The Current Podcast: Women’s Prisons

Today, CBC’s The Current ran a segment about Women’s Prisons in Canada:

The Federal Government is considering a bill that would bring in mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes. That would mean more people in Canada’s prisons. And according to the Correctional Investigator of Canada, that’s a big problem … especially for women.

You can listen to the podcast of the interview with “Rachel” a woman on parole who speaks very frankly about her experiences in Grand Valley Prison in Ontario, as well as an interview with Howard Sapers the Ombudsman for Corrections Canada.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Recent articles of note

Just wanted to alert everyone about 2 recently published articles. One is a short one from the Edmonton Journal describing the increase in numbers of women in federal prisons and the other is a very interesting essay discussing recent proposals to reform correctional services and their consequences for prisoners’ human rights.

Government failing aboriginal prisoners: ombudsman

Howard Sapers released a report last week entitled Good Intentions, Disappointing Results. The report is critical of the government and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) saying that the federal government needs to take “urgent action” to improve support programs for native prisoners or face a potential crisis. “Today my message is clear — given the urgency of the situation, I call upon the service to do the right thing and immediately appoint a deputy commissioner for aboriginal corrections,” Sapers said in a statement.

Howard Sapers was appointed the federal Correctional Investigator in Feburary 2004. The primary function of the Office of the Correctional Investigator is to investigate and bring resolution to individual offender complaints. The Office as well, has a responsibility to review and make recommendations on the Correctional Service’s policies and procedures associated with the areas of individual complaints to ensure that systemic areas of concern are identified and appropriately addressed.

Sapers has been a Board Member of the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta Ltd. since 2007.

You can read his full report here: http://www.oci-bec.gc.ca/rpt/pdf/oth-aut/oth-aut20091113-eng.pdf

Crossposted at Blogosarus Lex.