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.
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.
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.