SOCIETIES (Women)
EAST COAST PRISON JUSTICE SO- AIDS COMMITTEE of NORTH BAY 55 University Ave #1400, Toronto, ON 1143 Ave F N, Saskatoon, SK, S7L 1X1306-242- 701-151 Slater St.
CIETY and AREA M5J 2H7 1-888-705-8889 5005 1-800-667-6876 Ottawa, ON
6061 University Ave, PO Box 15000 Accept collect calls HIV/AIDS REGIONAL SERVICES (HARS) CENTRAL ALBERTA AIDS NET- K1P 5H3
Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2 201-269 Main St W, North Bay, P1B Accept collect calls WORK SOCIETY (613) 238-2422
QUEBEC 2T8 705-497-3560 (Collect) 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L No collect calls BRAIN INJURY ASSOC OF CANADA
AIDS COMMITTEE of OTTAWA 1G5 613-545-3698 (Collect) 4611 50th Ave, Red Deer, AB, T4N 3Z9 440 Laurier Ave. West, Suite 200
CACTUS 700-251 Bank St, Ottawa, K2P 1X3 613- ONTARIO ABORIGINAL HIV/AIDS 403-346-8858 Ottawa, ON K1R 7X6 Toll-free: 1-866-
Accept collect calls 238-5014 (Collect) or Toll Free (ON & QC STRATEGY HIV EDMONTON 977-2492
1300 rue Sanguinet, Montreal, H2X only) 1-800-461-2182 Accept collect calls 9702 111 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, CATIE
3E7 514-847-0067 AIDS COMMITTEE of THUNDER BAY 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L T5G 0B1 1-877-388-5742 (416) 203-7122
CENTRE for AIDS SERVICES MONTRE- 574 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, P7B 1G5 613-549-7540 (Collect) KIMAMOW ATOSKANOW FOUNDA- 555 Richmond St W #505, Toronto, ON
AL (Women) 3Z2 1-800-488-5840, 807-345-1516 (Col- TION M5V 3B1


PASAN is a community-based HIV Service organization Outreach & Education Sena Hussain
that strives to provide community development, educa-
tion and support to prisoners and ex-prisoners in Ontario Prison Education Programs:  Chaman Agarwal Lead Editor

ON HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and other harm reduction PASAN conducts HIV prevention education programs in Office Coordinator Janet Rowe
issues. PASAN formed in 1991 as a grassroots response many adult and youth institutions in the southern Ontario Eveline Allen Cell Count Supervisor
region.  This program includes a Peer Educators Group,
to HIV in the Canadian prison system. Today, PASAN Regional Prison In-Reach Coordinator Zakaria Amara
whereby ex-prisoners living with HIV are educators for
is the only community-based organization in Canada
current prisoners.   Nikki Browne Writer
exclusively providing HIV and HCV prevention, education
and support services to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their
PASAN conducts free training for those working with Women's Program Coordinator
prison-affected and drug using populations.  Training Jesse Belanger
topics include:
Seth Clarke Writer

Support Services ▪ HIV & Prison ​Federal Community Development Coordi-

▪ Harm Reduction nator (on leave) Michael Hector
Individual Support Services:
▪ Individual support & counselling
▪ The Impact of Segregation Zachary Grant
Ricky J
▪ case management
▪ Stigma & Discrimination
Federal Hep C Program Coordinator Writer
▪ pre-release and post-release planning
Systemic Advocacy Trevor Gray
Yasmine Mahamoud
▪ referrals  Since our beginnings in 1991, PASAN has always Community Programs Coordinator Writer
▪ advocacy for medical services 
▪ housing supports
maintained a focus on systemic issues of HIV/AIDS and
prisons.   Some has been involved in many systemic
Sena Hussain
▪ phone support through collect calling  advocacy efforts including:
Communications & Resource Dev Coordi- Nick Paccione

▪ emergency financial assistance (limited budget for fees ▪ Prison Needle Syringe Project (2014/15) nator Writer

related to identification and prison release.  Application ▪ Advocacy against the use of segregation Lindsay Jennings Karissa Radcliffe
requirements exist) ▪ Presentation to the Canadian Human Rights Commis- Provincial HepC Program Coordinator
sion (2001)
Community Support Services:
▪ Advocacy for male-to-female transsexual/transgendered Claudia Medina Mark Zammit
PASAN also provides support AIDS Service Organizations
prisoners and HIV (1999) Program Manager
and community groups across Ontario.  This includes: 
▪ Presentation to the Presidential Advisory Council on
HIV/AIDS in Washington DC (1998)
Lanna Moon Poetry: A.V., Yasmine Mohamoud, Zakaria
Amara, Michael Hector, Alam M. Hai, Larry
▪ resources & educational materials
▪ Presentation to the Parliamentary Subcommittee on
Indigenous Program Coordinator Cardinal, Howard Richmond, Dwight Luke
▪ training
▪ assistance to set up prison outreach and support
AIDS (1996) Janet Rowe Richardson, Brian G. Kerr, Forgotten Warrior,
Chris Mayer, Doctor TLC, The Sevil
▪ HIV/AIDS in Youth Custody Settings: A Comprehensive Executive Director
Strategy (1996)
▪ strategies to develop referral “hubs” for HIV positive ▪ Organization of the first National Workshop on HIV/ Cherisa Shivcharran Art: Jeremy Hall, Brendan Roshinsky, Brian G.
prisoners AIDS in Prison (1995).  Provincial Community Development Coor- Kerr, Jeremy Levesque-Gervais, ChinkoPettzz
1221, Forgotten Warrior
▪ networking for the development of a continuum of care ▪ HIV/AIDS in Prison Systems: A Comprehensive Strate- dinator Let us know if we mistakenly forgot
for prisoners transferred between regions  gy (1992) someone!