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PASAN organizes Prisoners Justice Day Event

By Sena Hussain
On a sunny day, in downtown Toronto,
PASAN staff and volunteers gathered to send
messages of hope, validation and a call for
justice for people who have died inside prisons.
Now in it's 42nd year, Prisoners Justice Day
(PJD) - which was started by prisoners inside
Millhaven Institution in 1975, after Eddie
Nalon took his own life in segregation after his
emergency call button failed - marks the day
when prisoners commit to fasting, not going to
work, and remembering those who have died
in federal or provincial custody.
In days leading up to PJD, staff members
painted #ALIVEINSIDE in large bold letters
across a blank, white canvas. For those who
are unfamiliar, the "#" is called a 'hashtag' and
is used on social media sites like Facebook
and Twitter to gather online discussions about
a specific topic in one place. So when people
wrote about prisoners justice online, and
included "#aliveinside" in their post, it would be
added to all other posts that used this hashtag.
This was a great way to start a discussion and
spread the word about prisoners justice with
lots of people online.
Along with the hashtag, people wrote mes-
sages on the banner itself. Some were directed
at specific people inside, some had written
names of people who have died, and others
wrote messages of solidarity and strength. A
group gathered outside of Daniel's Spectrum,
a community arts organization in Toronto, and
walked to PASAN while we held up the banner.
Many passersby turned to see the banner, and
also read some of the messages of support
that people had written on it. Some even got
on their smart phones to look up the hashtag
to see what it was all about. Once we arrived
back at PASAN, community members gathered
to share their own stories of incarceration, eat
together, talk, and reflect on ways we on the
outside can work towards prisoners justice.

INSIDE 2 3 4-5 6 7 8
2 // bulletin board
other Cell Count subscribers, please writer for Cell Count, Mr. Valley, to do a section
write to us or call. We can list it in a where people can send in questions about vari-
future issue. ous topics, and have them printed. Readers can
answer these questions, and the answers would
Moving? be printed in the issue after. Start by sending
If you want to see a worker or attend a program put in a request to the Volunteer Coordinator or the Social
We were getting about 75 Cell your questions to us at: Cell Count Questions,
Work Dept, or call us toll free at 1-866-224-9978 PASAN, 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON, M5A
Counts sent back to us each mail-out
labelled, ‘Not Here’. Please help us 1R3 or call Sena at: 1-866-224-9978
Provincial (ON) Men - CECC Groups/1on1: Sign up sheet; Request to Volunteer Coordinator; Call reduce our mailing expenses by let- Next Issue theme and submission dead-
PASAN ting us know of any address change, lines
CNCC Groups/1on1: Sign up sheet; Request to Volunteer Coordinator; Call ASAP! Thank you for the consider- The next issue's theme is: what does love and
PASAN generosity mean to you? Your work doesn't have
HWDC Groups/1on1: monthly; Call PASAN Workload to reflect this theme, but it would be nice to get
MAPLEHURST Groups/1on1: Run twice a month; Call PASAN PASAN has been around for 25 years some of your perspectives on this topic! Also, Cell
now and over the years our client Count submission deadlines are the following:
TEDC Groups/1on1: Run twice a month; Call for a program on your unit Winter: January 15th
population has increased dramati-
or a 1on1 educational cally. As a result of this increase in Spring: April 15th
TSDC Put a request in with the Volunteer Coordinator or call for a workload, clients may not be able to Summer: July 15th
spend as much time on the telephone Fall: October 15th
program on your unit or a 1on1 educational
Provincial (ON) Women - CECC Call PASAN (no regular programming) with staff as we would like. The staff PEC and APEC Workers
and volunteers are dedicated and
CNCC Call PASAN (no regular programming) committed and will continue to pro- We want to speak to you about the important
VCW 1st and 3rd Wed – 1on1 Request to Social Work or Healthcare and vide the best care possible. Thanks for work you do! We want to know what kind of
call PASAN your patience and understanding! support we can give you from here. Please get
in touch with Zachary at: Zachary Grant, PASAN,
Federal (ON) Men - We try to visit each prison at least 3 times a year. We visit: Bath, Beavercreek Calling all artists, writers (fic- 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R3 or call
Min/Med, Collins Bay, Joyceville Min/Med, Millhaven, Pittsburgh and Warkworth. tion, non-fiction, short stories, 1-866-224-9978
We see people individually or in group settings and talk about HIV/AIDS, Hep C, etc), illustrators, cartoonists,
poets, journalists (aspiring or Contact Numbers
Harm Reduction and Health Promotion. If you wish to know more or have HIV otherwise), and other creative If you are in any Federal/Provincial Institution
please contact us to find out when we will be at your institution. types: or Detention Centre call us only with this #:
Federal (ON) Women - GVI once a month; request to health care and call PASAN We want your submissions! We get Toll-free 1-866-224-9978
lots of letters from our readers telling
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF THESE PROGRAMS CALL PASAN TOLL FREE AT: 1-866-224-9978 us how much they love seeing all your ID Clinic
work and they’re hungry for more.
HIV+ Client Services been a really important piece of Cell Count, and Send us your stuff and get published in Cell The Partners for Access and Identification
that it has led to some amazing connections Count. When you send us stuff, please make (PAID) project opens doors and breaks down
In order to be a client & access these services for our readers in the past. We really wish we sure you write a line in that gives us permission barriers for individuals who do not have a fixed
you need to have confirmed HIV+ status and could continue it, but due to a lack of resources to publish your work. Also, let us know if you or permanent address.
be a prisoner or ex-prisoner (all times Eastern it is no longer possible for us. We will continue would like your work returned to you or sent on The ID Clinics are held at PASAN on the 1st & 3rd
Standard time) to keep a running list of alternative places you to someone else! Thursday of each month, 1:00-2:00pm
• Phone Hours: Mon – Fri from 9-5, except can send your ads and photos, although some Writers: We get a lot of great work sent in that The project operates at various sites across the
Tuesday mornings come with a cost. We cannot personally vouch we are unable to use because of very limited city of Toronto. The PAID project also connects
• Workshops and Programming - Scheduled for these options, so please use them at your space. Apologies. Please consider the column individuals and families to other services, such
usually on Mondays or Thursdays, give us a own discretion: width & keep articles/poems tight & to the as:
call or check out our website for a complete Canadian Inmates Connect: Currently, there is point. Honestly, the first items to go in are the + Primary health care facilities
list of events we have scheduled. a $35/year subscription. Your ad will be placed ones that fit nicely and leave space for others + Sources for housing
• ID Clinic – 1st & 3rd Thursday 1:00-2:00 every on a website, and people with internet access – quality and quantity! Also, let us know in + Sources for food
month - for everyone. browse through to decide who to connect with. writing if it’s ok to edit your work for grammar, + Legal Aid
• Release Funds - $50 (twice a year max) A point of caution: you are asked to say what spelling and so we can fit it in. We also provide guidance and awareness
you have been convicted for, and your full Please note: If you do send something to regarding other programs that are available,
• TTC Tokens – 2 each for clients who attend us, please give us a call if you can so we can including community-based support services.
name will be published online. Melissa is the
workshops look out for it in the mail. Also, call us again For more information, please call: Neighbour-
person to contact for more information. Write
• Harm Reduction Materials – Mon – Fri from or call her at: Canadian Inmates Connect Inc. at least a week after you send it to make sure hood Link Support Services at 416-691-7407.
9-5, except Tuesday AM (Safer-Crack-Use- 3007 Kingston Rd, Suite 267, Toronto, Ontario, we got it. If not, if you're sending in a piece of Also at the Toronto South D.C. Put in a request
Kits, Safer-Needle-Use-Kits, Piercing Needles, M1M 1P1 - (647) 344-3404 writing, we can transcribe it over the phone for to see them.
Condoms, etc.) - for everyone. Black and Pink: Specifically for queer and trans you, so keep a copy of everything you send us!
Prison Radio
Sometimes we and the phones are very busy so prisoners. They are based in the United States, We're especially looking for submissions
please keep trying! it does not cost anything to be part of the list, from women-identified folks! Women are the KINGSTON AREA - CFRC Prison Radio airs
and you don't have to tell them your convic- fastest-growing prisoner population in Canada, every Wednesday evening from 7-8pm on 101.9
About Cell Count but often their experiences are marginalized
tion. Here is how to reach them: Black and Pink FM. CFRC is the Queen's University communi-
PASAN publishes ‘Cell Count’, a minimum of National Office, 614 Columbia Rd, Dorchester, in conversations about the prison system. We ty radio station and every last Wednesday of
4 issues per year. We are based in Toronto on MA 02125 want to hear your take on prison, life, family, the month. CFRC can be heard from Millhaven
the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of 617.519.4387 or anything else you're interested in writing Institution, Collins Bay Institution, Joyceville In-
New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, Prison Fellowship Canada: This is a faith- about. We can guarantee confidentiality, and stitution, Bath Institution, Frontenac Institution,
the Huron-Wendat and home to many diverse based, Christian organization that connects can publish your pieces under a pseudonym if Pittsburgh Institution, and Quinte Detention
Indigenous peoples. It is sent out for FREE to prisoners with volunteers of either the same you want! Please submit your articles, poetry, Centre.
Clients & Prisoners in Canada. If you are on gender, or where there is a 15-20 year age art, or letters to the Cell Count editor at 526 MONTREAL AREA – CKUT Prison Radio airs
the outside or part of an organization, please difference. The point is for you to have an Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 - in the on 90.3 FM on the second Thursday of every
consider a donation @ $20 per year. We are outlet to express yourself to someone who will meantime, check out Concrete Blossoms on month between 5-6 pm as part of the Off the
proud to release our 82nd issue to you. We are listen. If you are of the Christian faith, this may page 5. Hour show and on the fourth Friday of every
also grateful for all the wonderful feedback we be a great option for you. You can reach them To all the talented Tattoo Artists month between 11am and 12pm. It can be
have been receiving from our readers, and en- for more info at: Prison Fellowship Canada - Inside heard from Bordeaux, Rivière-des-Prairies,
courage you to keep putting your two cents in. National Office, 5945 Airport Road, Suite 144, Centre de formation fédéral, Leclerc, Montée
Our goal is to have most of our content written Mississauga, ON L4V 1R9 PASAN is doing a fundraiser to help support St-Francois, Centre de détention pour les immi-
and produced by prisoners and ex-prisoners, so 905.673.5867 our work, which includes going into prisons to grants, Archambault, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines,
we highly encourage you to get in touch with Prisoner Correspondence Project: "..a sol- talk about health and harm reduction, answer- and Cowansville institutions.
us if you're interested in being part of the Cell idarity project for gay, lesbian, transsexual, ing calls from people inside, Cell Count, doing
transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, community work with ex-prisoners living with VANCOUVER AREA – Stark Raven Collective
Count team.
bisexual and queer prisoners in Canada and the HIV, advocating for prisoner rights and more. runs the CFRO Prison Radio show on 100.5 FM
Publisher: PASAN
526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 United States, linking them with people who are We would like to put together a booklet made as part of Vancouver Co-operative Radio. It
Circulation: 400+ - Recirculation: ??? part of these same communities outside of pris- up of art from prisoners that we can hand broadcasts on the first Monday of each month
on." - From their website. Write to them here: out to tattoo parlours around Toronto, and if from 7-8 pm Pacific Time
All original artwork, poems and writings are the
sole/soul property of the artist and author. QPIRG Concordia c/o Concordia University people come in asking for a tattoo from the HALIFAX AREA - Dalhousie University's CKDU
1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal, QC H3G booklet, part of the proceeds will go to us! The at 88.1 FM. Listen or call in for poetry and rap
Fair Dealing in the Canadian Copyright Act: 1M8 booklet will also have information for folks on on the Black Power Hour, which airs Wednes-
Sections 29, 29.1, 29.2: “Fair dealing for the Inmate Ink: "Help us bring Hope to a prisoner the outside on why harm reduction is important days from 1:30-2:30pm , and is co-hosted by
purpose of research, private study, education, one letter at a time. Offers memberships from but difficult when it comes to tattooing inside. former Halifax poet laureate El Jones. The show
parody, satire, criticism, review, and news re- $20 - $40. Your completed ad will be published If you or someone you know would be focuses on social and cultural issues relevant to
porting does not infringe copyright.” on our website for anyone in the general public interested in this project, please get in touch Black communities, but is open all listeners.
to view and contact you directly. For an appli- with us at: PASAN Tattoo Project, 526 Richmond
A Note about Pen Pals: cation or more info, please contact Tasha Brown St E, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R3 or call us at 1-866- Saying Goodbye to Les
at: P.O. Box 53222 Marlborough CRO, Calgary 224-9978
We've received a lot of calls and letters asking Les Harper, our former Aboriginal Program Co-
AB. T2A 7L9 or"
about Pen Pals, and it's been difficult delivering Advice Column ordinator, just accepted an awesome new job.
If you have had success using a pen pal service
the sad news that we no longer have the ca- We are grateful for all the excellent program-
pacity or funds to run it anymore. We know it's
(other than ours) and would like to share it with We had a suggestion by a subscriber and
ming he brought to PASAN.
3 // from inside
pleted the written Self-Harm test should kill themselves. time
Her Heavens Transition Every Womyn using the prison environment I lived How dare it be suggested anyone If I got it, you need it, you can have
She dreams of a place off the Angels every womyn in as a basis for the responses. The drove them to it. all mine
wings reflects the glory of their grand- next day I was called in to see the It was their car after all. I believe you'll make it, no need to go
where the sun always shines, and mother… psychiatrist. Apparently I registered The expert's hands are clean. Their back on the grind
forever its spring moon. on the test as an "extreme suicide minds are not mean. So when it's time to quit, it's really
where young blossoms and poppies their bodies a tide to ebb & flow, risk". This is because the test mea- The spirit may be another thing. time to keep trying
perfume the air their blood a beat to raise the heat sures quality of life domains like the But hey. Mental health is a science. By Shane R. Roach
no longer would be another tree in the crafted flesh, amount and degree of contact with Scientists are the objective observer.
family and friends, job satisfaction Has anyone seen the spirit?
Run Away
bare the sculpted form,
With birds of a feather singing new a reflected beauty, and career challenges, educational Can anyone prove the scientist's When you feel like running away
life through their leaves of the night’s light. opportunities, and access to creative spirit is mean? When you cannot bring back yester-
forever, filling her soul with such oh, standing accused, the poet waxes expressions like hobbies or arts Oh. Measure the results? day
sweet melodies as the words wane. and crafts. The prison environment How absurd. How unsubjective. And you try to let go of the past
she dreams of crisp waters and trick- too much he makes of it, had reduced these to such a degree Don't you know you can't measure And you fail and end up in last
ling streams the flowing form a mere womyn that anyone living within such a an event without disturbing the event Dreams are the only way out of it all
fields of tall sun kissed grass that being who she is. constricted environment could only in some way? Something to do with Dreams are on the other side of that
dance with the breeze dancing grace within vibrant shapes, be so deprived of these qualities strings and things. wall
Where a butterfly’s bliss is their flut- a language infinite within space. of life, qualities needed to support For a culture that speaks, nay, Run Away cannot fly away
tering wings how it cannot be seen saddens. a person's perceived self-worth, demands accountability and the Run Away cannot bring back yester-
and every wish has a well of clear when in his power as to become a person living at an acceptance of responsibility, in an day
water springs he would gift a star, extreme risk for suicide. atmosphere of alleged transpar- By Mustapha El Kaaki
where stories are told by the old a sun of loving light, Hence the following poetic contem- ency, there is a counter-productive
croaking frog a magic plation. tendency to hide from the truth of Whaaa?
and the wind whistles songs through of life writing one of those tests - supposed prison's destructive nature. When Cuffz locked on wristz
the old hollow logs and love. to reveal a condition of unrest, I was young it was all the rage to Sittin in da back of da patty wagon
Where the sun-set gleams with such oh poet restless cannot sleep self-harm and denial - designed to speak of hypocrisy. I can't think of Wonderin just how my shit turned
glorious light …the spirit stirs. measure quality of life, the last time anyone accused the pe- out like dis
she dances all night in the twinkling grandmother smiles reveals levels of toxicity in the penal nal figurehead of this. Have we really
Sorry my Katty, but your man ain’t
of fire-flies in flight and stardust flies in her dreams. community progressed so far?
causing immediate alarm, to those By Mr. Valley makin it home 2nite!
such peace does she feel under the By Mr. Valley
trained to a psychiatric frame of Dem fedz gotz different planz 4 me
star-diamond skies
now youthful forever, no existence Unknown She Enters mind, My Girl in the Valley this nite
is time that death by self-harm is well-de- No sunshine or rainbowz where I be
unknown she enters another’s space. Jam Jam
Never again will mother mourn over fined and imminent. headin at
loud, intense, she calls the gathering We were made for each other
death "Danger. Danger Will Robinson. Cos- Soon we will finally be together Forgotton Warrior
& the clan dances,
she relaxes now in the depths, a sings, mic storm approaching." Our love will last forever Untitled
place where only shadows stretch tells stories, by all rights, the experts tell the test, Nothing could break us
She’s home now, sweet home her and listens to the elders. Death by self should by the result. The love God gave us I walk the yard in the cold mornings,
spirits are now free wisdom is a fickle flower. hiding the truth from those unwilling Even the time they stole from us With an even colder heart,
as she lay in the shade beneath an she gathers energy till her work is to admit We put that behind us Heavy with grief and a sense of loss.
old Oak Tree. done the tortorous environment is their No more cold night to remind us I have failed myself again!!
By Jennifer Bird and gifts each to every one instigation, I look you in the eye Put myself in a bad position,
their own understanding manipulation, creation, imagina- Climb in between your thighs Got caught up and locked up in
Your Role tion, imposed upon the person of Sunrise after sunrise
of the ways of life. prizon.
If all the world’s a stage, knowledge can fall like the autumn another. I know from the start The yard I walk is an islotated cage,
then we play many ‘Roles.’ leaf, domains of loved ones, friends, and It was till death do us part It feels more like a dog’s cage,
No-one knows, what comes or goes, or hang until the call of spring spiritual enlightenment show marked Even when our crimes tore us apart More than a rec yard
or how each act unfolds. bids them leave. degeneration. I always kept you in my heart All I feel is rage
We play our ‘Roles’, that life invokes, knowing can be the moment of the career opportunities lack imagina- Time for a fresh start I do my paces, 14 forward and 14
be it poverty or wealth. loon tion. Jobs are mindless and mean- Turn our lovemaking into an Art back
We play our parts, each young and dancing in the depths, ingless. And that’s straight from my heart
creative arts are minimalist sketches Only 6 to the side,
old, beckoned by the brilliant flash Love baby Oh how I miss the six side
both in sickness and in health. of feeding fish. flickering upon bare cement walls. We the best
long walks upon the beach can't Grizzly Bear
We’re each the star, in every scene, believing is a gift of creation. JROC n Jam Jam forever
scenes, test our strengths and pain. give the open eye reach inside. Honest Dues
Depending on how our roles are a bended ear. rivers and lakes are distant. Inside
played, let the heart be. Despair lurks hungrily. Our imaginations create the struc-
My Reign of Pain tures, from the endless amount of
Determines our growths and gains. it knows where to go. resistance is a some time thing, not Fueled by hurt & hate
We will all face struggles, in writing what sings this womyn now? the watch-spring thing. habits-
Am I alright And with each lesson that we prac-
our scripts, By Mr. Valley time can take care of itself. Kiss & lick the flame
but the story is ours to tell. holding back death is not an active tice, we step a little closer, into the
Black lips never change
Every day and night, through each The penal-time mind-jive struggle. Left slashed & needing a break
realm of magic.
pain and strife, resistance is a 'watch Spring meeting Through invisible pools of grandeur,
PREAMBLE: Cuz in here it’s give & never take realistic illusions interprate our truth-
every joy, and every bitter hell. Winter's mind' kind of thing. Success comes yet only after
When the pains and stresses of And much like a child's innocence,
From our births to our deaths, from resistance is the greeting of the You accept it comes
imprisonment used to become too their youth unveils the proof.
our very first breaths, morning light Just a little late
much, and prisoners needed some- ...Abra Cadabra; Poof...
we’ll edit our every page. moving across the cell floor By Shane N. Roach
time alone to decompress, they could An established practice governed, the
Our life is ours and ours alone, to shine upon the spider's new web
be asked to be placed in segregration
but, Free Will, creates which stage. for a few days. Changes in national
spun to protect Rise fundamentals of all and every rule-
For, each choice we make, belongs her new-laid eggs. Obedient minds surrender; Just like
policy closed this avenue to the pris- Words sharper than knives a bully's fuel that they need, in order
a Fate, resistance is the gently opened
on and its residents. But the benefits Exceedingly cutting deeper inside to be cruel.
but do remember this.. orange,
of quiet time spent alone was still Looking within, finding nowhere Experiences we collect, from the
The paths we lay along the way, the skin parting with leaping. flower-
needed for prisoners. Concrete & steel my only companion modern day
are still blessed with many gifts ing sprays and sharp bites
In the meantime there had been to confide Wizards upon a throne-
Believe, reality creates illusions, to the senses,
a program developed to maintain Hoping this friend understands Guiding us with their wisdom, our in-
and do fool an un-trained eye. to awaken the tongue with nips of
family contact with loved ones. When How I see things through my eyez tuition guides us when we're grown.
Like a snowflake's beauty that’s often promised light to come... soon.
this program, called "Private Family Silently guiding me to cannibalize my Endeavours we so strive, intrinsic
missed, the thick crescents reluctantly leaving
Visits", where loved ones could come own Pride thoughts sometimes not controlled-
by the blizzard in the sky. one another,
and stay with the prisoners inside the Only to reemerge Humble, Tested & Our wishes and our dreams, are
But there’s much more to life than their skin pulling away to surprise the
prison walls for as long as three days, Tried. examples of our goals needed to be
these-.. eye with endless bundles
first came on line the government By Shane N. Roach shown
Illusions that we see. of their mother's love
used mobile homes - trailers - for ...Behold and whisper and moan, the
Beneath the turbulence of an ocean’s a seperate and distinct, and more
resistance is a daily way to live with Untitled
storm, meanings removed from another's Ghost of the past in our home-
comfortable, visiting space. Prison- Another day with a lot less going on For one second we were young, an
lays a calm, and peaceful sea. control.
ers called these visits with family A lack of doesn't mean shit don't be hour later we grew old...
Each difficulty that un-folds, resistance is a dance at midnight to
"trailers". going wrong For all the moments that our beings,
we each challenge in different ways. remembered melodies,
It was decided that rather than the It just means I've got more time to would form, and all to quickly go-
But the experience is ours ‘be hold,’ quietly moving within infinite space
Segregation space used previous- keep going strong they're all but chapters that we
And our Wisdom’s born from ‘same. pretending to be contained,
ly, prisoners requiring quiet time Fuck a field goal, i'm a Quarterback forfeit, simplistic roles that make us
These roles in life are often hard, dancing in a spot constantly moving
for stress relief could access these yelling for my dreams to keep going grow.
only to better suit the host. through the universe.
trailers, provided a prisoner and his long. Be Bold; be the sweet summer heat,
For, life is constant, cyclic change, don't tell them of punishment. They'll
family had not booked the space. Once I focus, release my grip, my be the white winter's cold,
from death’s still born the ghost. deny it. They are teaching lessons.
These breaks from prison stresses obstacles is gone for there is no hidden fee, for what
So, learn wisely from life’s experi- not demean-ers, but beneficent pro-
became known as "quiet time" trail- For at the very least, just a bit of time cannot be stole.
ences, tectors of safety,
ers. The only thing a prisoner had to Abdul Aziz fitting his all between such Fluid breaths climb up the steps like
whether, better or for worse. as they seek to destroy every vestige
do to have a quiet time trailer was to narrow lines Shakespeare's poets flow,
Remember, one must concur ‘both’ that remains.
successfully complete a psychological Serving as a reminder to never think as collateral beauty equals time, love
joy and pain, resistance isn't an act.
assessment for "Self-Harm and/or with a narrow mind and death,
“To truly know what life is worth” it's a way to recognize life.
Suicide". Considerate of others fighting their in all of our souls that we own.
By Jennifer Bird Perhaps it is only fitting prisoners
I wanted a quiet time trailer. I com- demons in an attempt to borrow By Tylor Beggs (Lucky)
4 // news on the block

How to Overcome a Life Sentence What's New in Prison News?

New prison justice group Investigator Ivan Zinger in an inter-
starts in NS view with CBC News. “They’re also
not connecting with the programs.”
Excerpts from article by Nic Melo- Zinger said Correctional Services
ney, CBC News, Posted: Oct 17, 2017 Canada has designed programs —
A group of legal and social justice such as anger management — with
advocates are meeting this month an older inmate in mind, when
for the first time to discuss human younger offenders require basic skills
rights issues faced by prisoners in such as how to prepare meals, apply
Nova Scotia’s provincial and federal for a job and open a bank account.
prisons.  The report released Tuesday, titled
The East Coast Prison Justice So- “Missed Opportunities,” was pro-
ciety (ECPJS) was officially registered duced by Zinger and Ontario’s child
this month by eight individuals with advocate, Irwin Elman.
diverse experiences in legal counsel- “Young people who find themselves
ing and human rights advocacy. The in adult custody should have, and be
roster includes three legal profes- given, the opportunity to positively
sionals, three from advocacy groups change the direction of their lives,”
and two university professors. said Elman.
[The] group’s goal is to identify and “As we stated at the inquest into
discuss the “gaps” within the justice the death of Ashley Smith, the adult
system from as many perspectives as correctional system is not equipped
possible and provide the resources to ensure this happens.”
to correct them through education,
scholarship, legal support, public Prisoners stage Greek tragedy
and grass-roots services.  for public audience
Indigenous inmate takes prison Excerpts from CBC News Posted: Oct
By Zakaria Amara It took over 11 years to finally realize
security tests to the Supreme 14, 2017
which lasted a long time, yet it even-
tually wore down and broke. A new what hope actually meant. I used to Court Inmates at William Head Institution
in Metchosin, B.C. are performing a
How do you wrap your head approach was needed for which I had think that you may only hope when Excerpts from article by Kathleen revised version of Antigone on select-
around the fact that you have been forged a new sword; one that was built you at least see a glimmer of light; Harris, CBC News, Posted: Oct 11, ed dates until Nov. 4.
sentenced to spend the rest of your on the idea that “To live is to suffer.” I when you at least have the flimsiest 2017 The general public is invited to the
life behind bars? How do you free said to myself that suffering is a reality of reasons to do so… but that is not The Supreme Court of Canada will federal prison to see the all-male
yourself from the chokehold of this of life that no one could escape. Peo- what hope is about. The Prophet hear the case Thursday of a Métis cast in a sci-fi interpretation of the
giant leviathan? One that is loose ple out there who are diagnosed with Muhammad (Peace be upon him) inmate who claims the tests that Sophocles tragedy.
enough to keep you from dying, yet terminal illnesses, or face a calamity once said: determine prison security level and The production is directed by Eliza
tight enough to prevent you from that has no end in sight, feel exactly “If one of you has a sapling in his parole decisions discriminate against Gardiner, a theatre professor at
living. as Lifers do. This perspective helped right hand, then he should plant it, Indigenous offenders. Vancouver Island University.
For many years, I have fought this for a little while but it soon failed due even if the world is about to end.” Jeffrey Ewert, who is serving a life “I have been really impressed with
monster using different swords. Every to its inherent lack of positive value. What is the point of planting a tree sentence for second-degree murder the dedication to the project,” she
time one broke, a new one needed It worked well when you were in the that will never grow? The answer is and attempted murder, has been in told On The Island host Gregor
to be forged. I remember the very eye of the storm, but it offered no way hope. the federal system for 30 years in Craigie.
first weapon I used against it was forward once the winds calmed down. Therefore, live your life with prisons across the country. “There has been some tough talk
trying to convince myself that being in I once again was reminded of Solz- hope. Wake up every single morning He says the tools used to measure about morality and values and how
prison was better for one’s soul than henitsyn when he wrote: hoping that somehow, something potential risks for violence are the characters in the play connect
being free on the outside. I used to “However clever and ungainsayable will happen that will bring joy in your unreliable for Indigenous prisoners, with real lived experience.
often quote the Soviet prison camp such philosophical systems as skepti- life. It may be something as small as affecting their liberty and breaching Antigone is a play about a young
survivor, Alexander Solzhenitsyn who cism or agnosticism or pessimism may a letter from a loved one or as big as their constitutional rights. woman’s decision to bury her broth-
wrote in his novel, First Circle: be, you must remember that they are the wonderful news that you might According to documents filed with er against the King’s decree, even
“And anyway, would you yourself in their very nature condemned to im- be free again. With hope, nothing is the Supreme Court, the appellant though the penalty is death.
want freedom after so many years; potence. They cannot govern human impossible. says relying on test scores that are
would you want to go outside into activity, because people cannot stand Having realized all of this, rays not scientifically known to be accu- Christmas presents help chil-
the frenzied whirl, so inimical to the still and so cannot do without systems of hope burst forth from my heart rate for Indigenous inmates does not dren of inmates feel connected
human heart, so hostile to the peace that affirm something, that point to illuminating everything in sight. The afford them “equal protection and
of the soul? Would you not pause on some destination.” monster's grip began to loosen and Excerpts from article by Tammy
benefit of the law.”
the threshold of your prison and peer I needed to discover the missing his cold hands began to warm up. Marlowe Johnson, Cochrane Eagle,
“While there is no evidence that
anxiously out; should I or shouldn’t I element whose absence caused the Het let go, but as he turned to leave Oct 19, 2017
Correctional Service Canada’s use
go there?” previous two swords to break. After he paused for a moment and said, One of Canada’s most familiar faces
of these tools is unreasonable in
Indeed, prison has many virtues. It a long period of introspection, I came "A thousand of your swords could've for justice will speak at a Cochrane
respect to non-Aboriginal inmates,
is a place where you can reflect and to realize that while both approaches done no harm to me. On the despair dinner this week to raise funds for
their use in respect to Aboriginal
meditate over the deepest questions were based on elements of truth, a of souls I feed, you are no longer of children of inmates to receive Christ-
inmates overshoots the objective
of Life. It is a place where you can spirit of despair animated them. use to me". mas presents from their incarcerated
because unreliable tests likely result
form a very real relationship with Take for example the approach On that day, I thanked God for his parents.
in unreliable public safety risk assess-
your Creator. Prison is an Alchemic of telling myself that being in prison deliverance and wrote these words: David Milgaard will share his story
ments,” the records state.
environment that can transform your was better than being outside and I remain hopeful,/Even when I see tomorrow evening at a Cochrane
soul into Gold or Lead, depending enumerating all the very real virtues no reason to be/The walls are high as Prisoners now take part in Alliance Church banquet hosted by
on your attitude. Victor Frankle once of incarceration; what drives this ap- heaven/The doors are sealed shut/ food oversight Prison Fellowship Canada, a national
wrote: proach is the subconscious despair of Darkness envelopes me in layers/Yet faith-based outreach organization
With info and excerpts taken from that facilitates connections with
“We who lived in concentration ever getting out of jail. the sapling of hope is my right, and The Canadian Press, Tues., Sept. 19,
camps can remember the men who No matter how many philosophical I dare to plant it/Knowing the world inmates, friends and families.
2017 Milgaard was wrongfully impris-
walked through the huts comforting and spiritual arguments one could might end tonight An uprising over food quality and
others, giving away their last piece come up with, there is something in Afterword oned for 23 years for the murder of
portion sizes at Sask Pen, in which Saskatoon nurse’s aide Gail Miller. He
of bread. They may have been few our very being that yearns to be free. “A world without religious faith is a one prisoner, Jason Leonard Bird,
in number, but they offer sufficient As for despair, it is a poison that slowly world without sustainable grounds was released in 1992 after DNA tests
died, and 14 others charged, took proved he did not commit the crime.
proof that everything can be taken eats away at our souls and spreads for hope. It may have optimism, place in December of 2016. Since
from a man but one thing; the last of throughout our bodies until we finally but that is something else, and Prison Fellowship representative
this incident, CSC updated their food Tony Hilling said Milgaard is a friend,
human freedoms – to choose one’s lose the will to live. Its ultimate man- something shallower, service policies to include prisoners
attitude in any given set of circum- ifestation is suicide, but it all begins altogether.” and he wanted to include his per-
in food quality oversight, and extra spective in the collection of voices to
stances, to choose one’s way.” once we gave up on hope and choose – Rabbi Jonathan portions are now prepared to allow
This was a very powerful sword, to despair. Sacks. speak at the charity event.
for spillage.

Call me “HOPE”
“It is quite a story,” said Hilling of Mil-
CSC failing younger inmates, gaard’s journey through the justice
advocates argue in report system.
At $60 a plate, money raised at the
Excerpts from article by Alison Craw- dinner will go toward Prison Fellow-
ford, CBC News Posted: Oct 03, 2017 ship’s Angel Tree Christmas pro-
Canada’s prison watchdog and gram, which purchases and delivers
By Jonathan Lévesque-Gervais distinguish many types of delights tures; to deny all their physical and Ontario’s Child Advocate say Correc- Christmas presents to the children of
and pleasures, and who is insistently mental abilities and emotions; and tional Service Canada is squandering moms and dads behind bars.
How can a creature, who possess- longing for “ETERNITY”, be without a to push him or her to the most bitter opportunities to turn young federal “They’re the silent victims of the
es an ability to benefit from all kinds duty and ongoing future? and stressful path and turn their inmates’ lives around. whole issue of crime,” said Hilling.
of science and “savoir faire” (knowing Regarding the human as a being world into misery. “The majority of them are not “When a child gets a present from
what to do in any situation), who is who is without any duty or respon- I do not know whether any other enrolled in programs or school, their father or their mother … (it
granted the capability of interven- sibility, and thereby deprived of an cruelty or grievance could be bigger not because they’re not motivated says) even though they’re far away,
ing in events, who is equipped with endlessly long and happy future, than this! Oh but remember, hope is but because they’re wait listed and they still love them. It helps the child
skills to perceive, comprehend, and means to lower this estimable being not a feeling, it is a manifestation of there are very few programs being through the dark times.”
accept all types of beauty, who can to the level of most primitive crea- belief. offered,” said Canada’s Correctional Cont'd on page 5
5 // news on the block
Prison News Cont'd From Page 4
Hilling said his organization focuses
on restorative justice, which is built
on the fundamental belief that peo-
ple can find their way to a place of
into an ambulance.
Ashley Smith was pronounced dead
at 8:10 a.m.
Coralee Cusack-Smith, Ashley Smith’s
The Wicked Among Us
By Shane R./Abdul A. The world has been plagued by Christianity. The Klan historically
peace, regardless of their pasts. mother, says no one has been held The name I was born with was violence and sin since man was creat- expressed its beliefs in the form of
For more information about this accountable since her daughter’s Shane R. Currently I call myself Abdul ed. A man or woman has the God terrorism aimed at groups or individ-
program, contact: Prison Fellow- death. A. I am a Muslim. This paper will given ability to make his/her own uals whom they opposed. The order
ship Canada - National Office, 5945 Emma Halpern, the incoming execu- present my personal views as well as choices. To do good in this world or faced opposition from ministers,
Airport Road, Suite 144, Mississauga, tive director of the Elizabeth Fry So- the views of all the Muslim broth- to commit wicked acts. It is my belief church councils and other Chris-
ON L4V 1R9 Phone: 905.673.5867; ciety of Mainland Nova Scotia, claims ers and sisters around the world. that when a person or a group of tians. In 1922, the Federal Council
Toll-free: 1.844.618.5867 no major changes have been made Muslims are not terrorists! Terrorists persons act in any particular manner of Churches recorded its conviction
since Ashley Smith’s death. are terrorists regardless of faith or that I must only look at those in- that the rise of secret organizations
Ashley Smith’s mother contin- “I was getting the fall flowers ready justifications they hide behind. volved in those actions. “whose activities have the effect of
ues fight for justice 10 years for her and a vehicle pulled into the (May Allah Forgive Any Mistakes I Society has taught us to portray all arousing religious prejudice and
after prison death driveway,” says Ashley’s mother, Make.) persons that have a likeness to the racial consequences {is} fraught with
Coralee Cusack-Smith. “I kind of I am a Muslim. I was not born into people or group of people commit- grave consequences to church and
By Laura Brown, CTV News, October
looked and I thought, ‘Strangers, who the beautiful fold of Islam however; I ting negative acts as one unified society at large.” The resolution was
18, 2017
are they?’” was drawn to it. I believe you cannot unit. Society selectively stereotypes aimed directly at the Klan and church
It was 6:50 a.m., and Ashley Smith
Coralee was expecting Ashley to convert to Islam but only revert to certain religions and ethnic groups as members who joined the order. Yet
had already tied a ligature around
come home in 43 days. Instead, that the way of God in the form of Islam. well as people in general. Some ex- despite the Council’s condemnation,
her neck. She was in the corner of
morning 10 years ago, she was given In Islam one believes tha there is but amples of stereotypes are: all Black local churches continued to affiliate
her prison cell, not moving, her face
the tragic news. one God and his Prophet of which persons like to eat chicken, all South with the Klan. Anti-Klan lecturer and
“No one was ever held accountable,” there are many. The most predom- Asian people smell of curry, blonde author, W.C. Witcher denounced the
A nurse wasn’t called for 10 minutes.
says Coralee. inant in Islam being the Prophet white women are unintelligent, all Klan’s claims to be 100% American-
By 7:04 a.m., CPR was administered.
‘There was nothing that should have Muhammad (Sallalahhu Alaihi Was Indigenous peoples are addicted to ism, Christianity and lawfulness. He
Thirty-five minutes later, she was put

Love Elevates
cost her life’ Salaam/May Peace & Blessings Be alcohol, all Catholic priests sexually also derided the order’s conflation
Upon Him). assault children, all Muslims are of nationalism and religion. Witcher
As a Muslim, one is required to terrorists. I could go on with these feared that the order would damage
pray five times a day and abstain horrible stereotypes that my very Christianity, arguing “if the Klan is a
from eating certain types of meat own society has taught me. The religious organization it will destroy
and meat not sacrificed in the name worst part is there are people who the Christian religion, unless it is
of Allah. One is required to lead by actually believe these false, ignorant destroyed itself.”
example and conduct themselves and highly disrespectful statements We all watch the news and ingest
with discipline and good manners to to be real and based on factual infor- the horrors before our eyes taking
all. One is required to abstain from mation. Wouldn’t you agree that this place in our world. Terrorists are
all forms of drugs and alcohol as well is rather ridiculous? terrorists. Muslims are not terrorists
as games of chance such as gam- I am going to reference the Ku in the same sense that KKK members
bling. Nowhere in Islam, not one part Klux Klan (KKK) or simply the “Klan”. are not truly Christians. Islam has
of Islam, is there condoned the mur- The KKK is a white supremacy and never will support the killing of
der of innocent people regardless of organization that has made efforts innocent people regardless of race,
race, religion or any other factor. to highlight its ties to Protestant Cont'd on Page 7

Number of women in federal prisons is up, and advocates think they know why
“Women can be in these cells for
By David Burke, CBC News Posted: up to 23 hours a day at times, so I
Oct 11, 2017 mean when you’re in a cell with one
The number of women in federal other person and you have these
prisons has jumped significantly four walls around you, it leads to a
in Canada in the last decade, and lot of issues,” she said.
advocates say that’s evidence of what More women on the inside also
happens when community support shines a light on what may or may
programs are cut. not be happening in their communi-
There are 37 per cent more wom- ties when it comes to health and oth-
By JJKJ by my personal sorrows to really be en behind bars than there were 10 er services, according to advocates.
aware of the love. I was truly loved, years ago (from 502 in 2007 to 688 In Nova Scotia, for instance, many
A child growing up having a moth- yet felt like I had nothing. How can this year), according to Ivan Zinger, people must wait a minimum of 105

concrete blossoms
er leave a five year old for a better this be? Canada’s correctional investigator, days to get outpatient or community
life, his father at seven, then losing a Love is… a young child following who serves as an ombudsman for based mental health services, accord-
grandmother who deeply cared for the shadow of his grandmother’s federal inmates. He said women are ing to the province’s Healthcare Wait
him, along with being emotionally (Elma Watson) every move, wanting one of the fastest-growing popula- Times website. In Sydney, the wait
tions in the federal system. can be as long as 425 days.
hurt by others, I did not feel loved. to be a part of her daily routine. She
protected me; her shadow was like Many have been victims of crime
A column for self-identi- There’s also a wait time to get into
I always thought love was a fleeting
and unattainable thing. soothing sunrays shining from the themselves, he said. More than two- fied women, genderqueer subsidized public housing. In Nova
During my adolescent years, les- purest part of her soul. Love is… be- thirds report being sexually abused
at some point in their lives, and
and non-binary folks. Scotia, there are 1,308 families and
2,361 seniors on the wait list, accord-
sons of the heart were the most chal- ing embraced by an adopted grand-
lenging for me. I felt the tenderness mother (Ms. Eleanor Scott) who loved nearly 90 per cent were physically also said only about two per cent of ing to the Department of Community
of love and the bitterness of pain. In me like one of her own children. Her abused. female inmates are double bunked. Services. There are also an additional
relationships, I expose my innermost unconditional love remains endless It’s no wonder, then, they end up When women are forced to share a 750 non-elderly single applicants
parts and hoped they would accept through her children, their children in prison, according to Savannah single room, it’s generally done to looking for an affordable rental unit.
and love me for who I was. As a and their children even after passing. Gentile, director of advocacy and keep them near their home commu- The province said there is no average
youth if I was not accepted I would Love is… a child waking up every legal issues with the Canadian Associ- nities, making it easier for family and wait time for someone to get a home
close down just a little bit, and each morning, kissing you on the cheek ation of Elizabeth Fry Societies. friends to visit. because there are numerous criteria,
time I was rejected just a little more. then whispering, “I love you Daddy”. “I have heard from a number of But Zinger said Correctional including geography, housing type
It was my fear of being rejected In that silent kiss, I felt appreciated women that the first time they felt Service of Canada is being “disin- and a person’s preferences. Howev-
repeatedly that held me back from and loved. They were thanking me safe was the first night they spent in genuous” when it says there is no er, the province said priority access
passing these emotional tests of self. for being in their lives and that was a prison cell,” she said. “And I think overcrowding. He said each prison can be granted in situations that
In my adult years, I became con- when it hit me that their feelings for that’s really an indictment on our has a rated inmate capacity that’s involve family violence, inadequate
scious of the fact that I had deep sub- me were unconditional love at its communities if the first time a wom- not supposed to be surpassed, but a housing or loss of a home through a
conscious unresolved abandonment purest. an is safe is when she is behind bars. commissioner’s directive allows that disaster.
issues. I was stuck in the illusion of Love is… having children that It’s really speaking to a lack, a lack of limit to be changed if the prison goes The Canadian Association of Eliz-
reality until I took control of and mas- teach you how to love without resources that exist for women.” over capacity. In doing so, on paper abeth Fry Societies said if the federal
tered the emotional part of myself. attachments and loving you regard- The scarcity of resources can the prison is not overcrowded. government put some of the money
Knowing how to accept and love and less of your choices. It was within range from lack of housing and good Kassandra Churcher said she has it spends on prisons into community
give love without attachments is key. their absence that I realize if I did not jobs, to difficulties getting help for seen overcrowding first-hand as services, it could keep some women
I was imprisoned almost two give back that love to others, then I mental and physical ailments. Gentile executive director of the Canadian from turning to crime.
decades mentally and physically. My learned nothing from my experience said some programs have either Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. Much of the growth in female
thirties were spent in a long drought from them. been cut or simply can’t cope with Visits by her group have included inmates is the result of more Indig-
of isolation, feeling sorry for myself, Love is… knowing you’re loved and the demand. Nova Institution for Women in Truro, enous women being imprisoned.
during a time of self-awareness, I embracing it, then sharing it. The growing number of women N.S. The prison is not overcrowded, They make up about two per cent of
had an a-ha moment, and my eyes Love truly elevates. Join the con- behind bars also raises questions she said, but has seen a “dramatic” the country’s entire population, yet
were opened to the fact that many versation, sharing our stories can about overcrowding. Correctional increase in numbers since it opened represent 38 per cent of the female
people in my life were already giving open us to our own realities that we Service of Canada is adamant that fe- in 1995. prison population, said Zinger.
me the unconditional love I was might otherwise miss. My hope is male inmates aren’t being crammed “It’s like you build it and they will “It’s a staggering gross overrepre-
looking for. It was already present in that in sharing these stories we can into federal institutions. Julia Scott, a come,” she said. sentation of Indigenous women in
my life; I was already getting it from open others to what they might be spokesperson for the federal agency, Inmates across the country are often penitentiaries,” he said.
my children, my mother, my adopted overlooking. Know you’re loved. Start said in an email it has up to 805 beds forced to share a cell that was only “Pay attention to the profile of
family’s grandmother, her children, sharing today! Share your story with for women (184 of those were added built for one person, said Chrucher. the inmate population and then you
and her children’s children, but for friends, family, and those in need in in the last six years), but the female The result, according to Gentile, is will know where some of the gaps in
some unknown reason I was blinded the world. inmate population is below 700. Scott “tension.” services, programs and support are.”
6 // art

Me and the Mermaid

Ears Jennifer Bird

By Mary Ellen Young that mermaids aren’t like that, and

I’ve been maxed for 8 years and now they hide to the point of being
in that time I’ve been in seg, on 843, a myth. But mermaids are helpful,
which is suicide watch, as well as grant wishes, protect many wonder-
moderate watch for suicide. I’ve also ful, beautiful and important things
been in Pinel restraints. I have sent and beings in the water. Mermaids
my story in to Cell Count before for a have even helped me. I have many
previous issue, but this story will focus mermaid stories.
on my captivation with mermaids. The People have shared lies and Patricia Carr
art work included with this story is a rumours about mermaids for many,
photo of myself, which represents me, many years. A mermaid was last seen
and the rest a drawing of a mermaid. in 2009, and there was a 1 million dol-
I read a story about a mermaid lar reward for finding her from a tem-
who is a princess and has two sisters. ple in Fukuoka, Japan. The remains of
On their birthdays, they are given a mermaid washed ashore in 1222. It
permission to swim to the ocean’s is believed that mermaids come from
surface, and feel the air while they the legendary palace of a dragon god
peak their heads out. While they are at the bottom of the ocean.
looking across the ocean’s surface, I can relate to mermaids and the
they spot a ship with humans on it, lies people spread about them. Since
and the princess instantly falls in love I’ve been in prison, many lies have
with a handsome man she sees. The been told about me. But I must move
princess swims back into the depths forward. I’ve been deemed a violent,
of the ocean to seek out the help of disrespectful troublemaker with an
a witch, so she can meet this man. extremely low IQ. The truth is, I am
When she finds her, she asks the witch helpful, I pray many times a day, I am
to grant her legs. The witch tells her in always striving to do my best, and I
exchange for her legs, she must give wish harm on no one. All I wish for
up her voice to her, and the princess is that everyone has the best day. I
agrees. do my best to help when it’s needed, Patricia Carr Artist Unknown
When she reaches land with her when someone feels sad, I’m sad. I
new legs, the princess finds the hand-
some man, but can’t use her voice to
have no clue what the world is coming
to, but I won’t change into this horri-
na li g A lArtists
tell him that she loves him. He thinks
she isn't into him, so he eventually
ends up marrying someone else.
ble person that people want me to be.
Even being in prison, I won’t.
I only hope that you all have a nice
at alent!

After the wedding, the princess falls day, do your best to not spread
ds yous rofttattoo art?
nee type
into a deep sadness, and goes to the rumours or lies, because some have
oceanside to look out onto the water. no choice but to live knowing that r
She sees her mermaid sisters who so many people believe false things SANr othe Wanna
swim up to her with a knife, and they about them. I am one of those people, PAash o take part in an
tell her that if she stabs him in the and it feels horrible. I also feel bad for exciting new

heart, she can transform back into a others who experience the same kind

project to help us raise


mermaid and live with them again. of treatment. $$$ to support the work

She takes the knife from them and In the end, I wish I could transform

we do on prisoner health
stabs herself instead of the man she into a mermaid and just jump into

and harm reduction? It’s

loved. When mermaids die, according the ocean, because the world can

to this story, they turn into bubbles be a sad, mean, lonely place. Plus, it going to involve art drawn by
and have no souls. But she was seems no one wants me, since I’ve prisoners and ex-prisoners!!
granted a soul because she spared been transferred to so many different Interested?! Call 1-866-224-9978
her lover’s life, and for how much she institutions. All the moves have or write: PASAN Tattoo Project,
risked for love. She went through so caused me a great deal of instability 526 Richmond St E,
much pain to trade in her voice for and a feeling of loneliness. It’s been Mustapha El Kaaki Artist Unknown Toronto, ON, M5A 1R3
legs and feet, only to watch her lover hard to hold on to anything. I’ve lost a
get married to someone else. lot, even a boyfriend. I lost my stereo To all the artists who contributed their work to this issue of Cell Count: a big THANK YOU! I wish I could print them
The reason I wanted to share this and TV too. I do have one friend in all bigger, but we only have so much space.
story is because many people think the medium, and we hope to spend To other talented folks, please send us your work! If you need us to print it under a pseudonym or would like us
that mermaids are destroyers, cause Christmas together. to send it back to you, please write a line stating so with the work you mail in. If you want us to send your work as
storms, sink ships, lure, kidnap and Thank you for reading my mermaid published in Cell Count to your family and friends, please also let us know that too. Just write their name and address
drown men. This story demonstrates story and about me. and we'll send them a copy of Cell Count with your art printed in it.
7 // health and harm reduction

Harm Reduction
By Reginal Nixon
HCV transmis- Yoga for better living with HCV
sion in Prison
In my own personal opinion, this who is worried and concerned, and it By Ears
is one subject that does not exist really works well. Hello, I have HepC. I caught it in
in prison. When people do harm to I have a very good friend who is prison and the doctor could have
themselves I see that there are two no longer here, as he got released prevented it. Here’s what happened.
common factors which are Physical four years ago and suffers from I have been an addict since age 15.
and Mental abuse. The signs of Asperger’s syndrome and Tourette’s An intravenous user since age 17. I
self-harm are not always visible such syndrome. He was constantly bullied was using an 8 ball of heroin per day
as cutting or burning. Some people because he rocked back and forth. by the age of 19. I caught a 5½ year
do harm to themselves by not eating I got upset because he started to penbit at age 20 with no infections or
or exercising and improper hygiene, physically abuse himself and I told diseases. I never went on methadone
which I think is even worse. I find him not to listen to his bullies, and and I quit cold turkey.
that self harm is looked at as the that he was a lot smarter than they I finished my 5½ years, was out
person being scared, because of his were and it worked. The staff I find for 8 months, and picked up 6 more
crime or his sexual way of life. I have are some of the worst one’s for years plus one more for a stabbing. I
learned how to tell when a person is ignoring the signs of people that are had a grand total of 7 years. I arrived
neglecting themselves and I figured hurting themselves. I know from in RRAC, the reception center in BC
out that talking to and building trust my own personal experiences from for starting penbits. I was infec-
with them works but not always. I when I was growing up, I had been tion-free on my blood work.
have been working with many people physically and sexually abused and I arrive at a federal institution in
throughout my life both on the street I have tried to kill myself over 200 BC and tell the doctor, “I need Meth-
and in prison. times. I was very suicidal when drink- adone to stay off dope while inside.”
With people on the street I worked ing alcohol or using drugs until some- The doctor says, “no problem”, and
in a psychiatric hospital, retire- one sat me down and talked with me. places me on the wait list. I end up
ment home, and gay youth centre. I feel that harm reduction needs in segregation and get shipped out
I learned about the reasons that to be taught in schools because there to an institution on the east coast,
people self harm. It is a lot different are far too many people dying for no before I could start on the Metha-
working with other inmates in prison good reason. There are also people done program. Once I arrive, I am
as there isn’t any way to work one that suffer from common issues under the care of a doctor there and
on one without being interrupted. like stress and depression that self tell him that I was on the waitlist for
I would like to start a group similar harm because it’s the only way that Methadone in the BC institution,
to AA, NA and have volunteers from they feel relieved. I think that all PEC and ask him if he’ll place me on the By Zachary Grant, Federal HCV Pro- to right side, extending left side body
PASAN, PARN, Street Health and and APEC workers should have a full wait list here. He flat out says, “No”. I gram Coordinator, PASAN 14. Legs crossed, folding forward
Health Care so inmates can talk with 2-day training session on the subject threaten to file a Grievance (the only People living with HCV, or who 15. Right knee crosses left thigh, left
each other or a volunteer, which I of Harm Reduction and staff should way an inmate has to dispute issues). have experienced liver trauma have elbow to right knee, breath deepens
feel would be helpful. I am currently receive a one day training session. He then tells me, “If I say you don’t good reason to ensure the good the twist 16. Left knee crosses right
helping two inmates, one that cuts With a lot of work and some coopera- get Methadone then you don’t get functioning of their organs. Beyond thigh, right elbow to left knee, breath
and burns himself and the other who tion by staff and other inmates, we Methadone. Grievances don’t mean this, emotional impact and stress of deepens the twist 17. Knees on floor,
is neglecting himself or food and can come together to support people shit to me, around here, I am God.” living with the virus often sits in the arms walk forward to form triangle
hygiene. I talk with them like a friend who inflict harm on themselves. His words exactly. sinews of our body. This yoga prac- 18. Knees and butt raise, grounding
So guess what I do?! Me being tice is geared towards refreshing the through palms forming standing
Prisoners Mental Health Class Action an addict, I start to “Bang” dope in
prison. So in prison, they do not
organs, oxygenating the blood and
soothing the sympathetic nervous
triangle 19. Body shifts forward to
plank, elbows touching floor 20.
By Slinky ford and Co. from Waterloo, Ontario, provide clean needles. The only “Rig” systems – putting us in a place to Chest raises from ground, extending
and the main lawyer in charge is is a homemade one made from an heal. With regular practice, this can through back, grounding through
To all my fellow brothers and sis- Koskie Minsky. Here is their contact Insulin needle and a pentube. These contribute to better overall health pelvis 20. Knees and butt raise,
ters incarcerated across the country, information: Federal Prisoner Mental Insulin needles are hard to get so and help balance the side effects of grounding through palms, heels
if you were not already aware of this Health, Class Action Administrator, there is only one between the five medications. It also has the ability to extending towards floor 21. Legs
please read this with attention. In c/o Crawford & Company, 3-505, 133 junkies on my range, which leaves moderate mood and advance emo- in standing, bend at wait, arms fall
the fall of the Ashley Smith Inquiry, Weber St N., Waterloo, ON, N2J 3G9. us with two choices, share or don’t tional well-being. towards floor, breathing to deepen
lots of changes are being put in place Their number is 1-855-823-0650. do drugs. Guess what we choose? Liver & Kidney Cleansing Flow fold 22. Hands to thighs, extension of
within CSC to improve our mental You can also ask your people on So now from sharing I catch Hep C. 1. Laying on back, breathing 5 mins back and head forward 23. In stand-
health, etc. But let’s all agree that CSC the outside to email federalprisoner- I actually could feel when I caught it 2. Knees to chest, head elevating to ing arms raise, tracking towards each
tends not the follow through with because I felt like I had a mild cold knees 3. Right leg extends, left knee other, stand on tips of toes, breath-
certain commitments. So lots of the Of course money doesn’t change all for a few days after. to chest 4. Left leg extends, right ing to maintain 24. Feet hip distance
promises made, such as the 15 days the damage they caused through the So I get bloodwork 2 months knee to chest 5. Laying on back, apart, arms raise to T, palms pressing
or less for segregation placements years, but CSC doesn’t understand a after using… Positive for HepC, and breathing 6. Left leg extends upward, outwards 25. Maintaining T, fold at
and/or no segregation at all for any lot of things, one thing that does tend guess what happens? All of a sudden, hands reach for shin 7. Right leg ex- waist, extending butt to head, palm
diagnosed mental health patients to make a difference though is when the doctor wants to put me on to tends upward, hands reach for shin to palm 25. Arms in T, left palm rais-
within CSC, have already been bro- they have to sign big fat cheques methadone! A little too late don’t 8. Bent right leg crosses left knee, es as head turns to view, on inhale
ken (at least where I am). Ultimately, to hundreds of inmates. So please you think?! It is Opiate Substitution falls to floor, arms extended in T, to right hand raises as head turns to
if any changes really happened it will pay attention to this and make your Therapy (OST). It is meant to keep seated position with legs extended, view, alternating with breath 26. Legs
take time and the Inquiry has nailed voices heard and get compensated users from using it and it tends to arms reach upwards 10. Hands push widen past knees, folding at waist
it on numerous topics, but they tried for our pain and suffering. I myself work quite well. from floor behind back, chest lifts 27. Hands on floor, knees and butt
to sell us a few “pipe dreams” as well. spent over 4 years in segregation So now here is the “$77,000” upwards. 11. Arms reach towards raise, grounding through palms 28.
But it is more important now than since 2010 alone (1759 days) why? question: is it his fault I caught HepC thighs, shins, or feet 12. With crossed Body shifts forward to plank, elbows
ever to hold them all accountable. Cause I was struggling with my OCD, by not giving me methadone when legs, right arm raises upward and touching floor 29. Chest raises from
I know as a mental health patient anxiety, depression, PTSD and ADHD. I asked? Mine for being a junkie and reaches to left side, extending right ground, extending through back,
myself that at times we don’t feel like All for which I was diagnosed, but doing what I know? Or the Correc- side of body 13. With crossed legs, grounding through pelvis 30. Laying
getting included in all this confus- restrictions on medications got me tional Service of Canada for either left arm raises upward and reaches on back, breathing 5-10 mins
ing legal stuff but we must do it! I all messed up and landed me in seg not providing us with clean needles
am myself part of the class action
lawsuit and if you haven’t yet heard
of it, there is a class action that has
Now I’m “burned”. I do better
lately since the psychiatrist here has
or ensuring that prison is drug
So now I am 29 years old, with
Terrorism is against Islam
Cont'd from page 5
been approved and supported by been OK and put me on medica- HepC, on Methadone and on a huge who perpetrates these types of acts
the government for us. It includes tions for my needs. But CSC keeps waitlist for “Harvoni,” the drug that will surely stand before Allah on
federal prisoners who have been on derailing all attempts to create treats HepC. I am out in 10 months judgement day. Real peace and order
diagnosed with an Axis I disorder or successful programs and units for us, and most likely won’t get treated depends mainly on the sense of
Borderline Personality Disorder by they pocket the funds and nothing before my release. This means that security, developed by the adminis-
a medical doctor, incarcerated be- really changes. So it is important to once I am released, I’ll have to pay for tration of firm justice, guided by true
tween November 1st 1992 – now, and take our chance to be heard here the treatment myself, $77,000 that I evidence.
were alive as of July 20, 2013. There and make sure that the deaths of don’t have. Or when I get out, will I go How much of present social un-
is a law firm responsible for the class our brothers and sisters (like Ashley back to using (because Corrections easiness is due, directly or indirect-
action lawsuit which is called Craw- Smith) are not in vain. Rise Up!! has not given me my programs to ly, to the incompetence of justice
teach me to stay off of dope), will I diluted with any number of consid-

Prison health fairs in Ontario put people in my community at risk

of becoming infected with HepC
through blood-to-blood contact?
erations? Islam however is very strict
about it: no considerations of love
or sympathy, fear or favour, piety or
By Sena Hussain of our readers, and also sign up so So now I ask for help. I need a religion or any other factor. compassion are permitted to inter-
Zachary Grant, PASAN's Federal many new people for Cell Count. lawyer who will help me build a case We need to look into ourselves fere with adjudication to the party of
HCV Program Coordinator and I at- Thank you to everyone who came of malpractice against that doctor. and re-evaluate the potentially harm- any concerned.
tended health fairs at Beaver Creek, up and introduced yourselves to He is completely not fit to be a doc- ful misinformation we have been Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim
Warkworth, Bath, Millhaven, Collins us. I've taken a lot of your ideas and tor. Aren’t doctors supposed to help given to ingest by a society that has (In the Name of Allah the Beneficent,
Bay and Joyceville in the first part of suggestions back with me, and I hope people and not do whatever it is you been hurt by terrorism. We need to the Merciful).
October. I also travelled with Clau- Cell Count becomes even better call what he did to me? place the blame in the laps of those Have a story about the ways faith
dia Medina, Program Manager at because of it. If you have more ques- Editor's note: If you have had a who perpetrate these heinous acts and/or spirituality has helped you while
PASAN to Grand Valley Institution. tions for us, please feel free to get in similar experience, please call PASAN against innocents. being inside? Write it out and send it
It was awesome to meet so many touch with us over here at PASAN! for support and information. I know one thing: any person to us!
8 // resources & about pasan
Take collect calls CONTRE le SIDA (COCQSIDA) 2518 Eglinton Avenue West 160 Traders Blvd, Unit 1, Mississauga, Accept collect calls
150 Bentinck St, Sydney, NS, B1P Accept collect calls Toronto, Ontario M6M 1T1 L4Z 3K7 RR 1, Site 1, Box 133, Onoway, AB, T0E
1G6 902-567-1766 1 est, rue Sherbrooke, Montréal, H2X ph (416) 652-3131 1-866-896-8700, 905-361-0523 (Collect) 1V01-866-971-7233, 780-913-9036
Accept collect calls COMITÉ des PERSONNES ATTEINTES Accept collect calls from registered NETWORK (PARN) CENTRE
1675 Bedford Row, Halifax, NS, B3J 1T11- du VIH du QUEBEC (CPAVIH) clients Accept collect calls 705 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0X2
800-566-2437, 902-425-4882 1-800-927-2844 (Recommend that you get a case man- 302-159 King St, Peterborough, K9J 1-888-305-8647
AIDS COMMITTEE of NEWFOUND- 2075 rue Plessis bureau 310, Montreal, ager to get registered with them) 2R81-800-361-2895, 705-932-9110 (Col- PLWA NETWORK OF SASKATCHEWAN
LAND & LABRADOR H2L 2Y4 1-800-927-2844 111 Church St, St Catharines, L2R lect) No collect calls
Take collect calls 3C9 905-984-8684 or toll free 1-800- STREET HEALTH CENTRE Box 7123, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 4I1 306-
47 Janeway Place, St. John’s, NL, A1A ONTARIO 773-9843 Accept collect calls 373-7766
1R7 1-800-563-1575 2-SPIRITED PEOPLE of the 1ST NA- ANISHNAWBE HEALTH AIDS PRO- Hepatitis C Treatment Program235 PRINCE ALBERT METIS WOMEN’S
AIDS NEW BRUNSWICK TIONS GRAM Wellington St, Kingston, K7K 0B5 613- ASSOC.
65 Brunswick St, Fredericton, NB, E3B Accept collect calls No collect calls 549-1440 (Collect) No collect calls
1G51-800-561-4009, 506-459-7518 145 Front Street East Suite 105 Toronto, 255 Queen St E, Toronto, M5A 1S4 416- THE AIDS NETWORK (TAN) 54 10th St E, Prince Albert, SK, S6V
AIDS PEI Ontario M5A 1E3 416-944-9300 360-0486 Don’t accept collect calls 0Y5 306-763-5356
2-375 University Ave, Charlottetown, PE, 543 Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON. Don’t accept collect calls right now (they 1B2 905-528-0854 toll free 1-866-563- (ALL NATIONS HOPE AIDS NETWORK)
C1A 4N4 902-566-2437 M4Y 1Y5 416-340-2437 (Please note, will in 2-3 months) 0563  2735 5th Ave, Regina, SK, S4T
AIDS SAINT JOHN they do not accept collect calls) When prisoners call, they offer them THE WORKS 0L2 1-877-210-7622
Don’t accept collect calls AFRICANS in PARTNERSHIP AGAINST small bursaries to cover their calling fees Accept collect calls STREET CONNECTIONS
115 Hazen St, NB, E2L 3L3 506-652-2437 AIDS 107-33 Isabella St, Toronto, M4Y 277 Victoria St, Toronto, 416-392-0520 No collect calls
HEALING OUR NATIONS: No collect calls, call PASAN 2P7 416-963-4300 (Collect) (Collect) 705 Broadway Ave, Winnipeg, MB,
1-800 565 4255 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, M5A BLACK COALITION for AIDS PREVEN- TORONTO PWA FOUNDATION R3G 0X2 204-940-2504 WOMEN: 50
3-15 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 1R3 416-924-5256 TION Accept collect calls from clients Argyle, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0H6 204-
2N21-800-565-4255, 902-492-4255 AIDS COMMITTEE of CAMBRIDGE, Accept collect calls 200 Gerrard St E, 2nd Flr, Toronto, M5A 943-6379
MAINLINE NEEDLE EXCHANGE KITCHENER,WATERLOO & AREA 20 Victoria St, 4th Flr, Toronto, M5C 2E6 416-506-1400
Calls from within Nova Scotia are free 2N8 416-977-9955 (Collect) Toronto Community Hep C Program WEST COAST 
Accept collect calls
Don’t accept collect calls Have a toll-free number CANADIAN HIV/AIDS LEGAL NET- Accept collect calls AIDS VANCOUVER ISLAND
5511 Cornwallis St, Halifax, NS, B3K 2B-625 King St E, Kitchener, N2G WORK 955 Queen Street East, Toronto, M4M Accepts collect calls. 713 Johnson St,
1B3 902-423-9991 4V4 519-570-3687 (Collect), 1-877–770– Accept collect calls 3P3 3rd Flr, Victoria, V8W 1M8 250-384-
SHARP ADVICE NEEDLE EXCHANGE 3687 1240 Bay St #600, Toronto, M5R 2A7 416-595- 416-461-1925 (Collect only on Tuesday & 2366 or 1-800-665-2437
Accept collect calls AIDS COMMITTEE OF GUELPH 1666 (Collect) Friday, 11am-5pm) PLBC - PRISON OUTREACH PROJ-
150 Bentnick St, Sydney, NS, B1P Accept collect calls, prefer that people FIFE HOUSE Once out, please call 416-417-6135 ECT
6H1 902-539-5556 (Collect) use their Accepts collect calls 1107 Seymour St, Vancouver, V6B
SIDA/AIDS MONCTON 490 Sherbourne St, 2nd Flr, Toronto, M4X 1K9   PRAIRIES 
89 Dawson Rd, Unit 113, Guelph, N1H 5S8 Toll Free: PROV - 604-525-8646
Accept collect calls as long as they’re 3X2 1-800-282-4505; 519-763-2255 416-205-9888 HIV COMMUNITY LINK FED - 1-877-900-2437 (#’s approved
HIV related (Collect) HIV & AIDS LEGAL CLINIC OF ON. Accept collect calls by institutions and are NOT Collect
80 Weldon St, Moncton, NB, E1C AIDS COMMITTEE of NORTH BAY (HALCO) 110-1603 10th Ave SW, Calgary, AB, T3C Calls)
5V8 506-859-9616 and AREA Accept collect calls 0J7 403-508-2500
Accept collect calls 65 Wellesley St E, Toronto, M4Y AIDS SASKATOON NATIONAL
QUEBEC 1G7 1-888-705-8889
201-269 Main St W, North Bay, P1B 1143 Ave F N, Saskatoon, SK, S7L 1X1306-242- CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF ELIZA-
CACTUS 2T8 705-497-3560 (Collect) HIV/AIDS REGIONAL SERVICES (HARS) 5005 1-800-667-6876 BETH FRY SOCIETIES (Women)
Accept collect calls AIDS COMMITTEE of OTTAWA Accept collect calls CENTRAL ALBERTA AIDS NET- 701-151 Slater St.
1300 rue Sanguinet, Montreal, H2X 700-251 Bank St, Ottawa, K2P 1X3 613- 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L WORK SOCIETY Ottawa, ON
3E7 514-847-0067 238-5014 (Collect) or Toll Free (ON & QC 1G5 613-545-3698 (Collect) No collect calls K1P 5H3
CENTRE for AIDS SERVICES MONTRE- only) 1-800-461-2182 ONTARIO ABORIGINAL HIV/AIDS 4611 50th Ave, Red Deer, AB, T4N 3Z9 (613) 238-2422
Accept collect calls 574 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, P7B Accept collect calls HIV EDMONTON 440 Laurier Ave. West, Suite 200
1750 Rue Saint-Andre, 3rd Flr, Montreal, 3Z2 1-800-488-5840, 807-345-1516 (Col- 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L 9702 111 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X6 Toll-free: 1-866-
H2L 3T81-877-847-3636, 514-495-0990 lect) 1G5 613-549-7540 (Collect) T5G 0B1 1-877-388-5742 977-2492


PASAN is a community-based HIV Service organization Outreach & Education
that strives to provide community development, educa- Sena Hussain
Prison Education Programs: 
Eveline Allen Lead Editor
tion and support to prisoners and ex-prisoners in Ontario Regional Prison In-Reach Coordinator
ON HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and other harm reduction PASAN conducts HIV prevention education programs in
many adult and youth institutions in the southern Ontario Zachary Grant Janet Rowe
issues. PASAN formed in 1991 as a grassroots response
region.  This program includes a Peer Educators Group, Federal Hep C Program Coordinator Cell Count Supervisor
to HIV in the Canadian prison system. Today, PASAN
whereby ex-prisoners living with HIV are educators for Seth Clarke Zakaria Amara
is the only community-based organization in Canada
current prisoners.   ​Federal Community Development Coordinator Writer
exclusively providing HIV and HCV prevention, education
PASAN conducts free training for those working with Trevor Gray
and support services to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their
prison-affected and drug using populations.  Training Community Programs Coordinator Jonathan Lévesque-Gervais
topics include: Sena Hussain Writer
Support Services ▪ HIV & Prison Communications and Resource Development Coordi- Shane R./Abdul A.
▪ Harm Reduction nator
Individual Support Services: Writer
▪ The Impact of Segregation Lindsay Jennings
▪ Individual support & counselling ▪ Stigma & Discrimination
Provincial HepC Program Coordinator JJKJ
▪ case management Writer
▪ pre-release and post-release planning
Systemic Advocacy Caludia Medina
▪ referrals  Since our beginnings in 1991, PASAN has always
Program Manager Mary Ellen Young
▪ advocacy for medical services  maintained a focus on systemic issues of HIV/AIDS and Janet Rowe Writer
▪ housing supports prisons.   Some has been involved in many systemic Executive Director
Reginal Nixon
▪ phone support through collect calling  advocacy efforts including: Cherisa Shivcharran Writer
▪ emergency financial assistance (limited budget for fees ▪ Prison Needle Syringe Project (2014/15) Provincial Community Development Coordinator
related to identification and prison release.  Application ▪ Advocacy against the use of segregation Slinky
▪ Presentation to the Canadian Human Rights Commis- Writer
requirements exist)
sion (2001)
▪ Advocacy for male-to-female transsexual/transgendered Ears
Community Support Services: Writer
prisoners and HIV (1999)
PASAN also provides support AIDS Service Organizations
From our office: PJD 2017

▪ Presentation to the Presidential Advisory Council on

and community groups across Ontario.  This includes:  Zachary Grant
HIV/AIDS in Washington DC (1998)
▪ resources & educational materials Writer
▪ Presentation to the Parliamentary Subcommittee on
▪ training
AIDS (1996) Poetry: Jennifer Bird, Mr. Valley, JROC, Shane
▪ assistance to set up prison outreach and support ▪ HIV/AIDS in Youth Custody Settings: A Comprehensive N. Roach, Mustapha El Kaaki, Grizzly Bear,
projects Strategy (1996) Tylor Beggs (Lucky)
▪ strategies to develop referral “hubs” for HIV positive ▪ Organization of the first National Workshop on HIV/ Art: Mary Ellen Young, Ears, Jennifer Bird,
prisoners AIDS in Prison (1995).  Patricia Carr, Mustapha El Kaaki
▪ networking for the development of a continuum of care ▪ HIV/AIDS in Prison Systems: A Comprehensive Strate- Let us know if we mistakenly forgot
for prisoners transferred between regions  gy (1992) someone!