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SPRING 2017 - ISSUE #80

Mosaic project takes over PASAN

I S S U E # 8 0 Mosaic project takes over PASAN By Shelby Kennedy

By Shelby Kennedy It’s been an exci ng few months at PASAN! A er 25 years of history as the only community-based organiza- on in Canada exclusively providing HIV and HCV preven on, educa on and support services to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, PASAN wished to commemorate those experiences through a collabora ve art project. PASAN believes you, as prisoners, deserve to be recognized, supported, upli ed and wri en into history where you’ve been, and con- nue to be, erased, and so was born the mosaic project. Mosaic is a form of art that uses many small pieces of

material (usually stone, tile and glass) to form one complete image/pattern. Towards the end of 2016, clients & staff of PASAN, along with a team of extremely talented community artists, began working on the project. Being such an elaborate and large piece of art, a lot of time and work went into the design and construction of it. For the project to be successful, it was important that the artwork behind the piece is meaningful to, and useful for, folks within the community. To do this, PASAN invited community members to participate in workshops where folks had the opportunity to draw and dis- cuss their thoughts/feelings on PASAN,

to draw and dis- cuss their thoughts/feelings on PASAN, Folks gathered for the big reveal of

Folks gathered for the big reveal of the design. January 25th, PASAN, Toronto

prisoner justice, HIV programming, and community engagement. Following these sessions, Anna Camilleri, the lead artist and designer for the project, compiled the different ideas, feelings and thoughts of folks into one cohesive design. Each drawing was different in its own way, but there were many similarities among them. The number 4, for example, was a hot topic. The four elements (earth, re, water, air), the four directions and the medicine wheel were found in many of the drawings. Frustrations over ghting for resources, survival, freedom, and trust, along with resistance to these

forces came up a lot as well. The Crows, to some, represent honoured ancestors – prisoners, and ex-prisoners who have passed. The Phoenix – not only represents the element of re, but also the themes of beginning again and metamorphosis. The quotes “No one is left behind” and “Nobody fails here” are direct quotes taken from client’s drawings, discussing PASAN’s position on never turning somebody away. And lastly, the Deer can represent a few things such as renewal (shedding of antlers), balance & centering (position of antlers in the piece) and the antlers shredding the fence could represent breaking down barriers to some.

Aside from the imagery, other con- siderations were taken while designing the piece. Accessibility was frequently discussed. Could folks easily see the piece? Was there texture? How does it feel? The mosaic is intended to bring life into the space, for example by gen- erating conversation, evoking emotion, or even simply through observation. Physically, the mosaic had to have certain qualities too. Portability was considered, in case PASAN ever has to move, the piece can come with us. Just as the artwork says – “No one is left behind.” Mosaics tend to be very heavy since they are mostly made of wood, glass, and stone. So, if a mosaic is installed somewhere to stay forever, it is built in sections to make it easier to manage. In this case, to be portable, the mosaic had to be one solid piece. Lots of measuring went into making sure the piece could nd a way out of the building if nec- essary. Thanks to all this work, PASAN will be able to take the

piece anywhere, cont'd on page 6

be able to take the piece anywhere, cont'd on page 6 Working Hands. February 9th, 2017,

Working Hands. February 9th, 2017, PASAN, Toronto: we took a look at the piece that Anna designed.

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2 // bulletin board


  increase in workload, clients may not be able to spend as much time on

increase in workload, clients may not be able to spend as much time on the telephone with staff as we would like. The staff and volunteers are dedicat- ed and committed and will continue to provide the best care possible. Thanks for your patience and under- standing!

If you want to see a worker or attend a program put in a request to the Volunteer Coordinator or the Social Work Dept, or call us toll free at 1-866-224-9978

Provincial (ON) Men -



Groups/1on1: Sign up sheet; Request to Volunteer Coordinator; Call PASAN


C , ( , - , , ), , , , - ( ), :



Groups/1on1: Sign up sheet; Request to Volunteer Coordinator; Call PASAN



Groups/1on1: monthly; Call PASAN



Groups/1on1: Run twice a month; Call PASAN



Groups/1on1: Run twice a month; Call for a program on your unit or a 1on1 educational

We want your submissions! We get lots of letters from our readers telling us how much they love seeing all your work and they’re hungry for more. Send us your stuff and get published in Cell Count. When you send stuff in, please make sure you write a line in that gives us permission to publish your work. Also, let us know if you would like your work returned to you or sent on to someone else! Writers: We get a lot of great work sent in that we are unable to use because of very limited space. Apol- ogies. Please consider the column width & keep articles/poems tight & to the point. Honestly, the first items to go in are the ones that fit nicely and leave space for others – quality and quantity! Also, let us know in


Put a request in with the Volunteer Coordinator or call for a program on your unit or a 1on1 educational

Provincial (ON) Women -


Call PASAN (no regular programming)


Call PASAN (no regular programming)


1 st and 3 rd Wed – 1on1 Request to Social Work or Healthcare and call PASAN

Federal (ON) Men -

We try to visit each prison at least 3 times a year. We visit: Bath, Beavercreek Min/Med, Collins Bay, Joyceville Min/Med, Millhaven, Pittsburgh and Warkworth. We see people individually or in group settings and talk about HIV/AIDS, Hep C, Harm Reduction and Health Promotion. If you wish to know more or have HIV please contact us to find out when we will be at your institution.

Federal (ON) Women -


once a month; request to health care and call PASAN



In order to be a client & access these services you need to have confirmed HIV+ status and be a prisoner or ex-prisoner (all times Eastern Standard time)  Phone Hours: Mon – Fri from 9-5, except Tuesday mornings and lunch from 12pm-


 Drop-in – Mondays 1:30-3:30 (except holidays) Good food & 2 TTC tokens (for PASAN members only)  Nurse – 1 st & last Monday 1:30-3:30 every month  ID Clinic – 1 st & 3 rd Thursday 1:00-2:00 every month - for everyone.  Release Funds - $50 (twice a year max)  TTC Tokens – 2 per week Mon during drop- in 1:30-3:30pm.  Harm Reduction Materials – Mon – Fri from 9-5 (12-1pm we are closed), except Tuesday AM (Safer-Crack-Use-Kits, Safer-Needle- Use-Kits, Piercing Needles, Condoms, etc.) - for everyone. Sometimes we and the phones are very busy so please keep trying!


PASAN publishes ‘Cell Count’, a minimum of 4 issues per year. It is sent out for FREE to Clients & Prisoners in Canada. If you are on the outside or part of an organization, please consider a donation @ $20 per year. Issue #79 is our first issue after a year because we didn’t have the funds to run it until now. But we’re back with a whole new look and editor! See the PASAN page about who contributed to this issue. Publisher: PASAN 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 Circulation: 1700+ - Recirculation: ??? All original artwork, poems and writings are the sole/soul property of the artist and author. Fair Dealing in the Canadian Copyright Act:

Sections 29, 29.1, 29.2: “Fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, and news re- porting does not infringe copyright.”

A N P P :

I know we promised to bring Pen Pal's back

for this issue, but, due to a lack of time and

funding, we are sad to say, that we are putting

it on hold indefinitely. We are still brainstorm-

ing ways that we can possibly start it back up again, and we will keep you posted if anything changes. Here is a list of alternative places you can send your ads and photos, although some

come with a cost. We cannot personally vouch for these options, so please use at your own discretion:

Canadian Inmates Connect: Currently, there is a $35/year subscription. Your ad will be placed on a website, and people with inter- net access browse through to decide who to connect with. A point of caution: you are asked to say what you have been convicted for, and your full name will be published online. Melissa is the person to contact for more information. Write or call her at: Canadian Inmates Connect Inc. 3007 Kingston Rd, Suite 267, Toronto, Ontario, M1M 1P1 - (647) 344-3404 Black and Pink: Specifically for queer and trans prisoners. They are based in the United States, and it does not cost anything to be part

of the list, and you don't have to tell them your conviction. Here is out to reach them: Black and Pink National Office, 614 Columbia Rd, Dorchester, MA 02125


Prison Fellowship Canada: This is a faith- based, Christian organization that connects prisoners with volunteers of either the same gender, or where there is a 15-20 year age dif-

ference. The point is for you to have an outlet to express yourself to someone who will listen. If you are of the Christian faith, this may be a great option for you. You can reach them for more info at: Prison Fellowship Canada - National Office, 5945 Airport Road, Suite 144, Mississauga, ON L4V 1R9


Prisoner Correspondence Project: " a solidarity project for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer prisoners in Canada and the United States, linking them with people who are part of these same communities outside of pris- on." - From their website. Write to them here:

QPIRG Concordia c/o Concordia University 1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8 If you have had success using a pen pal service (other than ours) and would like to share it with other Cell Count subscribers, please write to us or call. We can list it in a future issue.

M ?

We were getting about 75 Cell Counts sent back to us each mail-out labelled, ‘Not Here’. Please help us reduce our mailing expenses by letting us know of any address change, ASAP! Thank you for the consideration.


PASAN has been around for 25 years now and over the years our client population has increased dramatically. As a result of this

writing if it’s ok to edit your work for grammar, spelling and so we can fit it in. We're especially looking for submissions from women-identified folks! Women are the fastest-growing prisoner population in Canada, but often their experiences are marginalized in conversations about the prison system. We want

to hear your take on prison, life, family, or any-

thing else you're interested in writing about. We can guarantee confidentiality, and can publish your pieces under a pseudonym if you want!

Please submit your articles, poetry, art, or letters


the editor to PASAN at 526 Richmond St


Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 - in the meantime,

check out Concrete Blossoms on pages 3 and 5.

D -

PASAN Clients Mondays 1:30-3:30pm See you then!


F.E.A.T. for Children of Incarcerated Parents was founded in 2011 to support the needs of the over 15,000 children in the Greater Toronto Area that have a parent in the criminal justice system. The Family Visitation Program Would you like to visit a family member in prison? F.E.A.T.’s Family Visitation Program provides transportation on weekends for you

and an adult to correctional facilities in South- ern Ontario. During the trip, you will be able

to talk to friends and mentors, play games and

watch movies. Youth under 18 can visit their

family member for free! If you are interested

in participating in the program, please call or

email F.E.A.T. to register today! For more information or registration please con- tact Jessica or Derrick Reid at: info@featforchil- or 416-505-5333


If you are in any Federal/Provincial Inst or

Detention call us only with this #: Toll-free



A Nurse for PASAN members!

On the 1 st & last Monday of every month, 1:30

– 3:30

• Information and schedules regarding:






Community Health Resources


HIV understanding


Complications to HIV (eg Opportunistic


• Assessments of emerging health issues

• Management of existing medical conditions or follow up(s)

• Communication with community! Institu- tional health care providers for access

• To clarify or communicate health infor- mation and to advocate for health service provisions

• Communicating findings and follow up plans and accountabilities with PHAs and PASAN primary workers (or delegates) Please sign up at front desk


The Partners for Access and Identification (PAID) project opens doors and breaks down barriers for individuals who do not have a fixed or permanent address. The ID Clinics are held at PASAN on the 1 st & 3 rd Thursday of each month, 1:00-2:00pm The project operates at various sites across the city of Toronto. The PAID project also con- nects individuals and families to other services, such as:

- Primary health care facilities

- Sources for housing

- Sources for food

- Legal Aid

We also provide guidance and awareness regard- ing other programs that are available, including community-based support services. For more information, please call: Neighbour- hood Link Support Services at 416-691-7407. Also at the Toronto South D.C. Put in a request to see them.


KINGSTON AREA - CFRC Prison Radio airs every Wednesday evening from 7-8pm on 101.9 FM. CFRC is the Queen's University commu- nity radio station and every last Wednesday of the month, they read messages and do song requests from or to prisoners and their friends and family. CFRC can be heard from Millhaven Institution, Collins Bay Institution, Joycev- ille Institution, Bath Institution, Frontenac Institution, Pittsburgh Institution, and Quinte Detention Centre. MONTREAL AREA – CKUT Prison Radio airs on 90.3 FM on the second Thursday of every month between 5-6 pm as part of the Off the Hour show and on the fourth Friday of every month between 11am and 12pm. It can

be heard from Bordeaux, Rivière-des-Prairies, Centre de formation fédéral, Leclerc, Montée St-Francois, Centre de détention pour les immi- grants, Archambault, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, and Cowansville institutions. VANCOUVER AREA – Stark Raven Col- lective runs the CFRO Prison Radio show on 100.5 FM as part of Vancouver Co-operative Radio. It broadcasts on the first Monday of each month from 7-8 pm Pacific Time HALIFAX AREA - Dalhousie University's CKDU at 88.1 FM. Listen or call in for poetry and rap on the Black Power Hour, which airs Wednesdays from 1:30-2:30pm , and is co-host- ed by former Halifax poet laureate El Jones. The show focuses on social and cultural issues relevant to Black communities, but is open all listeners.


to Black communities, but is open all listeners. S G By Mooky Cherian I’ve had the

By Mooky Cherian I’ve had the privilege of working for PASAN since 2002, rst as a frontline worker in the provincial system and then, over the last 5+ years, as

the Program Manager. My time has come to move on to the next part of my life journey so I wanted to take a moment to say good-bye to those of you who I have connected with over the years. Some of my best memories from the last 15 years have been the connections that I’ve made with people inside. I’ve always said that prisoners have been my greatest teachers in this work. Some of you have touched me in ways that you will never fully know. Moving forward, I will remain committed to pris- oners’ justice, upholding the rights of people who use drugs and access to appropriate healthcare to all people who experience barriers when trying to maintain their health, especially prisoners. My last day here is May 31st, feel free to write or call me if you’d like.

3 // from inside



3 am. My love and I

in our annel pj' s on a blanket


Beneath us cool desert sand. Above us a blue moon

in a blue-black sky glittered

with blue-white stars twinkling like her blue-green eyes.

A silver penny oats in

on a cool breeze and lands



It dissolves

into glitter and drifts into eternity.

What did you wish for? I ask.

A world without nouns, she says,

without war and suffering, without prison. But what about peace? I ask. What about love and community?

Relations and connections, she says hence prepositions

in my world -

and conjunctions too, she adds, unless they subordinate.

A bronze turtle tiptoes over

and offers my love and me

each a cup of silvery tea.

We drink

My love and I. 3 am. Nick Paccione

silver-lined silk.

the warm palm her open hand.



C ' R


days just a byway,


morrows and endless highway

Tho the sun may shine or rain & snow, For all I’ve had I have nothing left 2 show. Thought my heart is cold n frosted, And the whole night through I’ve wasted. Don’t you kno that I’ll be leaving,

Because I have nothing left 2 believe in Yes! I’ve felt the pain -n- sorrow, Like the lonesome English sparrow. I’ve felt the re, like the rainbow, And the embers as they glow. But if just one time, you had seen me, Cry out into the deep dark night

I guess people will only see

What they’ll wanna see, but for a man, “Crying just ain’t right!” Eric Charlie aka Lonewolf



A woman tattoos Malik's name above

her breast & talks about the conspiracy

to destroy blacks. This is all a fancy way

to say that someone kirked out, emptied ve or six or seven shots into a warm body. No indictment follows Malik's death, follows smoke running from a red pistol.

An old quarrel: crimson against concrete

& the ofcer's gun still smoking.

Someone says the people need to stand

up, that the system's a glass house falling on only

a few heads. This & the stop snitching


are the conundrum and damn all that blood. All those closed eyes imagining Malik's

killer forever cofed to a series of cells,

& you almost believe them, you do,


the cognac in your hand is an old habit,

a toast to friends buried before the


of their old age. You know the truth

of the talking, of the quarrels & how

history lets the blamed go blameless for

the blood that ows black in the street; you imagine there is a riot going on,

& someone is tossing a trash can through

Sal's window calling that revolution,

while behind us cell doors keep clanking


& Malik's casket door clanks closed,

& the bodies that roll off the block

& into the prisons and into the ground,

keep rolling, & no one will admit that this is the way America strangles

itself. From Bastards of the Reagan Era (c)

2015 by Reginald Dwayne Betts


I wish I was there, together with you.

I wish I could laugh & smile with you


I may be imperfect, but I see perfectly.

I may be trapped, but in my mind I’m

still Free.

I have done wrong, and that’s easy to see.

I have done right, my initials are ME

Moustafa El Kaaki


Couldn't get bail oh well It's back to the crowbar hotel

Where everybody knows but we don't tell Cause the g-code says don't tell The minds become accustomed to the

local And home has become a cold cell Day after day in the same old hell

They say it's the system that we owe now It's the price that we pay when we go


A cell block has become out home town

P.K.'s are the currency that goes around Chine white, or the gold brown On the streets we've sold down Toe to toe we'll thrown down Knuckle up and go rounds Never seen a thing, or heard no sounds So it's carbon ber for you slow clowns We're riding for our home town

This brotherhood is home now

The cell block is our home ground They say that we're hell bound But you know we can't be held down We may be living in a cell now Writing gangster poems for cell count Our spirits can't be held down Can you hear that sound? That's time ticking down The clock is ticking now So when freedom come around We'll shout it loud With our head held proud Knowing from birth until now From now, until we're in the ground

All our lives we've held it down Anthony George


Freedom has become just a memory

I've been imprisoned by the enemy Waiting for them to turn the key

Slowly waiting for eternity

In my mind it never occured to me

That I'd be labeled maximum security

Facing life inside the penitentiary For st ghts and felonies Someone tell me please Tell me when did hell freeze What happened to reality When did freedom become a fatality When did we lose our commonality

Getting caught up in the animosity

I never thought what the cost would be

But now freedom's what it's costed me I'm creating harmonies and melodies

Our of memories of felonies Of chopping O.Z.'s and selling g's Now the laws telling me

A life sentence is the fee

For what they're selling me

But I'm not buying what they're telling

My breath, my heartbeat, my memory Locked in this cell, But I AM FREE

Justin Daniels


Born wet, round, and smooth, by a gla- ciers slow move.

Then tubles along to an icy rivers song.

Patient yet with purpose it makes its weary way.

Like the heat from the east at suns rst


It gets where its going, in its own time.

How it does this, is how it'll be dened. Whether smooth or sharp at Journeys


I'm sure its Will, So never bend! Justin Daniels


I dreamt a dream

So intoxicatingly Real

Vibrant as Fallingstars Serene like Waterfalls

A rose's scent erupted

As doves cooed above

The clock strikes Midnight With visions of love Soft as pillow tops Pure with Heaven bliss Suddenly she appeared Posed the supermodel Puckering for another kiss To linger in seducement Laying through the Night Senses pricked enhacement Warming to the Fire Deep inside a Fantasy An intricate desire Birds sang from trees Claiming to know how Swam with tipsy dolphins Soaking rays on the beach Stars glow upon darkness Knowing dreams in reach Morning arrives too quickly Alas the days reveal Life is truly splendid Reminding Us to Feel. L. Cardinal


All the days living in my lonely silence Brought up with anger, hatred and


Dealt with my pain, hurt and fear, with a bottle of booze Lost everything, what more do I have to


In my life I've been beaten and sexually


Taken advantage of misled and misused Why did this have to happen to me?

Why couldn't people leave me alone and

let me be

Hurt, anger, sadness and pain Dwell deep in my heart once again Betrayed by uncles and a loser brother

Always thought they were to look out for one another

I'm all alone to deal with heartache, pain and fears Everyday I'm ghting to hold back the


All I can do is ask for forgiveness and say I'm sorry This is my poem


My life story


I'm like we'll see

What it will be

Alfred Charlie

I'm true to the game even if it kills me

This is for my real g's

Hollar not guilty

Cause what it is, is what it will be Anthony George


Close your eyes Hear that sound?

Stillness of silence,

The presence of Now.

In this moment I nd peace,

I do my time with such ease.

Some are broken by the monotony

I close my eyes, I just be.


Just being with you

Has really helped me grow. What you mean to me

Is something you'll never know.

To lose a feeling like this


I care even more

With every breath I take.

I want your love

And will ght to have it all.

I would give you mind

And never let you fall.

All I got to do now

really hard to shake

Is just wait for the night.

I could look you in the face Such a beautiful sight.

Just not knowing what the lord has in


Makes me so excited and makes me want you more. What if it all goes wrong, Or maybe even right? Will we fall in love, Or always want to ght? But one thing is for sure,

I will love you everyday.

Till death do us part, Is something I want to say. Sean Paul Johnston


Up in this cell, the Bucket from hell

I'll nish my time, and I'll be just ne

Fuck the phone call, don't need fuck all

Fuck the letter, I'll make myself better In my cell alone, every day just one Me, myself, and I, is all I need to get by Man-up, buck-up, solid and straight up

I'll do my own shit, and nish this bit. Then when I walk, people gonna talk But I got my bros and everyone knows Its all good, just as it should Life goes on, the same old song. Sean Paul Johnston


R !!

Cold, lonely, heartache, slow, monot- onous, trapped, lost, forgotton, sad, hurt, sorrow, beaten, Failure. Scents of

bleach, "softy", institutional laundry, and "Odour Be Gone". Bunked beds, small TVs, little 2x3 windows to tease us with freedom, concrete walls painted a yellow to eggshell white. Speckle stone ooring, plastic laminate covered shelving and a desk. Aluminum latrine and sink basin, steel door with small glass viewer built inside. Hope to leave here sooner than later. Hope for optimistic news from my lawyer. All the while trying hard to keep busy so the day goes by faster. Bedtime soon, medtime soon, one more day gone. One more day closer to freedom. Sunny days are very hard and dif cult to accept where I am. I miss my life, my family, my friends. Rainy days, cloudy days, bring contentment and ease of anxiety. Bad weather helps with understanding

the process. Help me get over the wait,

I must endure the time. The time until

I can live once again, out the window.

I'm only allowed the tops of tall trees in

the far distance. No grass, no shrubs, no

greenery, only concrete. Steel and hard plaster as I only get hard time, one day at a time! Malicious Mike Cluney -at- Thugz Mansion


day at a time! Malicious Mike Cluney -at- Thugz Mansion D Darkness doesn't Hide It reveals

Darkness doesn't Hide It reveals It leads us through The unknown And awakens our senses To all we cannot see From darkness comes light R.R. Jamieson

S W 'F I '

There are so many emotional, intellectu- al, psychological, and therapeutic benets

to writing poetry. Just try jotting down whatever words come to you on paper

and see what comes out. You might surprise yourself. And then submit your masterpiece to us for printing in a future issue of Cell Count!

4 // news on the block


Sixties Scoop Class Action Lawsuits in Canada: Are you Eligible for Compensation?

Lawsuits in Canada: Are you Eligible for Compensation? Sixties Scoop Rally & March at Allen Gardens,

Sixties Scoop Rally & March at Allen Gardens, Toronto, Fall, 2011. Crystal Luxmore | Flikr

By Simona Babiak An Ontario Supreme Court judge has made a historic ruling in a case that will greatly impact Indigenous people in Ontario who were removed from their families in what has been termed the “Sixties Scoop”. The decision stat- ed that the federal government failed to ensure that these children did not suffer as a result of their removal from their communities and had therefore failed in their duty of care. Over 16,000 Indigenous adoptees in Ontario who were placed in foster care from the mid 1960s- mid 1980s have the potential to be included in this class action lawsuit and to be entitled to compensation. The ruling was delivered on Febru- ary 14, the day on which Indigenous activists and their supporters gather each year to grieve and demand justice for over 4,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Canada. The judge’s decision is re- garded as a awed but still signicant victory by many activists and communi- ty members. This is the rst legal ruling in Canada which establishes access to traditional culture as a right for Indigenous people which the federal government has a duty to protect. At the beginning of February 2017, the government had led for the case to be dismissed, but this was turned down. This marked the 8th time they had led for dismissal since the begin- ning of the class action lawsuit eight years ago, on top of the 16 attempts to have the case adjourned. Canadian taxpayers have been billed over $2 million dollars to pay for the team of nine lawyers who have been ghting for the government to maintain their refusal of accountability to Indigenous communities. The push to suspend judgment on the case came one week before the ruling was set to be released and was a deeply insulting display of arrogance and denial of responsibility by the federal government. Sixties Scoop survivors have voiced con- cern about the pending settlement as

inadequate to address the immense

harm which child welfare policies have caused to Indigenous communities. Colleen Cardinal, a Scoop survivor and prominent Indigenous rights advocate, stated in an interview with APTN that

we’re “

loss, right, of loss and denial. Like I’m 44 years old right…how do you put a

number to loss and grief?

process of what happened to survivors really devastated communities. So we’re not wanting to see that again, right. We’re not wanting for adoptees to get a lump sum of money and a meaningless apology.” In 1951, the Indian Act was amend- ed to allow provincial and territorial child welfare organizations the legal right to apprehend children on reser- vations. From the 1960s to the 1980s, about 40% of all children in foster care across Canada were Indigenous, even though Indigenous people made up about 3-5% of the national population. Despite the sustained advocacy and push back from Indigenous communi- ties and some positive changes to child welfare policies, Indigenous families are still preyed upon by child welfare agencies across Canada. For example, Indigenous children now make up 70% of children in care in Saskatch- ewan, a chilling increase which took place long after the Sixties Scoop was supposedly over. Recent studies show that children growing up on reserves receive 22% less funding per child in basic support services than any other children in Canada, and end up being placed in care at a rate which is 6 to 8 times that of other children. There are currently three times more Indigenous children removed from their families than there were at the height of the residential school period. It is clear to see that the issues are far from over. Even for Ontario’s Indigenous adoptees who have aged out of care, the pain, trauma and isolation that many live with every day will not end with this lawsuit. Those who have been adopted

talking about a lifetime of

The whole

out are signi cantly more likely to experience conict with the law and incarceration, to have mental and physical health struggles and to develop issues with substance use. This is by no means a sign of individual deciency but rather that the trauma of being removed from one’s culture and family is something which must be taken seriously. An important aspect of tran- sracial adoption of Indigenous children which is often ignored is the large sums of money involved. Child welfare organizations were paid a substantial sum from the federal government per child that they removed. The very nature of this situation ensures that the abduction of children from Indigenous families was protable and therefore desirable to the agencies receiving direct nancial bene ts. Many children were taken from their families and sold off to families in the United

States or as far as Europe. The CBC re-

ported on several cases of international adoptions of Canadian Indigenous children in which adopting families paid from $6,400 to $30,000 for the children. The now-adult adoptees recall being told that they had been ‘bought’ and were now ‘owned’ by their adoptive families. One woman remembers her adoptive mother telling her that she should be grateful that they had paid anything at all for her. Canadian child welfare services nancially pro ted from removing Indigenous children and placing them in the foster system within Canada. They pro ted even more from selling Indigenous children to foreign adoption agencies, which then also made money from selling them to families. Many child welfare and adoption workers have made careers out of displacing and harming these children. The situation begins to sound more like human traf cking than a benign process of child welfare intervention. While this ruling is indeed a victory for the individuals who nd themselves included in the qualication param- eters, it also ignores the experiences of all those who will not qualify for compensation as it is currently written. At this moment, the lawsuit technically excludes: any Indigenous person born off-reserve, any non-status Indigenous person, and any Indigenous person who was removed from their family pre-1965 or post-1984. However, the government is still in negotiation re- garding settlement and there is a chance that those who are currently excluded will also benet from the case. Chief Marcia Martel, the original plaintiff in this case, has vowed that she will refuse to settle until all Indigenous Ontarians who were harmed during the Sixties Scoop are included and has emphasized

that everyone affected should contact the lawyers as soon as possible. The Ontario decision has set a promising precedent for class action cases across Canada seeking compensa- tion for those who have been harmed by Canada’s ongoing colonial policies. In March 2017, another class action lawsuit was led on similar grounds, but as a federal Supreme Court challenge. It will therefore include all Indigenous adoptees who were put in foster care with a non-Indigenous family across Canada. Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett has vaguely stated that the federal government is considering settlement options which would include all Sixties Scoop survivors in Canada, but declined to comment regarding the pending federal lawsuit or anything re- garding the procedures through which this could be implemented. There is an- other existing Federal Court class action lawsuit for all Indigenous Sixties Scoop survivors which was led in 2015. However, that lawsuit is being managed by Merchant Law Group, the rm which has faced great controversy after representing survivors of residential schools in a past successful class action. Merchant Law Group made $25 million from the federal government after winning their case, in addition to fees from each successful claimant. Claim- ants only received $10,000 for their rst year in residential school and $3,000 for every year after, and then had to give a substantial amount to the law rm in fees. Merchant Law Group has been accused of falsifying records and of taking advantage of claimants, and have made enormous sums of money from the suffering of residential school survivors. Morris Cooper, co-counsel in the Ontario class action, went on record with APTN stating that “[t] he nature of class-action litigation is it has become more analogous to staking mining claims than to actual progress of litigation. They are now coming in as the government says ‘we’d like to sit at the table to settle,’ purporting to represent people for their nancial gain, not because they have some interest in protecting this disadvantaged group.” It is important to maintain a critical perspective on these class action cases and to remember that this is not a sign that the issues of ongoing colonialism have been resolved. However, it is still an important step forward for Indige- nous people across Canada in address- ing the historical violence perpetrated against them and changing harmful child welfare practices which continue to this day. If you are eligible to receive com- pensation in Ontario’s class action lawsuit, please call 416-956-5625 or 1-866-360-5952 (toll free). When we spoke to those coordinating the set- tlement process, they recommended for prisoners to avoid the hassle of

phone calls, and instead to send a letter to the Ontario Sixties Scoop Steering Committee and request a registration form. They will send you a form and a pre-paid envelope to return it in. Ontario Sixties Scoop Steering Committee 137 Church St. Toronto, ON M5B 1Y4 This is the only Sixties Scoop law- suit at the settlement stage in Cana- da at this time and there is currently no deadline for registration. Other pending Sixties Scoop class action lawsuits:

Canada-wide: all Indigenous people who were removed from their families and placed in the care of non-Indige- nous foster or adoptive parents who did not raise them in accordance with that individual’s Aboriginal practices and tra- ditions, EXCLUDING all Indigenous people who are part of the class which the Ontario class action lawsuit applies to. For more information, contact Hannah at Koskie Minsky law rm at 416-595-6290 (will accept collect calls). British Columbia: all Status Indians born in B.C. who were placed into non-Indigenous foster or adoptive care in which both adoptive parents are non-Aboriginal, between 1958 to 1996 are eligible. Contact Deborah Wong at Klein Lawyers at 604-874-7171 for more information. Manitoba: all Status and non-status Indians and/or Métis individuals born in Manitoba who were placed into non-Indigenous foster or adoptive care after September 2, 1966 are eligible. Koskie Minsky LLP and Troniak Law rms are representing the class. For more information, contact Hannah at Koskie Minsky law rm at 416-595- 6290 (will accept collect calls). Alberta: all Status and non-Sta- tus Indians and/or Métis individuals born in Alberta who were placed into non-Indigenous foster or adoptive care after July 1, 1962 are eligible. Koskie Minsky and Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper law rms are repre- senting the class. For more information, contact Hannah at Koskie Minsky law rm at 416-595-6290 (will accept collect calls). If you are eligible for one or more of these lawsuits, it is recommended to contact the legal rm and speak to them further. A class action lawsuit doesn’t require you to engage with the court process, but you will receive com- pensation if they win. The lawyers will take a fee from all class members who receive compensation if the lawsuit is successful but you won’t have to pay any fees if they lose. Are you a 60s Scoop survivor who would like to get your story out? Write to us for publication in a future issue of Cell Count.

PASAN's women's program updates and how to make positive afrmations

By Keisha Williams Your Women’s Community Program Lead at PASAN | Image by silverchild24 - Flikr We’ve been having a lot of fun in the women’s program this winter. Despite the cold, we are nding ways to keep each other warm inspired and smiling through difcult times and in the most unsuspecting places. We had a blast at ‘Healthy Love’ at Grand Valley Institution (GVI) an extended work- shop on sexual health put on in part- nership with Black CAP and University of Toronto. Women got a chance to be silly while learning A LOT! PASAN was honored to attend this year’s Black history month (BHM) celebration at Vanier (VCW) and to speak at the BHM

celebration at GVI – a special mention to the women at GVI for creating such a delicious and nutri- tious Caribbean meal. On the outside we attended the Women and HIV symposium on Advancing HIV positive women’s health and wellbeing. We had an excellent International Women’s Day (IWD) cele- bration as part of the Circle of Care program. The Racialized Trans Group is growing steadily (happening once a

Racialized Trans Group is growing steadily (happening once a month). We began the spring with a

month). We began the spring with a Women’s apprecia- tion event where we had yoga, a beauty bar and a catered lunch for women in the community, some of our com- munity partners from Maggie’s and COUNTER t harm reduction also attended. Lastly, we recently launched a small project called “word of encour- agement” where women (both in and out) write inspiring notes.

If you are a woman in a prison/ jail other than VCW or GVI and you would like to receive a note of inspi- ration, please send us your name or call Keisha with your name. Please get in contact with us (write or call toll free) to let us know what kinds of workshops you’d like us to offer, questions you might have or artwork you’d like to share! I’ll end with some words of Af r- mations (positive thoughts that help create a new experience of life for you):

I trust myself and when I believe and trust in myself, so do others; I have the power to have my heart’s desire; I allow healthy love to nd me; I can always choice how to respond to my surround-

ings; I love myself unconditionally (no matter what) HOW TO MAKE AN AFFIR- MATION: listen to your negative self talk and or worries (things you say to yourself in your head that don’t make you feel good) – it may take some time to hear and identify them – be patient and gentle with yourself! (Ex. I am not smart, I don’t deserve to be happy, I am not loved, etc.); Write down something positive that specically addresses the

worry or thought. (Ex. I am intelligent,

I deserve joy in my life, I love myself

unconditionally, I see love where it is

present in my life); Read regularly (espe- cially when negative thoughts come up)

– Balance out your thoughts!

5 // news on the block


Pressure mounts against Canada’s use of solitary connement

By Victor Bruzzone Since we last wrote about the use of solitary con nement in prisons there has been a growing consensus that Canada’s (and speci cally Ontario’s)

prison and jail system is at the edge of a crisis. The emerging cases of mistreat- ment related to solitary connement, like that of Adam Capay, continue to put pressure on the corrections system in Canada to change. According to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, when solitary connement (called ‘administrative segregation’ by Canadian corrections bureaucracy)

is used for more than 15 consecutive

days it is torture 1 . As mentioned in our previous story, the use of solitary con- nement in Canada has been increas- ing in the last ten years. In response, there has been a vast chorus of voices (including our own) demanding the practice of solitary connement be ended. In response, Corrections Service Canada recently released a statement arguing that its practice of adminis- trative segregation causes none of the negative health effects associated with solitary con nement 2 . Experts consider

this statement to be ridiculous as it contradicts the overwhelming academic research done on the subject. Acknowledging the negative physical and psychological effects of solitary con nement as practiced in Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada recently released a statement calling for an end to the use of solitary con nement as a form of punishment and a ban on its use on those with mental illness. The College also argued that using solitary connement for the health-related reasons can often makes problems worse 3 . Ontario’s new independent advisor on corrections, Howard Sapers recently spoke to scaling back the use of solitary saying, “I don’t expect that it’s entirely going to disappear, but it’s supposed to be exceptional, it’s supposed to be rare, and particularly over the last decade it’s been neither of those things” 4 . In the wake of all this momentum against the use of solitary, former prisoner Arlene Gallone of Quebec, alleging that her rights were violated after spending nine months in solitary con nement at the Joliette Institution for Women, has brought a class-action lawsuit against Correction Services of Canada. The lawsuit seeks $10,000 in damages for each inmate held in admin- istrative segregation (not disciplinary segregation) for longer than 72-hours since February 24 th , 2013. Lawyers estimate there could be thousands of federal inmates across Quebec eligible for compensation if the lawsuit is successful 1 (if you are

a Quebec federal inmate and want to

learn more about Arlene Gallone v. Attor- ney General of Canada, you can contact Arlene Gallone’s law rm at Trudel

Art by Ricky J.
Art by Ricky J.

Johnston & Lespérance, (514) 871-8385 poste 210). While the use of solitary should clearly be stopped, the logistics of actually doing this could prove complicated. As Tamara Khandaker reported for Vice, some corrections ofcers are speaking out about lack of resources in prisons 5 . “Even when we’re just at capacity, it feels overcrowded”, said Tom Kenny, a corrections ofcer at Fort Francis Jail. The general agreement amongst cor- rections ofcers according to the Vice story is that prisons desperately need more support and staff. “When people

Finally, after our last piece on solitary con nement many readers con- tacted our ofce mentioning their own experiences. In light of this, we would like to encourage readers who have had experiences in solitary con- nement to write-in for printing in our next issue. It’s one thing for us to write about the use of solitary, but it’s quite another to hear stories about what it’s actually like to be in solitary conne- ment (when writing please let us know if you’d like to remain anonymous). We think it is important for such stories to be shared.

Trudeau makes promise to trans prisoners

Concrete blossoms cont'd from page 3 This is an improvement on the old policy, which held that prisoners had to have been living openly in their gender identity for 12 months prior to being incarcer- ated. Further, the CSC will be obligated to pay for prisoners’ sex reassignment surgery if it is deemed to be a medical necessity by a medical professional. However, just a few days after the CSC released this directive, Prime Minister Jus- tin Trudeau was questioned about the Liberal party’s policy on transgender pris- oners during a town hall in Kingston, ON. A transgender woman and advocate urged Trudeau to change the CSC’s policy of placing prisoners in prisons based on their genitalia, calling it a form of torture. Trudeau admitted that this issue hadn’t been on his radar up until this point, and promised to look into it further. Shortly after this occurred, the CSC released an amendment to their policy. Trans prisoners in federal institutions will now be considered for placement in prisons

talk about the overuse of segregation, absolutely, 100 percent. It’s overused because they’re not giving us any other tools… We need more staff,” explained Mike Lundy, a corrections ofcer at Thunder Bay Jail. Paul Herbacz, an of cer at Kenora Jail reported that his facility is bursting at the seams housing 198 inmates while being designed for only 115. This has led to a reduction in basic inmate privileges. “Inmates don’t have a lot to look forward to while they’re in jail, so when you’re cancelling their yard… it causes unrest”, explained Herbacz. On an editorial note, Cell Count opposes any expansion of prisons and jails, as they currently exist. Therefore, we don’t agree that the solution should be to hire more prison and jail staff. Instead we would rather see policies that lead to more people being released from the system.


United Nations News Service. (2011, October 18). Solitary connement should

based on their gender identity, regardless of whether they’ve undergone sex-reas- signment surgery or not. South of the border, Shiloh Heavenly Quine, a 57-year-old transwoman serving a life sentence in California, just became the United States’ rst prisoner to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery. Quine expects that this will

be banned in most cases, UN expert says. Retrieved from




White, P. (2016, December 11). Canada’s prison agency argues segregation doesn’t affect inmates’ health. Retrieved from

end a long-running cycle of depression that’s caused her to try to cut and hang herself in prison ve times. She will be transferred to a women’s prison after the operation is complete. Quine’s case inspired a federal magistrate to provide trans women housed in men’s facilities with items including nightgowns, scarves, necklaces, and other




materials that can improve trans woman prisoners’ quality of life.


The Canadian Press. (2017, February 27). Family doctors call for Canadian prisons,

jails to end solitary connement. Retrieved from


As s.e. smith notes in a recent piece in Rolling Stone magazine entitled “Fight For Trans Rights in Prison Can’t End with Chelsea Manning*,” many transgender women in the United States, like in Canada, are conned in men’s institutions, de-

spite the fact that this is in violation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Again,


like in Canada, these women are often put in solitary connement, in a move that


CBC Radio. (2017, January 3). Former

prison watchdog says it’s time to scale back on segregation in Ontario. Retrieved from

corrections ofcials claim is, “for their own protection.” There are over 3000 trans federal prisoners in the United States. In 2012, over 30% of this population had reported having been sexually assaulted.


In light of this, it is noteworthy that the Canadian government does not keep a


record of the number of transgender prisoners it holds. Given the amount of vi-


Woods, A. (2017, January 23). Quebec

olence and discrimination this population endures, this lack of acknowledgement


is glaring. Identifying the number of people in Canadian prisons who identify as transgender would help prisoner activists and their allies lobby for trans prisoners’ rights more effectively, if only by proving that trans prisoners exist. As it stands,

Mother-child prison programs can make a huge difference in mothers’ and chil-

dren’s lives. So why are so few women prisoners able to access them?

By Zina Mustafa Throughout the world, mother-child prison programs have been a way to help reverse the damage that prison causes to family life. In Canada, these programs were rst federally instituted in 1999. They received frequent use until 2008, when Correctional Service Canada (CSC) enacted new, restrictive policies excluding mothers involved in crimes of a serious nature from accessing the program, and reducing the age for part-time participation from 12 years old to 6 years old. This current system greatly discourages many wom- en from participating in the program. The opportunity to retain custody of children has a great deal of benet for mothers in prison. It’s been shown to help reduce recidivism and drug

use. Being separated from children can often have serious effects on a mother’s health and happiness. On top of this, keeping children with their mothers has numerous physiological and psycho- logical benets for the child. It helps reduce the risk of developing anxious, depressed, or withdrawn behaviour, and having the opportunity to breastfeed helps maintain the child’s health, and allows them to develop the vital moth- er-child bond that encourages emotion- al development. Only ten women are currently en- rolled in Canada’s federal program. The lack of accessibility of this program is problematic, especially since two-thirds of federal prisoners in women’s institu- tions are mothers of children under the age of 18. Women, especially those who are Indigenous, are the fastest-growing prisoner population in the country. Incarceration is having increasingly devastating affects on Indigenous com-

munities, and the mother-child prison program could play a small role in help- ing relieve some of these problems. Provincially, British Columbia is leading the way in incorporating mother-child programs into their prisons. In Maple Ridge, the Allouette Correctional Centre saw their program shut down in 2008. But in 2013, the BC Supreme Court decided that the closure of the facility infringed on the rights of wom- en and their children. The program was originally closed because the warden did not feel that paying the costs of child care should fall under his institution’s responsibilities. Under the direction of the Court, the program was reopened in 2014. Since then, two women have used it. Mother-child units often offer women access to prenatal and parenting skills programs and facilities to care for infants while they serve their sentenc- es. Women live with their children in separate housing facilities. At the Fraser Valley Institution for Children, mothers and their children live either in one of the bungalows located outside the perimeter fence, or in a two-story, minimum-security building just outside the perimeter. Other inmates may apply to live with the mother and child, acting as babysitters or “aunties.” It’s clear that the accessibility of these programs needs to be improved. Very few provincial mother-child programs are in place. The ones that are rarely used due to their restrictive application policies. Have you ever attempted to enrol in a mother-child program at your institution? Please write in and let us know about your experiences! We’d love to hear about them.

not keeping numbers on this minority demographic is a silencing act. Have you experienced gender/identity-based discrimination at your institution? Please write in and tell us your story!

To those who kept me alive all these years, thank you

By Chelsea E. Manning - originally printed February 13, 2017 in The Guardian To those who have kept me alive for the past six years: minutes after President Obama announced the commutation of my sentence, the prison quickly moved me out of general population and into the restrictive housing unit where I am now held. I know that we are now physically separated, but we will never be apart and we are not alone. Recently, one of you asked me “Will you remember me?” I will remember you. How could I possibly forget? You taught me lessons I would have never learned otherwise. When I was afraid, you taught me how to keep going. When I was lost, you showed me the way. When I was numb, you taught me how to feel. When I was angry, you taught me how to chill out. When I was hateful, you taught me how to be compassionate. When I was distant, you taught me how to be close. When I was selsh, you taught me how to share. Sometimes, it took me a while to learn many things. Other times, I would forget, and you would remind me. We were friends in a way few will ever understand. There was no room to be supercial. Instead, we bared it all. We could hide from our families and from the world outside, but we could never hide from each other. We argued, we bickered and we fought with each other. Sometimes, over abso- lutely nothing. But, we were always a family. We were always united. When the prison tried to break one of us, we all stood up. We looked out for each other. When they tried to divide us, and systematically discriminated against us, we embraced our diversity and pushed back. But, I also learned from all of you when to pick my battles. I grew up and grew connected because of the community you provided. Those outside of prison may not believe that we act like human beings under these conditions. But of course we do. And we build our own networks of survival. I never would have made it without you. Not only did you teach me these important lessons, but you made sure I felt cared for. You were the people who helped me to deal with the trauma of my regular haircuts. You were the people who checked on me after I tried to end my life. You were the people that played fun games with me. Who wished me a Happy Birthday. We shared the holidays together. You were and will always be family. For many of you, you are already free and living outside of the prison walls. Many of you will come home soon. Some of you still have many years to go. The most important thing that you taught me was how to write and how to speak in my own voice. I used to only know how to write memos. Now, I write like a human being, with dreams, desires and connections. I could not have done it without you. From where I am now, I still think of all of you. When I leave this place in May, I will still think of all of you. And to anyone who nds themselves feeling alone behind bars, know that there is a network of us who are thinking of you. You will never be forgotten.

6 // art


A journey through the PASAN mosaic

cont'd from page 6

A journey through the PASAN mosaic cont'd from page 6 "No one is left behind" The

"No one is left behind"

cont'd from page 6 "No one is left behind" The Fence The hands tied " N

The Fence

from page 6 "No one is left behind" The Fence The hands tied " N o

The hands tied

6 "No one is left behind" The Fence The hands tied " N o b o

"Nobody fails here"

N o b o d y f a i l s h e r e "

Birds breaking the fence

f a i l s h e r e " Birds breaking the fence The Sun

The Sun

l s h e r e " Birds breaking the fence The Sun The stag, river

The stag, river and mountains

breaking the fence The Sun The stag, river and mountains The Box The fi nished piece,

The Box

the fence The Sun The stag, river and mountains The Box The fi nished piece, It

The nished piece, It was so big we had to photograph it in parts!

but at 12 ft long and 4 ft wide, weighing in at about 200 lbs, we might need your help to move the damn thing! Following the construction of the base, the design was transferred onto it and we were ready to rock! (no pun intended). Now that we have the design… What’s next? Well - It’s time to get dirty! Twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) PASAN invites clients, community members, and friends to come join in and get their hands working. Music and refreshments help set the mood. Sounds of clippers and les ll the air as folks try to sculpt the perfect pieces. The piece will be complete by the time we go to print, so if you’re out and in Toronto in the future, stop by 526 Richmond St E to experience it for yourself, you won’t regret it. Special thanks for all of your excellent work, as well as your contributions to this article, to:

Anna Camilleri, lead artist and designer Katie Yelland, community artist Wy Joung Kou, community artist Karis Jones, community artist What do you think of our new mosaic? We would love to receive your feedback about it. Also, if you would like to see your art published in a future issue of Cell Count, please send away! We print in colour now, so feel free to make it as colourful as you want!

Words of Encouragement

"Don't let your circum- stances overcome you. Freedom is a must." "Stay Real and Stay
"Don't let your circum- stances overcome you. Freedom is a must." "Stay Real and Stay
"Don't let your circum- stances overcome you. Freedom is a must." "Stay Real and Stay

"Don't let your circum- stances overcome you. Freedom is a must."

"Stay Real and Stay True Don't let nothin' or no- one break you."

"Stay Beautiful Keep Smiling!!

Don't you ever let anyone steal your Shine Keep it Real"

you ever let anyone steal your Shine Keep it Real" "Positive Thoughts Positive Actions Positive Reaction
you ever let anyone steal your Shine Keep it Real" "Positive Thoughts Positive Actions Positive Reaction
you ever let anyone steal your Shine Keep it Real" "Positive Thoughts Positive Actions Positive Reaction

"Positive Thoughts Positive Actions Positive Reaction Respond Don't React Stay Positive"

Positive Reaction Respond Don't React Stay Positive" "Stop Signs Are Only An Opinion!" - Trapeezy

"Stop Signs Are Only An Opinion!" - Trapeezy

"Did you know? Medicine Wheel Zodiac Signs Peace

"Did you know? Medicine Wheel Zodiac Signs Peace
- Trapeezy "Did you know? Medicine Wheel Zodiac Signs Peace "Freedom is a state of mind.

"Freedom is a state of mind. In solidarity" -

"Freedom is a state of mind. In solidarity" -

"One Day We'll all be FREE"

"One Day We'll all be FREE" "Hey Gorgeous!! Keep your head up! Don't ever give up!
"One Day We'll all be FREE" "Hey Gorgeous!! Keep your head up! Don't ever give up!

"Hey Gorgeous!! Keep your head up! Don't ever give up! The Creator Loves Everyone. No Matter What you've been through! You are never too old to conquer your hopes

"Stay Beautiful Keep Smiling!! Don't you ever let anyone steal your Shine"

& dreams. So Just Remember YOU ARE

LOVED" The women’s program at PASAN developed an activity where incarcerated women in various institutions can create artistic words of encour- agement for each other as a way to support, inspire and stay connected to one another. We invite you to take in these words of affirmation and encouragement. If you like you can also create your own to be featured in the next cell count!

"Love Yourself. I DO! miss you." - Sasha C.

"Love Yourself. I DO! miss you." - Sasha C.

"There is nothing Bad about being a Good Girl!"

"There is nothing Bad about being a Good Girl!"

Art by Jeremy Hall
Art by Jeremy Hall
Yourself. I DO! miss you." - Sasha C. "There is nothing Bad about being a Good
Yourself. I DO! miss you." - Sasha C. "There is nothing Bad about being a Good

7 // health and harm reduction


Hepatitis C Basics

You can take steps to prevent getting hepatitis C. If you have hepatitis C, new treatments can cure it and keep your liver healthy. Injection drug use is the most common way people get hepatitis C. If you share injection equipment with someone who is infected with hepatitis C, this puts you at risk. Even a tiny amount of blood— so small you can’t see it—can contain the virus. This is why hepatitis C can be passed on (trans- mitted) by sharing any equipment that may have come in contact with someone’s blood while injecting. If you are getting high, you can protect yourself and others from getting hepatitis C. Getting tested, talking about your status, and injecting safely can reduce your risk of contracting or passing the virus onto others. Distributed by Harm Reduction Coalition


Safer Injecting Strategies

Use Sterile Injection Equipment.

Avoid Reusing or Sharing.

Use Sterile Injection Equipment. Avoid Reusing or Sharing. Your blood may end up on any item

Your blood may end up on any item you touch or use when injecting, including syringes, cookers, cottons, water, and ties. Use new, sterile equipment each time you inject.

If You Must Reuse Equipment, Then Mark Yours.
If You Must Reuse Equipment,
Then Mark Yours.

Avoid sharing any injection equipment. The virus is alive in blood outside the body. If you must reuse, keep a set of works with markings on it so you know it’s yours.

Have a New Spare Sterile Syringe To Split Drugs.
Have a New Spare Sterile
Syringe To Split Drugs.
Have a New Spare Sterile Syringe To Split Drugs. Get an extra syringe for splitting drugs.

Get an extra syringe for splitting drugs. Use an extra sterile syringe to split drugs, using your own cooker and cotton. Avoid drawing up from a cooker if someone else has used it. There may still be blood on it.

If You Must Share a Syringe, Then Bleach It.
If You Must Share a Syringe,
Then Bleach It.

If you must share a syringe, then clean it with bleach and sterile water. Step 1: Rinse the syringe with sterile water. Step 2: Rinse the syringe with bleach. Step 3: Rinse again with (new) sterile water.

Additional Prevention Strategies

Use Sterile Tattoo and

Piercing Equipment

and Single-Use Inkpots.

Tattoo and Piercing Equipment and Single-Use Inkpots. Ensure sterile equipment, including inkpots, is used and

Ensure sterile equipment, including inkpots, is used and not shared by others.

Use Your Own Snorting Straws

and Crack Pipes.

Use Your Own Snorting Straws and Crack Pipes. Snorting Straws: Snorting drugs can cause irritation to

Snorting Straws: Snorting drugs can cause irritation to the inside of your nose, which may lead to bleeding. To be safe, use your own straw when snorting cocaine or others drugs.

Crack Pipes: A hot stem may burn or crack lips which can cause bleeding. Use your own pipe, or cover a shared pipe with your own rubber stem cover.

Avoid Sharing Toothbrushes, Razors, and Nail Clippers.
Avoid Sharing Toothbrushes,
Razors, and Nail Clippers.

Household Items: Have your toothbrush, nail clipper, and razor clearly identified. Seek care if you have dental problems, including bleeding gums, abscesses, or other dental issues.

Use Condoms and Lubrication,

and Get Tested.

Use Condoms and Lubrication, and Get Tested. Sexual Transmission: Hepatitis C can be transmitted through sex

Sexual Transmission: Hepatitis C can be transmitted through sex that involves blood-to-blood contact, such as during anal sex, rough vaginal sex, or while a woman is menstruating. Risks increase if you have multiple sex partners, or have been diagnosed with any STIs or STDs, including HIV. Using condoms and lubrication and getting tested or treated for STIs and STDs can protect both you and your sexual partners.

Microgreens and me

both you and your sexual partners. Microgreens and me By Mr. Valley Having recently landed in

By Mr. Valley Having recently landed in Bea- vercreek minimum, I was given the opportunity to take a 3-week course in horticulture. Great, I thought. The op- portunity to learn more about growing plants. Because a man that can grow his own food will never grow hungry. What I learned blew me away. I’m an old hippie. We smoked our pot and thought bean sprouts were some kind of wonder drug. Well… Micro- greens are to bean sprouts what Thai cooking is to pork and beans. Both will keep you alive. One packs just a little more punch to your day. Now all you cats with access to the internet don’t need to read any further. Google, baby. This is written for those inside the walls of denial. Those living in the dark ages still. No Google for you. I know I’m going to mention things that will be a struggle for some… To gain access to seeds in particular. But a dried bean is life on the lay-away plan. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to open up that store. No a little dirt from the yard, spread thin – an inch think, if that’s all you’ve got – On a plastic bag spread out where the light can get to it in a week or so, a little water, and your seeds. Lay out the dirt in a shallow plan. Tamp it lightly down, so the surface is even and tight, but not packed hard. Lay the seeds so close together they touch. Water them – give the earth a good soaking. Cover the seeds with moist paper towel, or something that will breathe so the seeds don’t dry out. Don’t cover the seeds with dirt. If the seeds are big – like peas or beans or corn (popping corn will taste great!) soak them overnight before spreading them out. The pan should be kept comfortably warm. 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it moist, but not soaking wet. Spritz it, or sprinkle it to prevent the seeds, covered and dark, from drying out. Check the seeds each day. 7 – 10 days for most plant roots to show. Radish roots showed in 4 days. Peas 5. Corn 10. Keep them moist but not drowned. When the plants, uncover to the light once the stems start stretching up, start to put out the second set of leaves… Cut them down just above the ground. Careful to keep the dirt out of your salad. Just stems and leaves. Put these cuttings in soups, on sandwiches, in your mouth. These plants are packed with the nutrients and energy of new life. And they are good to eat. Radishes and mustard seeds make spicy plants. Popping corn seed eaten like this tastes like corn on the cob! And they are crunchy like bean sprouts of old. Microgreens. Mmmm good. Got to go. I’m having a ashback. I think I hear Bob Dylan calling me.

Mindfulness - or “Lighting Up” Your Mind

Image by Ian Burt | Flikr
Image by Ian Burt | Flikr

By Nick Paccione Have an addiction? Caught in destruc- tive behavioural patterns? Tired of expe- riencing and creating so much suffering? Feel lifeless? Powerless? Hopeless? Well, you may want to give mindfulness a shot. I did, and my life hasn’t been quite the same since. You see, I’m a sex addict. Have been since 13, or for the last 36 years, the last 19 of which have been spent inside. Sex addiction, like any addiction, is devas- tating. Like a cancer, it destroys you, consumes you from within. Your power to choose sinks into an inner abyss of darkness and despair and drags hope down with it. Life becomes bleak indeed. Such was my life BM - before mindful- ness. Today, however, though only months into regular mindfulness practice, I sometimes almost want to scream with

PFG - pure fucking glee. But only “sometimes,” and only “almost.” Life

isn’t perfect for me - far from it. I still struggle, get down, and experience self-doubt. Moreover, the recovery process looks more like a pretzel than a straight line. So why the PRG? Hope, baby

- hope. Yeah, recovery is slow and clumsy, but recovering I most certainly am. I know it. I FEEL it. Indeed, at a very subtle level I can feel the entire pattern of my life changing, with negativities gradually dissolving.

I feel calmer, lighter, more patient and good-humoured, more sensitive to the needs and suffering of others, and, most importantly, more in control of myself-of my actions, my urges, and even my thoughts. You might say that

mindfulness has allowed me to tap into

a wellspring of free will and to reclaim

my power - or at least enough of it for now to (nally!) give me a real ghting

chance. So, what is mindfulness and how does

it work? Basically, it’ s intentionally living

with awareness in the present moment without judging it. Sounds simple, eh? It’s not. It takes practice, which typically takes the form of meditation. To meditate, you sit down, assume

a comfortable, upright position, close

your eyes, and bring all your attention to the breath entering and leaving either the nostrils or the belly. Don’t control the breath, but simply observe it as it is. Sensations and emotions will arise. Don’t cling to or reject them; they rise and fall, appear and disappear, like everything else. Just calmly observe them and redirect your attention to the breath. As your mind steadies, so too will your breath. Then something almost magical begins to happen: consciousness awakens from its stupor and enters the unconscious mind, wherein lie the roots of destructive conditioning. Conscious- ness is like light, the roots like insects that live in the dark: light kills them. But watch out: with the dark reaches of the unconscious mindfully exposed to the light of consciousness, all kinds of shadowy effects will occur, making the "insects" seem so big and scary that you might become frightened and tempted to

"turn off the light." Don't. It's all just an illusion. With patience and persistence, the harmful reactive tendencies which these insects represent will dissolve and give way to real, conscious action - action that is positive, creative, and helpful to

yourself and others. Your innate potential

for love and connection begins to shine through. So, light up your mind! Meditate! Once

a day for 15-30 minutes is good; twice a day for a total of 50-minute s or more

is better. Throughout the day too, while

walking in the yard, brushing your teeth, cleaning your cell, or whatever, take a few minutes here and there to bring total

awareness to the present moment. Careful-


mindful. Be conscious. Have questions for Nick about starting a med- itation practice while inside? Write to us and we'll

observe everything you do and feel. Be

pass your questions on to him for our next issue.

The fentanyl crisis: Canada vs Portugal

By Kira Hogarth-Davis This January, the BC Coroners service revealed that last year in British Columbia alone over 900 people died from drug overdoses, making 2016 the deadliest year for overdose deaths on record. Dr. Patricia Daly of Vancou- ver Coastal Health, the authority for providing health and addiction services for the Greater Vancouver area pointed that unlike the heroin crisis of the 1990s, the spread of fentanyl overdoses is reaching beyond downtown areas and are affecting communities across the province. Though Vancouver has been operating supervised injection sites and needle exchanges since 2003, this the wide reach the overdose crisis means that reliance on existing facilities is not enough to aid those increasingly impacted by fentanyl. As most existing supervised injection sites and addiction services are in Greater Vancouver, the rest of the province remains under- serviced by addictions facilities. This shortage of support services has led Dr. Day and other addictions experts to argue that more drastic measures need to be considered, including the decriminalization or full legalization of all illegal drugs The European country of Portu- gal is a successful example of how decriminalization can save lives. In

2001 the country was suffering a heroin epidemic that impacted approximately 1 of every 100 people. By 2012, after

a decade of decriminalization, Portugal

had achieved one of the lowest fatal overdose rates in the word, with just 16 deaths across the country's 10.5 million people. Portugal’s addictions treatment isn’t only centred around decriminal- ization; the country also offers a wide

array of support systems organized by the health ministry. In Portugal, people can obtain access to a 10 day supply of

a drug without facing charges, but are

also given addiction services alongside both counselling and employment opportunities. Though decriminaliza- tion isn’t the only facet of Portugal’s strategy, the de-stigmatization of drug use and drug addiction has gone a long way to helping those who need it. Because of decriminalization, society can talk openly about drug use and it is treated mostly as a health issue, rather than criminal habit. Despite the positive evidence supporting decriminalization, Canadian

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has re- cently rejected recommendations from health of cials to decriminalize drugs beyond marijuana. The Prime Minister has promised that he will introduce legislation to legalize marijuana before

Summer 2017, but he has further announced that his government has no plans to legalize or regulate any other

illegal substance. Instead the Prime Minister has sent $10 million to British Columbia alone as part of a strategy to help stop overdose deaths that includes creating more supervised injection sites, and more access to opioid substitution treatment. The BC government has not of cially announced exactly how the $10 million will be spent, but as the province has outlined “more policing”

as one of its priority areas to address the crisis, it looks as though Canada’s federal and provincial governments are stuck in a criminalization mindset and are unprepared to fully address addic- tion as matter of health.

Hunter, J. (2017, March 2). Trudeau says he won’t decriminalize illicit drugs beyond marijuana. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from: https://beta.


yond-marijuana/article34197772/?ref=http:// McElroy, J. (2016, February 3). How decriminaliz-

ing drugs helped Portugal solve its overdose crisis. CBC News. Retrieved from:



Nair, Roshini. (2017, January 19). Decriminal- ization should be considered to stop overdose crisis, says Vancouver’s chief doctor. CBC News. Retrieved from:




8 // resources & about pasan






Take collect calls

150 Bentinck St, Sydney, NS, B1P

1G6 902-567-1766

AIDS COALITION of NOVA SCOTIA Accept collect calls

1675 Bedford Row, Halifax, NS, B3J 1T11-

800-566-2437, 902-425-4882


47 Janeway Place, St. John’s, NL, A1A

1R7 1-800-563-1575 AIDS NEW BRUNSWICK

65 Brunswick St, Fredericton, NB, E3B

1G51-800-561-4009, 506-459-7518 AIDS PEI Take collect calls

2-375 University Ave, Charlottetown, PE, C1A 4N4 902-566-2437 AIDS SAINT JOHN Don’t accept collect calls

115 Hazen St, NB, E2L 3L3 506-652-2437


1-800 565 4255 3-15 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 2N21-800-565-4255, 902-492-4255 MAINLINE NEEDLE EXCHANGE

Calls from within Nova Scotia are free Don’t accept collect calls

5511 Cornwallis St, Halifax, NS, B3K

1B3 902-423-9991


150 Bentnick St, Sydney, NS, B1P

6H1 902-539-5556 (Collect) SIDA/AIDS MONCTON

Accept collect calls as long as they’re HIV related

80 Weldon St, Moncton, NB, E1C

5V8 506-859-9616


COALITION des ORGANISMESCOM- MUNAUTAIRES QUEBECOIS de LUTTE- CONTRE le SIDA (COCQSIDA) Accept collect calls 1 est, rue Sherbrooke, Montréal, H2X 3V8 514-844-2477 COMITÉ des PERSONNES ATTEINTES



2075 rue Plessis bureau 310, Montreal, H2L 2Y4 1-800-927-2844



Accept collect calls

145 Front Street East Suite 105 Toronto,

Ontario M5A 1E3 416-944-9300


543 Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON.

M4Y 1Y5 416-340-2437 (Please note, they do not accept collect calls) AFRICANS in PARTNERSHIP AGAINST AIDS No collect calls, call PASAN

526 Richmond St E, Toronto, M5A

1R3 416-924-5256 AIDS COMMITTEE of CAMBRIDGE, KITCHENER,WATERLOO & AREA Accept collect calls Have a toll-free number

2B-625 King St E, Kitchener, N2G

4V4 519-570-3687 (Collect), 1-877–770–


AIDS COMMITTEE OF GUELPH Accept collect calls, prefer that people use their 89 Dawson Rd, Unit 113, Guelph, N1H 3X2 1-800-282-4505; 519-763-2255 (Collect)

AIDS COMMITTEE of NORTH BAY and AREA Accept collect calls 201-269 Main St W, North Bay, P1B


2T8 705-497-3560 (Collect)

Accept collect calls


1300 rue Sanguinet, Montreal, H2X

3E7 514-847-0067

CENTRE for AIDS SERVICES MONTRE- AL (Women) Accept collect calls

1750 Rue Saint-Andre, 3rd Flr, Montreal,

H2L 3T81-877-847-3636, 514-495-0990

700-251 Bank St, Ottawa, K2P 1X3 613-

238-5014 (Collect) or Toll Free (ON & QC only) 1-2800-461-2182 AIDS COMMITTEE of THUNDER BAY

574 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, P7B

3Z21-800-488-5840, 807-345-1516 (Col- lect)

BLACK INMATES & FRIENDS ASSEM- BLY 2518 Eglinton Avenue West Toronto, Ontario M6M 1T1 ph (416) 652-3131 POSITIVE LIVING NIAGARA

Accept collect calls from registered clients (Recommend that you get a case man- ager to get registered with them)

PEEL HIV/AIDS NETWORK Accept collect calls

160 Traders Blvd, Unit 1, Mississauga,

L4Z 3K7

1-866-896-8700, 905-361-0523 (Collect) PETERBOROUGH AIDS RESOURCE NETWORK (PARN) Accept collect calls 302-159 King St, Peterborough, K9J 2R81-800-361-2895, 705-932-9110 (Col-


Church St, St Catharines, L2R



3C9 905-984-8684 or toll free 1-800-



Accept collect calls


Hepatitis C Treatment Program235 Wellington St, Kingston, K7K 0B5 613- 549-1440 (Collect)


Queen St E, Toronto, M5A 1S4 416-



Don’t accept collect calls

ASIAN COMMUNITY AIDS SERVICE Don’t accept collect calls right now (they will in 2-3 months)

101-140 King St E, Hamilton, L8N 1B2 905-528-0854 toll free 1-866-563-

When prisoners call, they offer them


small bursaries to cover their calling fees

Accept collect calls

107-33 Isabella St, Toronto, M4Y


Victoria St, Toronto, 416-392-0520

2P7 416-963-4300 (Collect) BLACK COALITION for AIDS PREVEN-



Accept collect calls from clients

Accept collect calls


Gerrard St E, 2nd Flr, Toronto, M5A

20 Victoria St, 4th Flr, Toronto, M5C

2N8 416-977-9955 (Collect)



Bay St #600, Toronto, M5R 2A7 416-595-




Accepts collect calls

490 Sherbourne St, 2nd Flr, Toronto, M4X 1K9


HIV & AIDS LEGAL CLINIC OF ON. (HALCO) Accept collect calls

65 Wellesley St E, Toronto, M4Y

1G7 1-888-705-8889 HIV/AIDS REGIONAL SERVICES (HARS) Accept collect calls 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L 1G5 613-545-3698 (Collect) ONTARIO ABORIGINAL HIV/AIDS STRATEGY Accept collect calls 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L 1G5 613-549-7540 (Collect)

2E6 416-506-1400

Toronto Community Hep C Program Accept collect calls


Queen Street East, Toronto, M4M


416-461-1925 (Collect only on Tuesday & Friday, 11am-5pm) Once out, please call 416-417-6135


HIV COMMUNITY LINK Accept collect calls

110-1603 10th Ave SW, Calgary, AB, T3C 0J7 403-508-2500


1143 Ave F N, Saskatoon, SK, S7L 1X1306-242-



4611 50th Ave, Red Deer, AB, T4N 3Z9


HIV EDMONTON 9702 111 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T5G 0B1 1-877-388-5742



Accept collect calls

RR 1, Site 1, Box 133, Onoway, AB, T0E 1V01-866-971-7233, 780-913-9036 NINE CIRCLES COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE

705 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0X2



Box 7123, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 4I1 306-


PRINCE ALBERT METIS WOMEN’S ASSOC. No collect calls 54 10th St E, Prince Albert, SK, S6V 0Y5 306-763-5356 RED RIBBON PLACE (ALL NATIONS HOPE AIDS NETWORK) 2735 5th Ave, Regina, SK, S4T 0L2 1-877-210-7622 STREET CONNECTIONS

No collect calls

705 Broadway Ave, Winnipeg, MB,

R3G 0X2 204-940-2504 WOMEN: 50 Argyle, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0H6 204-



AIDS VANCOUVER ISLAND Accepts collect calls. 713 Johnson St, 3rd Flr, Victoria, V8W 1M8 250-384- 2366 or 1-800-665-2437 PLBC - PRISON OUTREACH PROJ- ECT 1107 Seymour St, Vancouver, V6B 5S8 Toll Free: PROV - 604-525-8646 FED - 1-877-900-2437 (#’s approved by institutions and are NOT Collect Calls) POSITIVE WOMEN’S NETWORK 614-1033 Davie St, Vancouver, V6E

1M7 Toll Free: 1-866-692-3001 (BC



CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF ELIZA- BETH FRY SOCIETIES (Women) 701-151 Slater St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3 (613) 238-2422

PASAN is a community-based HIV Service organization that strives to provide community development, educa- tion
PASAN is a community-based HIV Service organization
that strives to provide community development, educa-
tion and support to prisoners and ex-prisoners in Ontario
ON HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and other harm reduction
issues. PASAN formed in 1991 as a grassroots response
to HIV in the Canadian prison system. Today, PASAN
is the only community-based organization in Canada
exclusively providing HIV and HCV prevention, education
and support services to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their
Sena Hussain
Prison Education Programs:
PASAN conducts HIV prevention education programs in
many adult and youth institutions in the southern Ontario
region. This program includes a Peer Educators Group,
whereby ex-prisoners living with HIV are educators for
current prisoners.
PASAN conducts free training for those working with
prison-affected and drug using populations. Training
topics include:
Mooky Cherian
Field Supervisor
Janet Rowe
Cell Count Supervisor
Simona Babiak
Editor & Contributor
▪ HIV & Prison
Victor Bruzzone
▪ Harm Reduction
Individual Support Services:
▪ The Impact of Segregation
▪ Individual support & counselling
▪ Stigma & Discrimination
Kira Hogarth-Davis
▪ case management
▪ referrals
Shelby Kennedy
▪ advocacy for medical services
Since our beginnings in 1991, PASAN has always
maintained a focus on systemic issues of HIV/AIDS and
Eveline Allen
Regional Prison In-Reach Coordinator
Eveline has worked at PASAN for 17 years, providing prisoners in
Toronto with harm reduction education, HIV & HCV prevention,
transmission and treatment information. If you are incarcerated
at the Toronto South Detention Centre (TSDC) or the Toronto East
Detention Centre (TEDC) and would like a harm reduction program
on your unit or a private one on one educational please call 1-866-
224-9978 Ext. 238
Simona Babiak
Placement Student
Kerrigan Beaver
Treatment Access Coordinator
Kerrigan works with clients for pre & post release planning. It’s
about reintegration back into their community. This includes con-
necting clients up with healthcare, social and community supports.
Mooky Cherian
Program Manager
Zachary Grant
Federal Hep C Program Coordinator
Seth Clarke
Federal Community Development Coordinator
Trevor Gray
Community Programs Coordinator
Sena Hussain
Communications and Resource Development Coordinator
Sena is the new editor of Cell Count, and looks forward to getting
the newspaper out to you more regularly again!
Lindsay Jennings
Provincial HepC Program Coordinator
Caludia Medina
Federal HIV Prison Community Development Coordinator
Janet Rowe
Executive Director
Cherisa Shivcharran
Provincial Community Development Coordinator
Keisha Williams
Women’s Community Program Coordinator
At work, she enjoys supporting Women and Trans people to make
informed choices (in other words ‘have all the facts’) about their
health and wellness and likes finding creative ways to make it fun!
▪ pre-release and post-release planning
▪ housing supports
Some has been involved in many systemic
▪ phone support through collect calling
advocacy efforts including:
▪ Prison Needle Syringe Project (2014/15)
▪ emergency financial assistance (limited budget for fees
Zina Mustafa
Resources & Copy Editor
▪ Advocacy against the use of segregation
related to identification and prison release. Application
requirements exist)
▪ Presentation to the Canadian Human Rights Commis-
sion (2001)
Nick Paccione
Community Support Services:
▪ Advocacy for male-to-female transsexual/transgendered
prisoners and HIV (1999)
Mr. Valley
PASAN also provides support AIDS Service Organizations
and community groups across Ontario. This includes:
▪ Presentation to the Presidential Advisory Council on
HIV/AIDS in Washington DC (1998)
▪ resources & educational materials
▪ Presentation to the Parliamentary Subcommittee on
Keisha Williams
▪ training
AIDS (1996)
▪ assistance to set up prison outreach and support
▪ HIV/AIDS in Youth Custody Settings: A Comprehensive
Strategy (1996)
▪ strategies to develop referral “hubs” for HIV positive
▪ Organization of the first National Workshop on HIV/
AIDS in Prison (1995).
▪ networking for the development of a continuum of care
for prisoners transferred between regions
▪ HIV/AIDS in Prison Systems: A Comprehensive Strate-
gy (1992)
Poetry: Nick Paccione, Eric Charlie aka
Lonewolf, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Moustafa
El Kaaki, Anthony George, Justin Daniels, L.
Cardinal, Alfred Charlie, Sean Paul Johnston,
Malicious Mike Cluney Art: Jeremy Hall, Ricky
J., R.R. Jamieson