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Making prison needle exchange programs work in Canada – Part 4

This is the fourth of four unique perspectives on prison needle and syringe programs. It explains why such programs are essential, what is happening in Canadian and international prisons and how such a program can work. All were part of a Canadian Harm Reduction Network panel discussion in support of prisoners’ rights and justice at Toronto’s Ryerson University. Daniela De Santis is the Prevention Coordinator at Hindelbank Prison in Bern, Switzerland.

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Gladue Reports: not just a sentencing report

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Gladue is a significant recognition of the position of Aboriginal offenders in the Canadian criminal justice system. It is well known to those working within the criminal justice system that Aboriginals are overrepresented. Chad Kicknosway is Ojibway and a graduate of law. He is currently a Gladue caseworker with Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and has been authoring Gladue reports for the past four years.

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Building bridges through community partnerships

The Legal Aid Ontario professionals who work out of the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre (DPNCHC) in Toronto’s west end help address the access to justice gap in this community. This is why and how they do it. Amy Slotek, a lawyer with experience in anti-discrimination, international and refugee law, coordinates the Legal Aid Ontario services program at the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Community Health Care Centre and was co-founder of the first refugee legal aid program in Turkey.

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Making prison needle exchange programs work in Canada – Part 3

This is the third of four unique perspectives on prison needle and syringe programs. It explains why such programs are essential, what is happening in Canadian and international prisons and how such a program can work. All were part of a panel discussion in support of prisoners’ rights and justice at Toronto’s Ryerson University. Sandra Ka Hon Chu is the Co-Director of Research and Advocacy at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. She works on HIV-related human rights issues concerning prisons, harm reduction, sex work, women, and immigration.

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Making prison needle exchange programs work in Canada – Part 2

This is the second of four unique perspectives on prison needle and syringe programs. It explains why such programs are essential, what is happening in Canadian and international prisons and how such a program can work. All were part of a Canadian Harm Reduction Network panel discussion in support of prisoners’ rights and justice at Toronto’s Ryerson University.Dr. Ruth Elmwood Martin is a clinical professor in the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health, an associate faculty member in its Department of Family Practice, and member of its lead research faculty for its family medicine residency program and inaugural Director of its Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education.

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Making prison needle exchange programs work in Canada – Part 1

This is the first of four unique perspectives on prison needle and syringe programs. It explains why such programs are essential, what is happening in Canadian and international prisons and how such a program can work. All were part of a Canadian Harm Reduction Network panel discussion in support of prisoners’ rights and justice at Toronto’s Ryerson University. Julie Thomas is the Program Manager/Executive Director of Healing our Nations, an organization that teaches and supports 31 First Nations communities in the Atlantic region plus northern Labrador in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and related issues.

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Taking the constitutional right to housing challenge to the Supreme Court of Canada

In our view, this case raises critical issues of access to justice under the Charter. Our next step is to seek leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada. Tracy Heffernan is co-counsel in Tanudjaja v. Canada and program director at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. Her centre initiated the Right to Housing Coalition. Coalition members are people from many backgrounds and expertise, including people with lived experience of homelessness or of being inadequately housed, community organizations, advocacy groups and academics.

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LGBTQ2 youth homelessness

We have known about the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, and two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) youth homelessness in Canada for over twenty years, but we have only recently started to have serious conversations about this problem nationally. This is an issue that has been neglected and left out of important dialogue on youth homelessness for far too long. Dr. I Alex Abramovich has been working in the area of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and queer (LGBTQ) youth homelessness for almost 10 years. Alex is a nationally recognized leader in the area of LGBTQ youth homelessness and is one of few Canadian researchers studying the phenomenon of queer and trans youth homelessness.