October 17th: Newsletter Launch and Punk Show!

EPIC Newsletter Launch and Punk Show
Feat The Dead Sparrows, Police Funeral & Crazy Bomber
Friday, October 17th, 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Sleepless Goat Cafe, 91 Princess Street
All Ages/Pay What You Can

Over The Wall is a print newsletter based in Kingston about struggles going on inside or around Ontario prisons. The goal of the project is to share information about what’s going on inside prison walls with supporters and potential supporters on the outside. Our first issue was launched in April 2014 and focused on the prisoner strikes across the country against the pay cuts in federal prisons.

We are pleased to announce the release of a second issue which will feature report-backs, statements and analysis from this year’s Prisoners Justice Day. The official launch will take place on Friday, October 17th at the Sleepless Goat from 7pm-11pm and will feature three political punk bands from across the region.

More info about the bands:

The Dead Sparrows (Trenton) – http://thedeadsparrows.bandcamp.com
Police Funeral (Ottawa) – http://policefuneral.bandcamp.com
Crazy Bomber (Peterborough) – http://crazybomber.bandcamp.com

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September 28th: Prisoner Letter-Writing

Prisoner Letter Writing Afternoon
Sunday September 28th, 1pm – 3pm
AKA Autonomous Social Centre, the red and black house at the corner of Queen and Wellington (wheelchair accessible).

Have you ever written a letter to a prisoner?

Prison is all about isolation and segregation, and the state does not want non-prisoners to connect with people inside its institutions. Letter-writing can be a great way to make a new friend, learn about the prison system and build connections between incarcerated folks and those outside.

Stamps, paper, envelopes, coffee and snacks will be provided. We can also help you brainstorm ways to get a penpal if you don’t have one already. Childcare is available on-site on request, contact epic [at] riseup [dot] net. AKA is a wheelchair- accessible space.

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September 12th: Prison Town

Check out this event organized by OPIRG Kingston!!!

Prison Town: An Introduction to the Prison-Industrial Complex in Kingston
Friday, September 12th at 3pm
Room 102, Theological Hall, Queen’s University
With five federal institutions in the area and more than 2000 prisoners, Kingston is the prison capital of Canada. Join us for an introduction to the prison industrial complex and its history and function within Kingston and Canada, and the politics of prison abolition.

This event is part of OPIRG’s 2014 Alternative Frosh events
Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/835342256489482

altfrosh

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PJD 2014 Audio

Thanks to everyone who contributed to and participated in marking this year’s Prisoners Justice Day in Kingston. To listen to the full CFRC 101.9fm broadcast, you can access the archives here. Here is a rundown of what is available:

August 10, 2014
1100-1200h: History of PJD, Biography of Chester Crosley, Stephen Reid Interview
1200-1300h: Memorial Segment, Kate Johnson Interview
1300-1400h: Chris Brown Interview, End Immigration Detention Network
1400-1500h: EIDN cont’d, Kingston Rally Footage and Interviews
1500h-1800h: Messages and Music Requests

Also you can access the following contributions from Frontenac and Collins Bay institutions, recorded over the phone:

History of Prisoners Justice Day by John Schaefler, Frontenac Institution
Frontenac Inmate Committee Statement
“Prisoners Justice Day” by Jarrod Shook, Collins Bay Institution
EPIC Interview with Jarrod Shook

CFRC PJD 2014

 

Posted in CFRC, Collins Bay, Frontenac Institution, General, Jarrod Shook, Kingston Pen, Local Prisoners, PJD | Leave a comment

August 31st: Prisoner Letter-Writing

EPIC Presents a Prisoner Letter Writing Afternoon
Sunday August 31st, 1 pm – 4 pm
AKA Autonomous Social Centre, the red and black house at the corner of Queen and Wellington (wheelchair accessible).

Have you ever written a letter to a prisoner?

Prison is all about isolation and segregation, and the state does not want non-prisoners to connect with people inside its institutions. Letter-writing can be a great way to make a new friend, learn about the prison system and build connections between incarcerated folks and those outside.

Stamps, paper, envelopes, coffee and snacks will be provided. We can also help you brainstorm ways to get a penpal if you don’t have one already. Childcare is available on-site on request, contact epic [at] riseup [dot] net. AKA is a wheelchair- accessible space.

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July 27th: Prisoner Letter-Writing

EPIC Presents a Prisoner Letter Writing Afternoon
Sunday July 27th, 1 pm – 4 pm
AKA Autonomous Social Centre, the red and black house at the corner of Queen and Wellington (wheelchair accessible).

Have you ever written a letter to a prisoner?

Prison is all about isolation and segregation, and the state does not want non-prisoners to connect with people inside its institutions. Letter-writing can be a great way to make a new friend, learn about the prison system and build connections between incarcerated folks and those outside.

Stamps, paper, envelopes, coffee and snacks will be provided. We can also help you brainstorm ways to get a penpal if you don’t have one already. Childcare is available on-site on request, contact e...@riseup.net. AKA is a wheelchair- accessible space.

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Prisoners Justice Day 2014

Prisoners Justice Day Rally and Vigil
August 10, 2014 at 11:00am
Market Square (north side on Brock St)

August 10th is a day set aside to remember all people who have died unnatural deaths inside Canadian prisons. Prisoners refuse to eat or work in a show of solidarity with each other and with those who have died behind prison bars.

This year we are co-organizing a rally and vigil in Market Square at 11:00AM. Join us to remember those who have died in prison and to demand justice for all those still in captivity.

pjd

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Analysis of PJD Documents

New documents released by the Information Transparency Project give readers a glimpse into the preparations made by the Correctional Service Canada for an attempted construction shutdown at Collins Bay Institution for Prisoners Justice Day on August 10, 2012. The heavily-redacted 225 pages of briefings, reports, and email communications give a (very partial) play-by-play of the co-ordinated effort to brace for ‘anarchist protests’ at prisons across Ontario and Quebec.

We have done an initial reading and here are some highlights:

  • Led by the Assistant Director of Operations at Ontario Regional Headquarters, a team of CSC managers checked the EPIC website daily and engaged in regular meetings with communications specialists, high level security analysts, and various police agencies in the lead-up to August 10th.
  • Separate contingency plans were reviewed and put in place for Collins Bay, Frontenac, Millhaven, Bath and Grand Valley Institutions, where possible protests were anticipated.
  • Contractors were advised of the shutdown threat and forced to decide on their own whether or not to work, because CSC didn’t want to be billed.
  • Staff at Collins Bay Institution were told to park elsewhere.
  • Official briefings were prepared for both the Regional Deputy Commissioner and Minister of Public Safety.
  • For the day of, CSC rented concrete barriers for crowd control, prepared letters requesting arrests of individuals trespassing on institutional property, provided a command centre for a massive police mobilization at Giant Tiger including the O.P.P.’s Provincial Liaison Team (the legacy organization of the Aboriginal Relations Team), and pre-emptively arrested one individual on parole for suspected ties to EPIC.

The Access to Information request also captured a few documents of interest regarding PJD preparations inside prisons. For example:

  • Of approximately 500 prisoners at Collins Bay, only 3 prisoners worked on August 10th, and they were all canteen workers; our understanding is that the canteen is usually allowed to open during prisoner strikes because of the vital services it provides to the population.
  • We can also observe a lengthy back-and-forth between headquarters and prisons about the changing policy towards PJD clothing, which has a long tradition in Ontario. The designs developed by the Collins Bay Inmate Committee prompted a discussion about whether they would be accepted and Scott Edwards, Director Operations at Regional Headquarters, explains that “t-shirts, caps, etc… for Prisoners Justice Day are NOT being supported this year … In essence we are out of the PJD business.” Inmates at Joyceville Institution were recently denied a class-action lawsuit on this matter.
  • Documents show officials at various institutions intercepting communications between inmate committees trying to build support for legal action and contemplating whether to allow the mail through or not.
  • A letter from CSC Commissioner Don Head to Inmate Committee lawyer Todd Sloan denies that formally-planned PJD activites were being obstructed, while notes from a meeting between an inmate committee and representatives of the warden clearly state that “nothing formal or sanctioned by management could be offered during the day … possibly something could be arranged in the evening.”

 

Posted in Collins Bay, Construction, PJD, Repression, research | Leave a comment

Full Article: Letter to Warden at Collins Bay Institution

An excerpt of this letter was originally published in our newsletter Over the Wall, Issue 1 (Spring 2014).

ATTN: Warden Jackson
RE: Proposed 30% pay reduction and $120 savings acount minimum increase

I am writing this letter anonymously, instead of making a formal inmate protest as directed by Todd Sloan, in the hopes that not making a nuisance of myself or a veiled threat to proceed to an onerous en masse grievance process will lend some weight to my feelings on the matter of the recently imposed 30% pay reduction implemented on inmate wages as part of the Correctional Service Canada’s “Accountability Measures.” I was one of the lucky men afforded the Warden’s time on this matter during our nearly four week long strike. While I agreed with him on most of what he had to say, there are a few considerations that I want the administration to be aware of that I was reticent to discuss in front of my peers at that time. My thoughts are purely impersonal, as you shall see, and concern the broader picture of Canadian society’s ultimate aims in the operation of a Judicial and Correctional system. These aims go far beyond simple financial considerations, and while it would be nice to be able to represent the world in dollars and cents, certain humanitarian concerns can never have a price attached to them.

Continue reading

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Full Article: Resistance to Prison Pay Cuts

An excerpt of this article was originally published in our newsletter Over the Wall, Issue 1 (Spring 2014).

Resistance to Prison Pay Cuts: An Account of Accountability
By Jarrod Shook of Collins Bay Institution

On May 9th, 2012 the former Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews made a speech to announce that (according to his speaking notes) “criminals have all the rights” and that the Conservative Party of Canada would be responding to this by increasing offender accountability through a 30% food and prison cell accommodation tax on the already meagre inmate pay of $6.90 per day; and by eliminating altogether the $2.20 per hour incentive payments which were provided to prison labourers who worked for the Crown Special Operating Agency CORCAN in facilities that operate in 31 of the Correctional Service Canada’s (CSC) 57 Institutions where prisoners contribute productive labour in four business lines including textiles, manufacturing, construction and services such as printing and laundry.

Continue reading

Posted in Collins Bay, Jarrod Shook, Newsletter, Strike | Leave a comment