Category Archives: Prisons

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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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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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Chip O’Connor, criminal lawyer, talks access to justice

This post is part of our Personal perspectives on access to justice series. Justice is not something you can hold in your hand, or put in the bank. It is neither concrete nor constant. The essence of justice is a proper balance between or among opposing or competing interests.Kingston lawyer Fergus J. (Chip) O’Connor was called to the bar in 1974. He opened his practice in Kingston a year later, and has dedicated his career since then to providing legal services to – and advocating for – prisoners at every level of Canada’s courts, often on a pro bono basis.

James Lockyer

James Lockyer on Wrongful Conviction Day

Wrongful convictions are an international problem. Our Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted decided there was a need for an International Wrongful Conviction day. Wrongful Conviction Day informs the general public, on an international level, that wrongful convictions have occurred, are occurring and will continue to occur in the future. There’s a need to change our system to uncover them and avoid them in future. James Lockyer, a principal at Lockyer Posner Campbell, is co-founder and lead counsel of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted, an organization that advocates for the wrongly convicted.

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In honour of Wrongful Conviction Day: one wrongfully convicted person’s story

“As a wrongly convicted individual who has had the good fortune to finally be set free, I feel a need to do what I can to help free others. Simply put, wrong is wrong. We all have an obligation to right the wrongs which come to our attention…” Newfoundlander Ron Dalton spent more than eight years in prison, charged with second-degree murder of his wife. It stole 12 years from his life, and led to two trials, an appeal, a lawsuit a public inquiry into his case, and two other wrongful convictions.

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What will you do for Prisoners’ Justice Day?

Prisoners’ Justice Day has been observed every year on August 10 since 1975 to call attention to human rights and justice for prisoners. This year, the theme is mental health, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, LAO and the John Howard Society of Toronto will be hosting several leading legal activists for a day of […]