Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 16

CELL COUNT

YOUR PRISON HEALTH RESOURCE SINCE 1995 FREE FOR PRISONERS, EX-PRISONERS & THEIR FAMILIES THE 2019 PJD ISSUE - #88
- DISILLUSIONMENT -
By Greg McMaster
Fueled by alcohol and drugs, in 1978 my
dysfunctional mind at the time led me on a
cross border murderous rampage between the
United States and Canada. I was all of 21 years
old.
Looking back at the past 41 years of con-
tinuous incarceration, recognition of what an
excessive and torturous journey it has been is
unavoidable. I’m pretty sure that I can add Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder to my growing list
of ailments (a heads up for those who may be
looking for it; this article isn’t about my person-
al Remorse. I’ve covered that over the years in
other media adventures).
After having served 15 years of my Life Sen-
tence for the State of Minnesota, most of it in
an underground Super Maximum-Security pris-
on, I was Extradited to Canada in 1993. When
I woke-up in the morning, as I had for the
previous 11 years, I was buried under tons of
concrete and steel. Sixteen hours later, when
the shackles and chains were finally removed,
I found myself flaying my weary body down in
a small, antiquated bucket of bolts in Northern
Ontario. For the most part, other than a few
notable exceptions, the Jail’s staff conducted
themselves in a professional and humane
manner. Having said that, it is indisputable that
the actual physical structure of the North Bay
District Jail was never intended to house long-
term Offenders. I spent over four years there,
and as the Jail’s Doctor testified in open Court,
I was being tortured by the built-in constraints
of a facility that should not hold anyone for
more than 90 days.
No, this story isn’t about me, or my tortured
soul. I’m just a believer that the reader should
know a little background information on the
writer. If you are going to take the time to read
what I write, the least I can do is offer some
semblance of comfort that I come equipped
with a knowledge base of the subject at hand.
After four decades entrenched in the Prisoner’s
Rights Movement, the last 30 years of which
serving as a legal and media spokesperson for
the incarcerated, there’s no shame in my game
when I say I come equipped with a suitable
knowledge base. For the faithful readers of
CELL COUNT, I’m a 20-year volunteer with PAS-
AN (the dedicated organization that publishes
CELL COUNT) and you may be familiar with my
previous Prisoner’s Justice Day submissions,
Illustration by Jeremy Hall

Calling All Heroes and Tribute To A Friend.


Full circle back to the North Bay District Jail.
‘Now why would you do that?’ many of you
are probably asking. Simple; it’s the first time
and place this American ever heard about the
Canadian penitentiary tradition of Prisoner’s
Justice Day. ‘But isn’t Prisoner’s Justice Day
supposed to be International?’ Unfortunately,
not as International as some would have you
believe. I was thoroughly entrenched in the
Prisoner’s Rights Movement in the states and
I had never heard of Prisoner’s Justice Day;
not even a whisper. I have no idea what the
status is today South of the Border because,
as I previously mentioned, I was Extradited to
Canada in 1993.
Fasting and paying homage to those whom
have passed before us on Prisoner’s Justice Day
was new to me, so the date of August I 01h had
not yet been burned into my soul. Sometime
in mid-August, I asked the men in the jail what
day we were supposed to fast. The sheepish
reply I received was that it had already passed.
Seems all the men in the jail, some of them
former pen-timers, conveniently forgot to re-
mind me because, well, whatever their bullshit
Cont'd on page 7

INSIDE THE 3 4-5


2 6-10 11-12 13-15 16
PJD 2019
ART
BULLETIN HEALTH & NEWS WRITINGS FROM RESOURCES

ISSUE
HARM ON THE
BOARD REDUCTION
ON THE INSIDE
& ABOUT
BLOCK WALL PASAN
2 // bulletin board
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
Calling all artists, writers (fic- since we want the newspaper to remain free for
tion, non-fiction, short stories, people inside, we are so grateful for the offers,
etc), illustrators, cartoonists, but we don't think you should have to pay to
poets, journalists (aspiring or get it. A way you can help us out though is by
otherwise), and other creative giving us your feedback about Cell Count!
types: Cell Count is partially funded by the Public
Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and part of
We want your submissions! We get receiving this funding involves evaluating the
lots of letters from our readers telling effectiveness of Cell Count. If you could take a
us how much they love seeing all your minute after reading this issue to let us know:
work and they’re hungry for more. 1) How did you hear about Cell Count?
Send us your stuff and get published 2) Why did you subscribe to Cell Count?
in Cell Count. When you send us stuff, 3) Is Cell Count an important resource for you
please make sure you write a line in and if so, why? If not, why?
that gives us permission to publish 4) In what ways has reading Cell Count affected
your work. Also, let us know if you you? Mentally? Emotionally? Please elaborate.
would like your work returned to you 5) If you have submitted work to Cell Count,
or sent on to someone else! Please what has that meant to you?
also type your work or write clearly if You can call or write to us with answers to
you can! these questions, which we will then forward to
Writers: We get a lot of great work PHAC! You can ask to remain anonymous as
sent in that we are unable to use be- well. Thank you! We really appreciate your help
cause of very limited space. Apologies. with this :)
Please consider the column width &
keep articles/poems tight & to the Messages for Prisoners Justice Day
point. Honestly, the first items to go in CFRC Prison Radio airs each Wednesday from
are the ones that fit nicely and leave 7-8pm EST on CFRC 101.9fm in the Kingston,
space for others – quality and quan- Ontario area and worldwide at CFRC.ca. Our
tity! Also, let us know in writing if signal extends to Brockville, Belleville, Smith
it’s ok to edit your work for grammar, Falls, and Watertown (NY).
spelling and so we can fit it in.
Please note: If you do send some- The program features news, interviews,
thing to us, please give us a call if you writing, and documentaries about prisoners
can so we can look out for it in the and prison issues. Content is produced by CFRC
mail. Also, call us again at least a week volunteers and by other campus and communi-
after you send it to make sure we got ty radio broadcasters, including CKUT Montre-
it. If not, if you're sending in a piece al‘s Prison Radio and Vancouver Co-op Radio‘s
of writing, we can transcribe it over Stark Raven programs.
the phone for you, so keep a copy of The last Wednesday of each month, CPR fea-
Land Acknowledgment porting does not infringe copyright.” everything you send us! tures Calls from Home, sharing letters, emails,
We're especially looking for submissions voice messages, and music requests by and for
PASAN's office, where we publish Cell A Note about Pen Pals: from women-identified folks! Women are the prisoners and their loved ones.
Count, is on the historical territory of the fastest-growing prisoner population in Canada,
Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most Here is a list of correspondence services for Our radio signal carries into the following
people inside (alternatives to pen pals, which is, but often their experiences are marginalized institutions:
recently, the Mississaugas of the New Credit in conversations about the prison system. We
Indigenous peoples. This territory is covered sadly, no longer a part of Cell Count): - Millhaven Institution
Canadian Inmates Connect: Currently, there is want to hear your take on prison, life, family,
by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt or anything else you're interested in writing - Collins Bay Institution
Covenant, an agreement between the Haude- a $35/year subscription. Your ad will be placed
on a website, and people with internet access about. We can guarantee confidentiality, and - Joyceville Institution
nosaunee and the Ojibwe and allied nations can publish your pieces under a pseudonym if
to peaceably share and care for the lands browse through to decide who to connect with. - Bath Institution
A point of caution: you are asked to say what you want! Please submit your articles, poetry,
and resources around the Great Lakes. art, or letters to the Cell Count editor at 526 - Frontenac Institution
you have been convicted for, and your full
HIV+ Client Services name will be published online. Melissa is the Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 - in the - Pittsburgh Institution
person to contact for more information. Write meantime, check out Concrete Blossoms on - Quinte Detention Centre
In order to be a client & access these services page 5.
you need to have confirmed HIV+ status and or call her at: Canadian Inmates Connect Inc. - Cape Vincent Correctional Facility (Cape Vin-
be a prisoner or ex-prisoner (all times Eastern 3085 Kingston Rd, Suite 267, Toronto, Ontario, When subscribing to Cell Count cent, New York)
Standard time) M1M 1P1 - (647) 344-3404
Black and Pink: Specifically for queer and trans We have been notified by a few different Call 613-329-2693 or write CPR c/o CFRC,
• Phone Hours: Mon – Fri from 9-5, except institutions that if you'd like your subscription Lower Carruthers Hall, Queen’s University,
Tuesday mornings prisoners. They are based in the United States,
it does not cost anything to be part of the list, of Cell Count to make it into your hands, you Kingston, ON, K7L-3N6 to have your Prisoners
• Workshops and Programming - Scheduled and you don't have to tell them your convic- have to register at the library to receive it first. Justice Day message broadcast on the radio!
usually on Mondays or Thursdays, give us a tion. Here is how to reach them: Black and Pink Please do this before requesting a subscription
call or check out our website for a complete National Office, 614 Columbia Rd, Dorchester, from us just to make sure! Also, if you are inter- CSC’s new Prison Needle Exchange Pro-
list of events we have scheduled. MA 02125 ested in subscribing please contact: Cell Count, gram (PNEP)
• ID Clinic – 1st & 3rd Thursday 1:00-2:00 every 617.519.4387 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON, M5A 1R3 or
month - for everyone. call Sena at: 1-866-224-9978 ext 228 We want to hear from you! After refusing for
Prison Fellowship Canada: This is a faith- more than 20 years, the Correctional Service of
• Release Funds - $50 (twice a year max) based, Christian organization that connects Next Deadline & New Issue Format! Canada (CSC) announced last year the introduc-
• TTC Tokens – 2 each for clients who attend prisoners with volunteers of either the same tion of its “prison needle exchange program”
workshops gender, or where there is a 15-20 year age Firstly, we want to thank everyone who sent us or PNEP in federal prisons. This is the result of
difference. The point is for you to have an submissions for this issue of Cell Count! We are an ongoing court case by the Canadian HIV/
• Harm Reduction Materials – Mon – Fri from outlet to express yourself to someone who will excited to present to our readership all of the
9-5, except Tuesday AM (Safer-Crack-Use- AIDS Legal Network, PASAN and others. The
listen. If you are of the Christian faith, this may thought-provoking submissions we received for PNEP began in Summer 2018 at two prisons:
Kits, Safer-Needle-Use-Kits, Piercing Needles, be a great option for you. You can reach them this issue.. Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchen-
Condoms, etc.) - for everyone. for more info at: Prison Fellowship Canada - Submissions for the next issue of Cell Count er, Ontario and Atlantic Institution in Renous,
Sometimes we and the phones are very busy so National Office, 5945 Airport Road, Suite 144, will be due September 15th, 2019. I know this New Brunswick. Beginning in January 2019,
please keep trying! Mississauga, ON L4V 1R9 is a very short turnaround, but I would like to get CSC has said it will start phasing in PNEP across
905.673.5867 out 2 more issues before the end of the year. The the federal prison system. The Legal Network
About Cell Count
Prisoner Correspondence Project: "..a sol- deadline for the issue after next is November 1st, and PASAN are continuing with our legal case
PASAN publishes ‘Cell Count’, a minimum of idarity project for gay, lesbian, transsexual, 2019. to make sure all prisoners who need it can
4 issues per year. We are based in Toronto on transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, access the PNEP, and we want to hear from
the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of bisexual and queer prisoners in Canada and the Obituary Section you. If you are in a prison with a PNEP, we are
New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, United States, linking them with people who are With this section, we hope to give you an outlet interested in learning about your observations
the Huron-Wendat and home to many diverse part of these same communities outside of pris- to express your grief so you don't have to expe- and experiences of the PNEP: * Are people us-
Indigenous peoples. It is sent out for FREE to on." - From their website. Write to them here: rience it alone. You can send in an obituary ing the program? * Do you think the program
Clients & Prisoners in Canada. If you are on QPIRG Concordia c/o Concordia University about someone you may have lost in prison or works? * Are there any problems for those who
the outside or part of an organization, please 1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal, QC H3G wish to participate? If you are able to share
on the outside. We will start with a limit of 125 your thoughts with us, please contact: Zach-
consider a donation @ $20 per year. We are 1M8 words per obituary and expand based on your
Inmate Ink: "Help us bring Hope to a prisoner ary Grant or Aanya Wood at PASAN (toll free:
proud to release our 86th issue to you. We are feedback. 1-866-224-9978) or Sandra Chu at the Cana-
also grateful for all the wonderful feedback we one letter at a time. Offers memberships from
$20 - $40. Your completed ad will be published Bring PASAN to your group dian HIV/AIDS Legal Network at 416-595-1666
have been receiving from our readers, and en- ext. 232. Both PASAN and the Legal Network
courage you to keep putting your two cents in. on our website for anyone in the general public Are you a PEC/APEC worker or part of a Prison- accept collect calls from prisoners.
Our goal is to have most of our content written to view and contact you directly. For an appli- er run group? PASAN regularly visits and holds
and produced by prisoners and ex-prisoners, so cation or more info, please contact Tasha Brown
at: P.O. Box 53222 Marlborough CRO, Calgary
workshops at prisons, if you would like to request Goodbye from Aanya
we highly encourage you to get in touch with us to come and be a part of your work give us a
us if you're interested in being part of the Cell AB. T2A 7L9 or www.InmateInk.ca" call at 1-866-224-9978. It is a free call from any Friends, sisters and brothers I’ve had the priv-
Count team. If you have had success using a pen pal service phone and we would love to hear from you! ilege of working with – words cannot describe
Publisher: PASAN (other than ours) and would like to share it with how grateful I am for the lessons you’ve taught
526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1R3 other Cell Count subscribers, please write to us Contact Numbers me. It brings me such sadness to announce my
Circulation: 700+ - Recirculation: ??? or call. We can list it in a future issue. departure from PASAN. I will of course still be
If you are in any Federal/Provincial Institution around and will always be in solidarity with you
All original artwork, poems and writings are the Moving? or Detention Centre call us only with this #: and incarcerated people worldwide. You are all
sole/soul property of the artist and author. Toll-free 1-866-224-9978 tremendous humans who deserve more than
We were getting about 75 Cell Counts sent back
Fair Dealing in the Canadian Copyright Act: to us each mail-out labelled, ‘Not Here’. Please Cell Count Feedback what this world has offered you. I will forever
Sections 29, 29.1, 29.2: “Fair dealing for the help us reduce our mailing expenses by letting live my life by the lessons I have been privi-
purpose of research, private study, education, us know of any address change, ASAP! Thank Many of our subscribers ask us if there's a leged enough to learn from you all. Niawen,
parody, satire, criticism, review, and news re- you for the consideration. way they can donate money to Cell Count, and chi-miigwetch and thank you. Aanya
3 // HEALTH & HARM REDUCTION
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
To Cell Count Editor Dear Pasan Suicide: Stop the Pain – Break
the chain
We are told to take the pain, go it alone and not In our prison system, we need safe Hello, my name is Michael, I am
injection sites as well, we already transitioning to be a woman, I’ve By Reginald Nixon, a friend for-
show any feelings except anger. And we walk have good healthcare in the prisons
been on hormones for almost 5 ever.
years, it really should be more like 10 I know that a lot of people will say
around like a time bomb until we get angry or so why not use these resources years now but I was told by Correc- that there is no way to change or
to help save more convicts! This tions Canada that I was asking for stop their suicidal thoughts. I am a
upset about something. This Locks us into cycles of will help other people from losing a non-essential treatment in 2009 survivor of many suicide attempts. I
anymore loved ones, the spread of when I first asked to be seen by a have to disagree with those people.
violence that we cannot escape or change by our- Hep-C & HIV is to be stopped right gender identity specialist, but I was I have learned after many attempts,
later referred to a doctor who told that I wanted to live, not die. I asked
selves. One of the most powerful statements any in its tracks. The spread of illness
will come to a screeching halt. The
me that my mental health was just as a friend if he would help me figure
important as a person being treated out what was causing me to want to
man can make is to say I need help. healthcare can check our vitals, make for having a broken leg (5 years after kill myself, and he suggested that we
sure no one ODs, and if so, there is the fact). go to a support group. The group
Forgotten warrior someone there to help. And once I then began the ever so slow griev- was to help deal with a friend or
you’re ok and ready to go back to ance process of C.S.C and won, only family member that had killed them-
your unit you’ll give back your used after taking it all the way to Ottawa selves. It took a couple of meetings
with my doctor’s letter that stated I before I was able to share my story,
works needle and then go back to
was being discriminated against by and the people in the group thanked
your living unit. CSC’s health care department, and me. I ended up changing the group
British Columbia has this in place that wasn’t the first or last time for to welcome people who were feeling
and it’s saving lives every day, so why me either, before I filed my griev- suicidal.
not Ontario? People are going to use ance, I was denied twice before at 2 I was asked by some group
dope either with or without the help other institutions, which was bullshit! members what I mean when I say,
I’m hoping that somehow this “stop the pain – break the chain.” I
of health care, so why not save a life
letter helps other girls get on HRT tell them if they can talk to a friend,
instead of losing a life? There is no (hormone replacement therapy) and family member or professional about
reason why this would not work… helps in the fight to put an end to dis- what is bothering them, it’s a way of
- I, JayJay Bevan, wish all the best of criminatory practices within the sys- removing the pain in their life. This
health and a good life. Peace out. tem, there are so many other small removes the thoughts of suicide,
things that go on in jails concerning which is what I like to call “breaking
discriminatory practices, such as the chain.” It’s almost like putting up
being called “sir” or “him” or “it” or a wall between life and death. This is
“man” and not being referred to as a very hard step to take because you
our gender identities and given the might be telling someone something
right to wear the clothing that we feel that they had no idea about, but they
comfortable in because it becomes understand why you couldn’t tell
a bullshit safety/security concern to them.
the institution when staff can come There are many different reasons
to work in like attire (i.e. dresses, why people have thoughts of suicide
flats, skirts, high heels, makeup, etc). and we may never know all of the
The struggles continue, but if we reasons, but as long as we don’t give
stick to our guns these are things we up, we will never fail. I think that
can win back together girls, stay true, when we are in school from grades
don’t stop believing 5 – 12, there should be a class that is
T/C Michelle xoxo considered mandatory called “suicide
awareness” to help people that might
Con Kitchen be getting bullied. Every little bit of
advice helps.
Corner Cooking
By Forgotten Warrior Cut wings into pieces, get 1 spicy
#1 Apple Crisp (Pen style) Micro- pack from either a Mr. Noodle or
wave, serves 3 peeps Mama Noodle, mix 4 packs of pea-
Slice 8 medium-sized apples into nut butter with 4 packs soya sauce,
wedges, put into a Tupperware and the spice pack from the noo-
container and microwave for 2-3 dles with water. Mix until smooth
minutes until wedges are soft and then microwave for 60-90 secs
mushy. Keep the juice from the stirring often. Pour over cooked and
cooked wedges for the topping. mixed rice and spicy chicken wings.
Topping: 1 cup granola (3 granola Smoke blunt, munch out and enjoy.
bars from Canteen), 1 cup cinna- Upcoming recipes: burrito, taffy
mon flavoured porridge (three Due to ongoing cuts to the prison
packs from canteen), ¾ cup honey and food services being cut, the
(from canteen). Mix all togeth- meals becoming smaller and more
er with the apple juice from the repeated meals of questionable
cooked wedges. items. Prisoners have become more
Cool the apple crisp in fridge, take self-sufficient and have learned
out, spread the topping on apple to make due with what’s available
crisp, spoke spliff, then munch out through the canteen in order to
and enjoy. meet the daily requirements within
#2 Spicy Chicken on Rice, serves 3 the prison system. Where there’s
peeps a will there’s a way. The convict
Prepare 2 cups spicy chicken wings. instinct will prevail.

Your trauma is valid.


Even if other people have experienced “worse.” Even if
someone else who went through the same experience
doesn’t feel debilitated by it. even if it “could have been
avoided.” even it it happened a long time ago. Even if no
one knows. your trauma is real and valid and you deserve
a space to talk about it. it isn’t desperate or pathetic or
attention-seeking. it’s self-care. it’s inconceivably
brave.
br and regardless of the magnitude of your struggle,
you’re allowed to take care of yourself by processing
and unloading some of the pain you carry. your pain
matters. your experience matters. your healing matters.
nothing and no one can take that away.
daniell koepke
4 // NEWS ON THE BLOCK
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
3 more women join lawsuit violating their confidentiality. detention until their next hearings. Last week, a judge found Oland not not have access to justice. Every-
alleging sexual assault at Earlier this month, the Canadian All of this happened without any guilty of the bloody 2011 murder of body deserves a defence. A proper
women's prison in Truro HIV/AIDS Legal Network released a publicly released information about his wealthy father in Saint John — defence costs money and takes
statement saying that “supervised in- who they were and why they were the culmination of six years of legal resources. When you are on the
By Blair Rhodes, CBC News: Jul 19, jection sites or overdose prevention arrested, sparking concern from wrangling. fringes of society, you don’t have the
2019 sites must NOT replace needle and immigration lawyers. Oland, 51, was charged with the resources,” MacDonald said.
Three more women have joined a syringe programs in prison.” The CBSA determines when an killing of Richard Oland in 2013. “Legal aid across the country de-
lawsuit alleging they were sexually The group is currently suing the individual should be placed into He waged an exhausting legal bat- serves more money,” he said.
assaulted by a guard at the Nova In- federal government over the lack of custody based on several criteria, tle after he was convicted by a jury MacDonald said he doesn’t think
stitution, a prison for women located access to needle exchange in prisons. including if someone is a risk to the in 2015 and spent close to a year in legal aid services can function ade-
in Truro, N.S. There are needle exchange programs public or if there is a risk that they prison. That verdict was overturned quately without the funds necessary
They join three other women who operating in six federal prisons in won’t appear for a deportation order. on appeal in 2016 and the new to be able to protect the clients that
launched the civil suit in May. The Canada — but not in Drumheller. In Ontario, 94 percent are detained trial ordered, this time before judge need protection.
guard has resigned. The union representing Canadian because CBSA considers them a flight alone. Makin said the United Kingdom
Truro police are conducting a crim- corrections officers told Global News risk, compared to just 55 percent in The Crown has 30 days to decide if has a better system that includes a
inal investigation into the allegations previously that prison guards would Quebec. The Canadian Council for it will appeal the not guilty verdict in branch of government that acts like
at the institute, one of six federal prefer supervised drug consumption Refugees argues that this unex- the re-trial. Innocence Canada to look out for the
correctional facilities for women sites to needle exchange programs, plained discrepancy raises questions Nicole O’Byrne, a law professor at rights of people who may have been
across Canada. which the union says provides in- of fairness. the University of New Brunswick, said wrongfully convicted.
CBC is not identifying any of the mates with weapons. There are also questions about
women because of the nature of But according to the HIV/AIDS Legal how CBSA agents treat the migrants
Oland had the resources to pay a Solitary prison ban upheld
defence team to follow up on every
their allegations. They have the sup- Network, there has never been a and asylum seekers they detain. aspect of the case by hiring experts The Canadian Press - Jun 24, 2019
port of the Elizabeth Fry Society, an single reported attack involving About one-third of Canada’s detained and by taking portions of the case British Columbia's top court has up-
organization which provides help for equipment from needle exchange migrants are held in regular prisons, to the Supreme Court of Canada for held a lower court ruling that struck
women in conflict with the law. programs in their 25 years of oper- often with the regular prison popula- determination. down Canada's solitary confinement
In their suit, the women allege the ation. tion, posing grave risks to their safe- “All citizens enjoy the same consti- law as unconstitutional.
assaults happened in 2013 and 2018. Overdoses and overdose deaths in ty: In 2010, 24-year-old Kevon Phillip tutional rights such as the right to be The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled
They name a former guard, Brian federal prisons have more than dou- was beaten to death in Toronto’s Don presumed innocent; however, not all unanimously Monday that pro-
Wilson, as their attacker. bled in recent years, according to a Jail while being held in immigration citizens have equal access to resourc- longed, indefinite segregation
Guard claims he has been wrong- recent report by Corrections Canada. detention. es that may be needed to mount a deprives inmates of life, liberty and
fully accused Drumheller Institution, located more But even the immigrants held in successful defence,” O’Byrne said in security of the person in a way that
In an interview with CBC News in than an hour from Calgary, often has migrant detention centers endure an interview. is "grossly disproportionate" to the
May, Wilson denied the allegations the highest overdose rates. inhumane conditions and treatment. “In an era when legal aid services objectives of the law.
and said he has been wrongfully According to the CSC report, there They can be held indefinitely and are being cut and the costs of legal "The draconian impact of the law
accused. were 53 overdose incidents at Drum- without charge as their case makes representation are continually rising, on segregated inmates, as reflected
Correctional Service Canada told heller from 2012 to 2017. “Fentanyl its way through Canada’s bureaucrat- this case reminds us that access to in Canada's historical experience
CBC News it began an internal in- was suspected or confirmed in 34 ic immigration and refugee system. justice needs to be for everyone and with administrative segregation and
vestigation when it first heard of the per cent of overdose incidents at According to the End Immigration not just for people of means.” in the judge's detailed factual find-
allegations in last December. Drumheller, compared to 8 per cent Detention Network, many migrants Kirk Makin, co-president of In- ings, is so grossly disproportionate to
The preliminary findings of that in- at all other institutions,” the report are held in cells for 18 to 21 hours nocence Canada — a non-profit the objectives of the provision that it
vestigation were delivered on March stated. per day. Children are also kept in organization dedicated to identifying offends the fundamental norms of a
29. That's when CSC contacted police. detention: In 2016, a teenager who
Wilson said he was suspended this Canada needs to take a hard crossed into Canada from the United
and advocating for individuals who free and democratic society," Justice
January and resigned in April on the look at its own migrant deten- States was kept in isolated detention
may have been wrongfully convicted Gregory Fitch wrote on behalf of the
advice of his psychologist. tion system for three weeks. An access-to-infor-
— says many of the people wrong- three-judge panel.
fully convicted of crimes and later The panel rejected the federal
He has been diagnosed with By Nora Loreto, Washington Post, mation request made by the Cana- exonerated are poor people who government's attempt to overturn
post-traumatic stress disorder. July 24 dian Press revealed this month that can’t afford the best defence. the B.C. Supreme Court's ruling from
The allegations in the civil lawsuit Nora Loreto is a Canadian freelance CBSA agents will soon be equipped “Dennis Oland is a very fortunate January 2018 in a challenge brought
have not been tested in court. writer and author of “From Demonized with batons, “soft body armor” and man. The difference is profound be- by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association
steel-toed boots — the same items
Alberta federal prison opened to Organized: Building the New Union
worn by guards at maximum-security
tween someone who has the means and the John Howard Society of
an overdose prevention site for Movement.”
facilities.
to get the best defence and pursue Canada.
inmates this week As the world’s attention has
Since 2000, at least 15 people have
every avenue of appeal vigorously. Parliament passed a new law on
increasingly focused on migrant de- The vast majority of people don’t,” he Friday that the government said
By Rachel Browne, Global News: tention centers in the United States, died while in CBSA custody, including said Monday in a telephone inter- eliminates segregation, increases
June 28, 2019 Canadian Prime Minister Justin a 50-year-old woman who died at a view. mental-health services and Indige-
Alberta’s Drumheller federal prison Trudeau’s government quietly chose maximum-security prison in 2017, “What we find is a great many nous supports and bolsters indepen-
opened an overdose prevention site a contractor to build a new migrant and Bolante Idowu Alo, who died in of the people who are wrongfully dent oversight.
for inmates on Monday, Global News detention facility in Laval, Quebec. 2018 after an ”altercation” with CBSA convicted and later exonerated were The law means prisoners who pose
has learned. It is the first prison in The facility, promised in 2016 by guards accompanying him on a plane people who were people of very poor risks to themselves or others will
Canada to do so. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, to be deported to Nigeria. means. They were people who were instead be moved to new "structured
“Participants using the service will cost just over $38 million (or 50 The negative publicity around homeless or otherwise rejected by intervention units" and offered to
will be allowed to use self-supplied million Canadian dollars) and house reports of deaths in CBSA custo- society or have fallen through the spend four hours a day outside their
substances,” a spokesperson for the up to 500 individuals. dy pushed the Liberals to rebuild cracks,” he said. cells, with a minimum of two hours
Correctional Service of Canada told This decision came days after a detention centers, such as the one Makin said lower income people to interact with others. It requires
Global News in an email. CityNews exclusive revealed that in Laval, and to reduce the number can’t afford the best lawyer, or a regular review of the necessity of
Inmates looking to access the the agents from the Canada Border of children held in detention. But the team of lawyers, and may have to each inmate's continuing confine-
overdose prevention site, which runs Services Agency (CBSA) were asking party was not able to deliver on the rely on the legal-aid system for help. ment.
every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., must people for identification in one promise of improving oversight. There have been complaints for However, B.C. Civil Liberties
first meet with corrections health Toronto neighborhood to prove they Over a period of 18 months years that more funding is needed Association executive director Josh
staff. were ”legally in Canada.” The agency between 2016 and 2018, the CBSA for legal-aid services, but the Ontario Paterson said the new law does not
“Participants using the OPS will not confirmed to CityNews that its agents investigated 1,200 complaints made government recently slashed spend- eliminate the possibility of prolonged
be disciplined for using the service,” were in the neighborhood at the against its own agents, including ing on Legal Aid Ontario by 30 per solitary confinement.
the spokesperson said. time, but have denied conducting sexual harassment and discreditable cent. "The bill that they passed continues
But no inmate has yet used the site. random street checks. conduct while on duty. In March , Makin said someone who is able to under certain circumstances to allow
“As of today, no one has engaged in These events are a reminder that, the Liberals committed to expanding hire the best lawyers will get better guards and prison wardens to place
the Service,” Corrections Canada told while Canadians have been rightfully the oversight body for the RCMP to treatment before the courts. prisoners in the very same conditions
Global News on Friday. “It will take horrified by the images and rheto- enable it to take on complaints made “When a top lawyer such as an that gave rise to our win in this case
time for this service to be active.” ric coming from the United States, to CBSA as well. The bill was at sec- Eddie Greenspan walks into court — 22 hours or more a day in a cell
“This is a new harm reduction they should not ignore how Canada ond reading in the Senate when the they are taken very seriously. There’s the size of a parking spot at a grocery
initiative and inmates were given the itself treats migrants and asylum session finished in June, effectively a deference that’s shown to them store," he said.
opportunity to visit the site and ask seekers. The Trudeau government killing it. because of their reputation and skill,” The association's litigation director
questions.” was elected in large part thanks to its The Liberals need to make changes he said. Grace Pastine said they believe the
The site includes safe consumption welcoming immigration rhetoric, and to CBSA detention and make border Makin points to the example of new law is unconstitutional and
rooms inside the prison’s Health Ser- has since very publicly championed policing a priority. The party has the case of Glen Assoun who spent they're exploring all legal avenues to
vices where health-care staff, includ- the cases of refugees. But it has not shown that it is responsive to public almost 17 years in prison for his 1999 fight it.
ing nurses, are available to respond lived up to its words. pressure. Now, Canadians should conviction in the killing of Brenda The federal government has 30
to an overdose or other medical Instead, the Liberals have promised join migrant justice campaigns Way in Halifax in November 1995. days to decide whether to seek leave
emergencies. Site participants will to increase deportations by between and demand that the government Assoun, who has a Grade 6 educa- to appeal to the Supreme Court of
be provided with a clean needle and 25 percent and 35 percent per year. institute a mechanism to oversee the tion, was forced to defend himself Canada.
syringe and other necessary supplies, They have also done little to rein in CBSA. Canada’s migrant detention after firing a lawyer who had been Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for
which they may use only during their the power of the CBSA, which is cur- system may be more humane than appointed by Nova Scotia Legal Aid. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale,
visit. rently Canada’s only national security the U.S. system, but that does not He attempted to find a replacement, said in a statement that the new law
However, correctional officers will agency without civilian oversight. mean we should allow these abuses but when that failed, Justice Suzanne is backed by $448 million in new
still “conduct their everyday responsi- When a complaint is made against to continue. Hood said he’d have to act as his own investments. Inmates in structured
bilities as usual, including performing a member of the Royal Canadian Oland murder case highlights lawyer. intervention units will be entitled to
urinalysis testing and searches, as Mounted Police (RCMP), a civilian costs required for successful “There are lawyers who come at least two hours daily of mean-
per legislative and policy frame- agency handles the complaint. The defence before the courts who are doing ingful human contact with staff,
works,” the spokesperson said. CBSA investigates itself, making it dif- their first trial. Everybody has to start visitors, elders, chaplains, or other
Some medical experts say over- ficult for Canadians to stay informed Kevin Bissett, Canadian Press, Jul somewhere,” she told Assoun. compatible inmates and have access
dose prevention sites are necessary about the agency’s operations. 24, 2019 Sean MacDonald, the lawyer who to rehabilitative programming and
amid rising overdose death rates in For example, on June 22, 12 men FREDERICTON — Dennis Oland was successful in having Assoun’s mental health care, he said.
correctional facilities. Others have were arrested by police in London, didn’t receive special favours before wrongful conviction overturned in The challenge in B.C. has been
been concerned about such a service Ontario, under a warrant issued by the courts in his murder re-trial, March of this year, said a lack of unfolding at the same time as a sim-
operating inside a prison, and specif- the CBSA. Within a week, four of the but the case shows how money can money played a major role in As- ilar case in Ontario brought by the
ically how inmates will be able to be men had been deported to Mexico. make a difference in mounting a suc- soun’s original conviction. Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
open about their drug use without The rest will remain in immigration cessful defence, say legal experts. “In Glen’s case he most certainly did Ontario's Court of Appeal placed a
5 // NEWS ON THE BLOCK
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
hard cap on solitary confinement process resulted in a more detailed The footage was later entered into CSC to order a comprehensive, exter- or penitentiary culture, you always
in prisons, saying inmates can no understanding of the events that evidence in court and became public nal review. had to watch your back. And you
longer be isolated for more than transpired." in April. Healthier, cheaper food possible have a culture in there where you’ve
15 days. The decision was stayed Zinger said research has shown that
while Canada worked on passing its
CSC has since "refined" its com- Audit flags risk of 'food-relat- serving wholesome and appetizing
got someone in charge … how you
replacement law.
munications procedures "to ensure ed health event' in Canadian food in institutionalized settings is
become the big dog is that you abuse
B.C.'s Appeal Court allowed the
a higher level of review, as we prisons cheaper, healthier and safer in the
everybody else, so you always have
recognize the importance of clear, to watch your back.”
government's appeal in part, saying accurate and consistent public com- Kathleen Harris, CBC News: June long run. By being in charge, McIvor said, she
that while the law should be struck munications on deaths in custody," 8, 2019 "Scrimping on food may not be pro- doesn’t just mean a hierarchy among
down under the section of the char- the statement says. A new federal audit raises quality viding value for money or be worth staff, but among inmates.
ter that relates to the right to life, 'Approved' and safety concerns regarding Can- the problems or exposure to risk that “That was the first principal in
liberty and security of the person, it According to CSC records, Ed Muise, ada's prison food system, warning a single large-scale food safety event our healing lodge, is that what we
should not be struck down under the the Dorchester warden at the time, of food being wasted, substandard would entail," he warned. needed was a place where they could
section that protects equality rights, was informed of Hines's death just meal portions and the risk of a Zinger also noted that the audit be safe because until you’re safe
in this case of mentally ill and Indige- minutes after he died at 12:04 a.m. "food-related health event" behind was based on the old food guide and you’re not always surviving, you
nous inmates. on May 27, 2015. the wire. and questioned how CSC will comply cannot change.”
The court declared that Correction- Within an hour or two of the death, Federal government auditors scruti- with the new guide's emphasis on After that, it was about getting in
al Services Canada had breached its nearly all staff who were involved nized kitchens and food preparation plant-based protein, fresh fruits and touch with the Indigenous worldview.
obligations. with Hines that night had written rules in federal institutions that feed vegetables. “It’s not so much about culture,
The groups brought the original their observation reports. The more than 14,000 inmates daily. It "The long-term health consequenc- because culture, you think, ‘Okay,
lawsuit to prevent tragic deaths such reports would later be entered as found that the Correctional Service es of serving more highly processed culture is, let’s go have a sweat lodge,
as the suicide of 19-year-old Ashley evidence in court proceedings. Canada (CSC) is failing to meet Cana- meals to a population that is known or let’s go to the powwow.’ Our worl-
Smith after more than a year of con- The closest thing to that narrative da Food Guide's nutrition guidelines, to have higher incidence of diet-re- dview is so much bigger than that,”
tinuous solitary confinement in an in the press release appeared in to provide quality assurance over- lated illness and disease, such as McIvor said.
Ontario prison, Pastine said. the nurse's observation report. The sight and to take consistent steps to obesity, hypertension and diabetes, “So what [we] needed and what
"This decision calls out Canada's nurse, who was later fired by CSC, avoid contamination. was not acknowledged or probed in we wanted to do was to first expose
long-standing practice of isolating said "proper medical attention" was "By not meeting these required this audit," he said. them to it and secondly encourage
prisoners for weeks, months and "rendered" to Hines, though it does standards for food production, The audit also found CSC did not them to understand it, and under-
even years at a time with no end in not specifically mention CPR. there is a risk that CSC could have a always respect religious dietary re- stand how incredibly important they
sight, a practice that has been con- None of the other reports said that food-related health event at an indi- quirements for certain inmates. were, and if something happened
demned around the world as a form Hines was "found" in need of medical vidual site," the audit warns. CSC says it is moving to adopt new to them or if they’re not doing what
of torture," she said. attention or that he "immediately" The issue of food quality has been policies, expected this fall, that will they’re here to do, then everyone is
address gaps in previous policies.
Former warden approved mis- received CPR. a source of tension — and even
Spokeswoman Christina Tricomi
missing out.”
leading press release on inmate But that's exactly the story that was violence — since CSC moved to a
said CSC is committed to meeting
She says the system worked in the
Matthew Hines's death told in the draft news release that centralized production and "cook-
with food services staff to review
early days, with low recidivism rates,
was sent via email to Muise 12 hours chill" system in 2014. Auditors noted but the lodge in its current form is
Karissa Donkin, CBC News: Jul 22, after the death of Hines. a "culture of resistance to change" their roles and responsibilities. unrecognizable.
2019 Eight minutes after he received the with the Food Services Moderniza- "CSC will make sure there is more McIvor left Okimaw Ohci in 2005,
The former warden of Dorchester draft news release, Muise sent a one- tion Initiative, along with significant oversight and that an effective mon- unhappy with major changes made
Penitentiary approved a press re- word email reply: "Approved." oversight and compliance failures. itoring program is implemented to by Correctional Service Canada which
lease that included false information CSC wouldn't say exactly what ma- The audit cites hygiene breaches ensure compliance of policies. This took over operations at the lodge.
about the death of Matthew Hines, terials Muise had access to before he by kitchen staff, including instances will help achieve the overall desired But she still speaks with elders and
according to emails obtained by CBC approved the press release. when hairnets weren't worn. outcomes," she said. others currently at the site.
News. "What CSC can confirm with you is The audit also reported problems ‘There’s nothing left there’: A Some of McIvor’s biggest concerns
But the heavily redacted records that wardens and senior managers with the inspection of food deliveries. founder of Canada’s first heal- were over the addition of male staff
don't reveal where the false narrative have access to a variety of resources CSC policy calls for checks on quality ing lodge says CSC dismantled and male elders — especially when
originated. and information when making deci- and quantity and requires that goods vision the vast majority of Indigenous
The press release, published on sions related to an incident or crisis, be sent back if perishables aren't female offenders have a history of
the same day the Cape Breton man including video footage, statement/ fresh, canned foods are leaking or By Abigail Bimman, Global News sexual assault and trauma.
died, said that he was "found in observation reports and briefings frozen foods are thawing. One of the visionaries behind the “I left when we could not prevent a
need of medical attention" and that from staff," Lawlor said. The audit, however, found that very first healing lodge in Canada corrections officer who applied…to
"staff members immediately began Muise was the warden of Dorchester three of the 12 sites visited did not says Correctional Service Canada work at the healing lodge and used
performing CPR." from February 2015 to July 2016, carry out such inspections or count completely dismantled what the his union seniority to become a staff
Neither was true. when he was promoted to assistant the goods. At one site, they discov- lodge once was, and Sharon McIvor is member,” she said.
The release doesn't mention any- deputy commissioner of correctional ered metal shards embedded in a now concerned about safety inside. “I couldn’t stop them. I had no
thing about how Hines was pepper operations for the Atlantic region, large sack of brown sugar after it hit In 1989, McIvor, then with the Na- influence anymore. As you know, I do
sprayed at least four times at close according to his LinkedIn profile. He the side of the delivery truck. tive Women’s Association of Canada, a whole lot of activist work.”
range by correctional officers, all no longer works for CSC. Weak controls, wasted resources was asked to be an Indigenous voice McIvor, a member of the Lower
while he was handcuffed and re- When reached, Muise directed "Weak controls in the reception of on the task force that redesigned Nicola Indian band and a lawyer, has
strained. An autopsy linked his death questions to CSC media relations. goods can lead to potential health women’s prisons in Canada. The a long history of activism and advo-
to the pepper spray. CSC apologized for press release and safety issues and wasted group published the report “Cre- cacy. In a case that went all the way
Hines was surrounded by guards in 2016 resources if goods are spoiled or ating Choices,” which led to five to the Supreme Court, she fought the
during the incident and wasn't The correctional agency apologized otherwise unusable and need to be new prisons for women across the government over discrimination in
"found" in need of medical attention. for the inaccurate press release in disposed of," the audit says. country, including Okimaw Ohci, the the Indian Act.
A 56-minute video that shows the 2016, admitting there were "staff Auditors also found expired or first healing lodge, which opened in Her work for Indigenous women
entire incident, beginning when errors" that led to "inaccurate infor- spoiled goods in storage rooms, Saskatchewan in 1995. was recognized with a Governor
Hines refused to go to his cell and mation" in that initial release. fridges and freezers, despite a "first McIvor remembers one of the first General’s award. For the last two de-
ending when he was loaded into an But it has never explained those in, first out" inventory rule. meetings at the now-shuttered Pris- cades, she has taught and designed
ambulance, doesn't show anyone "staff errors." Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger on for Women in Kingston, Ont., the courses at the Nicola Valley Institute
performing CPR on Hines at any An internal communications plan wrote to CSC Commissioner Anne only facility for federally-incarcerated of Technology, the only public Indig-
point at the prison. from 2016, listing "key messages" Kelly to raise concerns about both women in the country at the time. enous post-secondary institution in
Hines didn't receive CPR until he to use when talking about the Hines the scope of the audit and the per- Inmates were holding a powwow, British Columbia.
was in an ambulance heading to the case, says "no staff were disciplined sistent problems with prison food and McIvor watched their self-led But as the CSC changed the system
hospital, where he was pronounced as a result of this error." quality. drumming, dancing and what’s in 2005, she remembers her fight
dead. He was 33. The emails about the press release In his letter, obtained through known as a grand entry. against the organization as “futile.”
The press release was the only were included in more than 200 pag- Access to Information, Zinger warns “They start coming in and I started “They get their weapons training
public information available about es of heavily redacted records about of health and security concerns to cry. I realized that these women [now],” she said. “We refused to give
Hines's death for more than a year. the Hines case released through associated with small portions and knew what they needed to try to get them weapons training because
It's still available on CSC's archives access to information. CBC News has bad food. themselves out of what they were, there was going to be no weapons
and has never been corrected. filed an appeal of the redactions. "Food has gradually become but they didn’t know how to do it,” involved.”
'So inaccurate' The records were requested in another highly valued and danger- McIvor remembers. In the early days, the term “guard”
Catherine Latimer, executive director 2016 and 2017, but CSC didn't pro- ous commodity in the parallel or She began working on advocacy was never used, either. Instead, the
of the John Howard Society, wants vide a response until July 12 of this underground inmate economies," and programming and bringing in Cree words for aunty, older sister
Correctional Service Canada to ex- year. he wrote. "Muscling, bullying and elders for Indigenous prisoners. or mother stood in its place. She
plain where the incorrect information The emails also discuss how to extortion for food is a common and McIvor worked with a small group also laments the loss of a daycare, a
came from. treat initial media requests about pervasive problem, especially at called a planning circle to launch space which is now, she understands,
"Anybody who saw that [video] the Hines case, including discussion higher security institutions." the country’s first healing lodge in used for offices.
couldn't really justify making the about how to defend a decision to Deadly riot over food Saskatchewan. It was important it And while there is still no traditional
statement that CPR or any kind of not release the video of Hines's treat- A deadly Saskatchewan riot in 2016 be set up in the prairies, she said, barbed wire fence or cells at healing
medical intervention was medically ment before his death. linked food shortages, poor meal where the majority of offenders were lodges, she remembers the system of
applied," Latimer said. "May I ask if you could help me quality and inadequate portion sizes coming from. coloured cloths tied in trees to mark
"It's just so inaccurate, it's unbeliev- come up with a defensible justifica- to an organized protest and inmate Once the location was selected, the perimeter in the isolated setting
able." tion?" senior communications adviser strike that ended in violence. One they moved their meetings to Maple in the woods. She remembers one
CSC declined an interview request Lori Halfper wrote in a 2016 email person was killed and eight others Creek, Sask., the nearest community inmate who would walk to the edge
about the press release. to four other staff members at CSC injured. to Okimaw Ohci, and launched the and stick her foot out and bring it
In an emailed statement, spokes- national headquarters. But while the audit flagged prob- circle that included elders, members back repeatedly, but says there were
person Kyle Lawlor wrote that policy "If we say no, [CBC News] will press lems with too-small portions, it also of Correctional Service Canada, in- no escape attempts.
requires CSC to issue a news release for a reason why." found a major problem with waste. carcerated and formerly incarcerated One concern that has been echoed
within 48 hours of an inmate's death, CSC said CBC News would have to In one location, all leftovers — women, people from the Nekaneet by others in the Indigenous commu-
"using information that is available at file an access to information request about one third of total production reserve and non-Indigenous people nity — including the nearby Nekan-
the time." for the footage. — were "needlessly thrown away" at from Maple Creek. eet First Nation — is that CSC, not a
"News releases are co-ordinated by The agency then denied the access the end of the meal, the audit said. The first priority at the new lodge, panel of elders as it had been, now
CSC's regional communication staff to information request in 2016, Zinger, who has been raising she says, was safety. controls who enters the facility.
with the help of institutional staff," saying that releasing it would reveal concerns about chronic food service “The biggest thing that I saw “Taking the elders out of the equa-
Lawlor wrote. personal information and the details problems at CSC, said the audit falls was that they’re never ever safe,” tion just really, really undermines
"The subsequent investigation of an investigation. short on various fronts. He urged McIvor said. “Because of the prison everything,” said McIvor.
6 // writings on the wall
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
I was tempted to change the end of the first satisfaction in his voice, now that he thought I
line to “The tip of a Hellfire missile”, but he was desperate.
would’ve probably called me out on my B.S. I looked at him with my sad eyes for a mo-
I ‘kept it moving’ until I finally reached the cen- ment, and then simply walked past him.
tral control area, and walked through the metal After a few steps, I heard him repeat his offer
detector. It’s purpose was to prevent inmates again.
from bringing shanks to and from the yard. I stopped without turning and said:
Finally, the last corridor! I could see the light at “My only wish is that we can all one day see
the end of the tunnel! ourselves in each other.”
“AA-MERAA!” The guard manning the metal The genie instantly disappeared, never to be
detector called out from behind his counter. seen again…
My attention shifted from the thought of ACT 3: THREE POINTER
possibly getting drone struck, to the guard who I was in the prison gym the other night,
appeared to be holding a large glazed dough- shooting hoops. I can’t play anymore, I can only
nut in his left hand. Upon closer inspection, I shoot – back problems at 33… or is it 34? Hon-
realized that it was just a plastic replica that estly, at this moment I’m not sure. Believe it or
was attached to the end of his key chain. I don’t not, I spent most of my 31st year thinking that
mind doughnuts. I was 32 years old until my actual 32nd year ar-
“Three strikes!” he said with a bulldog expres- rived and I realized my mistake. I felt frustrated
sion on his face. “You can’t go to yard tonight. when I discovered this because it meant that I
Try again tomorrow.” There was satisfaction in had to mentally think of myself as a 32 year-old
his voice. for two years in a row!
I have a triple-black-belt in conflict avoidance I could easily do the math and figure out my
and a white-belt in self-esteem, so I politely current age, but for some reason, I’m allowing
turned towards him and asked, “What did I do the uncertainty to stick around like a half-wel-
wrong?” comed squatter. (Definitely a topic for therapy!)
“Well, Aa-mera, according to the new regula- Anyhow, back to the basketball court… I’m a
tions, Maaa-zlim inmates are no longer allowed decent three-point shooter. A few years ago, I
to take their prayer mats to the yard.” was one of the best in the building; I won the
“Why?” three-point competition twice, and even used
“They’re a flight risk?” to walk around the gym with an invisible cham-
“But this is not the flying type.” I politely pionship belt, until I (invisibly) put it on the line,
protested. and lost it to a man called T. I desperately tried
“Can the naked eye distinguish between to win it back from him before he was released,
which is which Aa-mera?” but just couldn’t beat him. I wonder what he
He got me there! did with it? After he left I pretended to still have
“Can’t argue with you on that one, sir.” the belt, but it wasn’t the same. You can only lie
By Zakaria Amara I looked hard at the paper on my desk for a “Secondly, all inmates are now prohibited to yourself for so long, even if no one calls you
ACT 1: THREE WISHES moment, and then reached for the light switch, from keeping beards that are longer than up on it.
I entered my cell at around 8:15 p.m. last and retired to my bed. .765433 cm. Long beards could be used to hide But I’m digressing again… FOCUS… As I was
night. Seconds later, the steel door behind me I’m not sure if the genie bothered to take a weapons and other contraband.” shooting around, I saw the Warden walking in
began to close itself. clinkclinkclinkclinkCLUNK! look at what I wrote, after I fell asleep. But if he “And what’s the third infraction?” my direction. She never comes to the gym, so
I hate that sound! I once glued grey strips of did, then he would have read this: “The Administration has decided that you spe- her visit was definitely unusual. I can’t lie, I was
sponge across the entire edge of the door hop- “Ancient wisdom teaches that the arrival of a cifically are no longer allowed to wear shoes to now trying extra hard to impress her, which led
ing that it would mute this awful sound, but… good thing before its time spoils it.” the yard. This shouldn’t be a big hassle for you, me to miss every shot.
clinkclinkclinkclinkCLUNK! ACT 2: THREE STRIKES since I see you camel jockeys wearing slippers “AMARA!” she yelled.
If failure had a child, then that’s exactly what clinkclinkclinkclinkDUFF!… No clunk this time. in the desert all the time.” I tried to act cool despite my horrible perfor-
it would sound like! When the door opens, its just DUFF. I like DUFF! “Your information about our footwear is very mance, and walked over to the sideline where
Weekend nights in prison are incredibly bor- It’s gentler and more promising. Unless, of accurate, but why am I specifically not allowed she was standing.
ing, especially when you don’t have a T.V. Mine course, a bunch of guys are waiting to stab you to wear shoes?” “Yes, Mrs. Colins, what would you like??”
is still with the old man. I gave it to him as a gift on the other side of it, then CLUNK is definitely He reached under his counter and pulled out “How are you?” she asked, without a trace of
and promised not to ask him back for it, so I preferable. a gigantic 3-ring black binder that was labeled empathy.
guess I can’t call it “my” T.V. anymore. It was 7:30 p.m. at night; yard and gym “Unknown Unknowns”. When he opened it “Just another day, Ma’am. What about you?
I looked outside my window and saw nothing activities were supposed to begin two hours wide on his counter, I noticed that it contained You never come to the gym, what’s up?”
but night and snow. I stood there thinking ago. I was ready as usual with my white fishnet nothing! Yet, to my astonishment, he began to “Well, I have an offer for you.”
about how to spend the last few hours of this sack that contained everything I needed for my sift through it as if it was full of documents! He “Okay”
boring night. I couldn’t think of anything, so I outing. I usually take my prayer mat, workout shifted back and forth, and at some point even “If you manage to score the next three-point-
turned towards my desk and began to write. pads, and a ball cap. licked the tips of his finger to separate between er you take, we’ll commute your life sentence,
I have a huge metal bin on top of my desk, As I left my cell, I noticed that all the other two invisible pages that were apparently stuck and you’ll be a free man.”
which allows me to write while standing. I cell doors were closed. Was I the only person together. “That’s funny” I said with my trade-mark 5%
learned this “standing at your desk” technique going out to yard tonight? “The Bachelorette “Aha!” he exclaimed when he finally found laugh.
from former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald must be on”, I thought. I left my living unit, and what he was looking for, and began to read: “I’m serious. Here is the paperwork. Just sign
Rumsfeld. I don’t think he’ll be too happy to proceeded through the seemingly endless and “It says here: “There is unknown unknown over here if you agree.” She pointed at the
hear that I’m benefitting from his wisdom, but shifting corridors that eventually lead to the evidence that indicates that Mr. Aa-mera has dotted line.
at this point in time, as far as he is concerned, yard and gym. At the end of one of the shorter previously formulated an escape plan, and “What if I miss?” I asked.
this fact remains an unknown unknown, and corridors, I noticed Officer Robinson waiting could potentially execute it when he feels the “If you miss, then you’ll have to enter the En-
so, it shouldn’t bother him. (If you are too for me. Judging from the two golden stripes on time is right. vironmentally Friendly Energy Initiative that we
young to remember him, or simply wasn’t his shoulders, I figured that he was the one in PAUSE || just started here at Millhaven Institution.”
paying attention at the time, just YouTube charge tonight. My mind scrambled through my memories “What’s that about?”
“Rumsfeld Unknown Unknowns”) https://www. A significant number of prison guards, if not like a fighter jet seeking a target. How did they “Its a fantastic new method of producing
youtube.com/watch?v=GiPe1OiKQuk the outright majority, classify inmates as a find out?! And which plan exactly are they environmentally friendly energy to power up
Anyhow, a few seconds later… PUFFFFF! sub-human species. Mr. Robinson belonged talking about? the building, by harvesting it from the bodies of
I could see in my peripheral vision a fat, blue to the minority; he was one of those people For one, there was that first night in pris- permanently unconscious inmates.”
genie hovering in the air in front of my door. I whose presence resurrected your faith in the on when I fantasized about turning into an “You mean like The Matrix?”
paid no attention to him, and continued writ- universality of human decency. ant-sized version of myself, and then crawling “Exactly.”
ing; such surprise night visitations don’t startle As I approached him, he greeted me and beneath the door. This was a completely origi- “Where do I sign?”
Middle Easterners. asked how I was doing. His inquiry was nal idea! I honestly had no clue at the time that “Right here.”
As expected, using a thick accent, he offered genuine. I told him that I was fine and asked Ant-Man even existed. I already told you about me and dotted lines,
me the customary three wishes. him what he needed. As he began to speak, I Oh! I think I know… when I was at Canada’s so don’t bother trying to figure out what I was
I rolled my eyes, and continued to scribble noticed a mixed expression of embarrassment Super Max, years ago, a great idea came to me thinking as I nonchalantly signed the docu-
away. I was playing hard to get. I had to! Every and discomfort on his face: as I was walking in the yard with another in- ment.
Middle Eastern kid knows what happens when “Amara, in the next hour, the U.S. President mate. I suggested to him that if he ran around I grabbed the ball, headed to the top of the
you show too much eagerness to a genie. will declare his WBYWWFY policy.” the yard for 30 minutes every day while flap- three-point line, and faced the net. Hit or miss,
He repeated his offer. “What’s WBYWWFY ?” I asked. ping his arms like a bird, then eventually, after I was on the brink of freedom, or an uncon-
Still looking down at my desk, and sounding “It stands for: “We’ll Drone You Wherever We a very long time, he might grow feathers and sciously conscious existence in a dream world.
deeply annoyed, I said: “Give me a minute! I Find You”. Its a new global military campaign fly his way to freedom. He pointed out that the I did not stand there for an eternity, reflecting
need to think about it!” that will target anyone, anywhere, even if they snipers in the towers might shoot him down. I on my past, or my future, as one usually does
Filled with bottled excitement, I thought happen to be on U.S. friendly soil like Canada.” told him it was worth a shot! in Hollywood movies. I simply looked at the net,
about my wishes. I thought about freedom. I “So, what does that have to do with me?” Darn it. They must have overheard us. Or measured the distance, jumped crookedly as I
thought about being reunited with my beloved “Corrections Canada believes that due to the maybe, instead of transforming into an elegant always do, and released the ball, sending it up
daughter. I thought about my wonderful sister vague and broad language of this policy, there bird, he simply took the path of least resis- into a perfect arc that took it’s time as it swam
who has been my rock for all these years. I is a possibility that you may become a target tance, and devolved into a tail dragging rat! through empty space…
thought about my mother, father, and brother. of a drone strike while you are out in the yard. Can’t trust anyone these days! … until it finally landed perfectly on the War-
I thought about having all the money in the So, they want you to sign this waiver in order to PLAY > den’s head. Oooooops!
world. absolve them of any responsibility.” Jokes aside, humor has always been my way I didn’t have time to think about how I so
I thought about being eternally young. I don’t know why, but I’ve always found sign- of coping with hardship. The harder my life completely missed the net, because I sud-
But then… ing documents irresistible. I’m like a crackhead gets, the funnier I get. I remember going back denly felt a sharp pain in my upper left arm. I
But then, I thought about the journey I’ve when it comes to the dotted line. If I see it, I to the holding cells after receiving a life-sen- instinctively grabbed my arm, and immediately
been on; despite all the pain, all the fear, and must sign it. So, sign I did, and ‘kept it moving’ tence, and launching into a series of jokes noticed a a syringe-looking dart sticking out of
all the tears… despite the loneliness… de- as we say in prison. Mr. Robinson stood there about how I would deal with it. The truth is that it. Forgive me for not knowing what this thing
spite being turned into an outcast… despite silently; he seemed to be still struggling with all I was hurting then, just as I was hurting now. was called; I was born in the Middle Ease, and
all of this, I thought about all the wonderful of this. “Alright sir, I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.” over there, they just shoot us. But maybe…
treasures that my heart has gained. I thought As I walked away, I heard him ask, “Aren’t you I felt dejected, and lowered my head in defeat Maybe, if they developed their own Environ-
about all the knowledge and wisdom that I afraid?” as I left the central control area, and walked mentally Friendly Energy Initiative, then things
picked up along the way. I thought about how I turned towards him and said: “I am, but through the corridor that led back to my living might change. Who knows?
my character has been shaped and molded by there is an Arabic poem that goes: unit. I quickly began to fade, and my vision became
the passing of the years… and finally, I thought Die by the tip of a sword Suddenly… PUFFFFF! blurry. The last thing that I saw was a guard
about all the other treasures that still await me, Or the tip of a slipper The opportunistic, blue genie appeared in standing in a window balcony, holding what
and how I would miss out on them, if I simply The causes for death are many front of me. looked like a rifle that was pointed in my direc-
abandoned my journey. But death itself is one” “I offer you three wishes!” he said with clear Cont'd on page 7
7 // WRITINGS ON THE WALL
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019

From my first Prisoners Justice Day to now


G. McMaster cont'd from cover story and notable mental health cases that never observe ‘their’ honored tradition were the had died unjust deaths within the penitentia-
excuse was at the time. None of them fasted. should have seen the inside of a penitentiary, legendary penitentiary instigators and tough ries, far too many from the direct mistreatment
When we were all out in the black-top, walled­ no one went to the Dining Room. No one went guys that caused some of the deaths we were by guards, administrators and medical staff, I
in and caged-over exercise yard, I let the male to work, there were moving Memorial Services commemorating. Penitentiary bullshit in all its’ saw the writing on the wall.
members of the jail’s general population know in the Chapel, and those that could afford them glory. In the course of finding my Canadian voice, I
what I thought about their lack of character. It’s wore silk-screened T-shirts commemorating But, I still hadn’t found my voice on this issue served as Chairman of the Inmate Committee,
one thing to preach how much better the the day. At the time I was an admitted outsider, yet because I was the outsider, the American, Chairman of the Lifer’s Group, Lifeline ln-
Canadian penitentiary system is versus the U.S. Connecticut Yankee, in Queen Elizabeth’s Court, and I thought it more prudent to honor and reach Assistant, Chairman of the John Howard
system (it truly is in many ways), it’s another and frankly, I was impressed. An entire peni- study the Canadian penitentiary experience in- Society, etc, etc. In all of these roles, I was
thing not to honor the most sacred tradition tentiary sticking together and, from what I was stead of being a critic of it; especially something called upon to teach and preach the history
that everyone had been so verbose about. told, an entire country of incarcerated souls as hallowed as Prisoner’s Justice Day. of Prisoner’s Justice Day. Not anymore. Last
Early on in my sentence, I developed the habit doing the exact same thing. Over the years I was called upon to do more year, for the first time in 15 years, I refused to
of every December, I would transfer all of the As the next couple of years passed by it and more for the Canadian federal prison pop- take the Podium for the Memorial Service in
important dates from the year that just passed wasn’t long before the veneer wore off and I ulation. Whether it was as a spokesperson on the Chapel. Furthermore, I’ve sworn off ever
to the next years’ calendar so that l wouldn’t started having issues with what lay under the national Television & Radio shows, successful running for any elected position again. That’s
miss any Birthdays, Anniversaries, important shiny surface. Men were being forced not to eat legal actions that affected everyone or bumping how disillusioned I’ve become. There was a
dates, etc. I’d be lost without my calendars. I either through strong peer pressure, threats heads with Stephen Harper over the Pay Cuts, time when ‘the man’ took things from us and
made sure that I marked August 10th and have of violence, acts of violence or the reality that I was out there fighting for all of us. In essence, we rallied, often in vain, to get them back. Now,
every year since. As our day of Remembrance they may have to check into Protective Custody somewhere along the way, I had found my Ca- 90% of what is taken from us is a direct result
approached in 1994, I hand wrote subtle if it became known they ate. Usually, the men nadian voice. Now I’m using it to share with as of our own stupid actions. It’s hard to claim we
(non-aggressive) notes to every Range (cage) in doing the enforcing were either drunk, high or many people as I can, all at the same time, how are being treated unjustly when we ourselves
the Jail and reminded everyone that the som- both. The irony of it all didn’t go unnoticed by disillusioned I am with how Canadian prisoners are repeatedly unjust to each other.
bre tradition of Prisoner’s Justice Day was once me. Actually, it made me think of how meaning- comport themselves on and around Prisoner’s Yes, I’m Old School and proud of it. I will
again upon us. Although no one accepted their less Independence Day and Memorial Day had Justice Day. continue to wear my PJD T-shirt, fast and not
food trays that day, mostly from self-imposed become in the United States; long weekend, Over the decades, as different groups filtered work as I remember those who shed their lives
peer pressure on the individual Ranges, the keg parties and BBQ’s without a whole lot of into the penitentiary, they professed, ‘that has blood. I am particularly disillusioned when I
Jails’ staff gleefully let me know there had been Remembrance going on. nothing to do with me, we weren’t here for see men faking their sincerity and crying out to
a significant increase in the amount of junk Many of the men and women we were that.’ As I got older I started to hear ‘You’re Old agencies such as PASAN. These agencies do ev-
food items purchased from the outside canteen commemorating had died of senseless acts School, we’re New School, and we don’t pay erything they can to help us on a wide range of
supplier that week. Of course, I ended up in of violence within the penitentiary. Now, here attention to that’. Naturally, I retort, ‘You’re not issues, which include promoting and protesting
the Superintendents’ office the next day being we were, committing further acts of violence New School, you’re actually No School’. The on our behalf at Prisoner’s Justice Day rallies in
accused of forcing the whole Jail not to eat. against each other in the name of Prisoner’s excuses became vast and varied and then Ste- society. If they can fast, why can’t we? If they
In 1997, I experienced my first Prisoner’s Jus- Justice Day. Of course, this is above and beyond phen Harper decided we could no longer pur- can protest, why can’t we? Disillusionment? You
tice Day within the Canadian Federal System; the daily acts of violence perpetrated amongst chase or wear our PJD T-Shirts or have the day bet. I have a bad case of it.
Collins Bay Penitentiary (a.k.a. Gladiator School) ourselves on a daily basis throughout the off work without penalty. When there weren’t
in Kingston, Ontario. Other than prisoners with Canadian Penitentiary System. Worse yet, some national protests over this, our one day a year
Diabetes who needed to eat for health reasons, of the actors who were enforcing that others of Remembrance for the men and women who Designation; which I imputably agree is being
handed out like bread at a local drop-in or
bout at Joyceville institu- religious communion, is disproportionately
tion c/o the segregation being imposed upon Indigenous “offenders,”
unit between November specifically.
2014 and January 2015, Of course, the courts or government of
I would look out the Canada is not about to tell you this, but ethnic
window seeing nothing background research upon those who have
been designated as Dangerous Offender,
more than snow and shows or suggests that such individuals are
ice landscaped with undeniably being targeted.
the most unsettling Question is, is this simply an argumentative
quietness only horror coincidence as the courts and government
movies portrayed, and would want for you to believe? Or is it more
cry, thinking “Here I am of a detrimental consequence for being born
again, the same cell, the something you had absolutely no choice or
same segregation unit, obligation in deciding?
the same evil, egotistical Let’s just hope something is done about the
un-empathetic officer circumstances soon, before the governmental
who placed me on a powers are able to counterbalance such de-
bag lunch before and plorably degrading odds by designating more
somehow succeeded in non-Indigenous offenders.
doing so again”. Then
be harboured with the An Arabian Night
significantly plea and Z. Amara cont'd from 6
earnest request to die. tion.
“All I wanted to do was Complete darkness
to go to sleep and not Suddenly, my eyes opened
wake up!” My heart was racing, and I was gasping for
Eddie Horseshoe, God breath
bless his soul, did not I looked around frantically, trying to register
have the mental capacity my surroundings
I was lying on a bed
or willpower to keep I looked towards my feet, and saw a familiar
on going, after only 162 steel door
days he decided enough This was my cell
was enough. Thank God!
I couldn’t imagine what It was only a dream
it must be like to have EPILOGUE
spent 10.5 years of my “They slept on two stories of the building,
life in a federal segrega- and on two-tiered bunks, and they dreamed;
tional state of confine- old men of their families, young men of wom-
ment like that of Renee en. They dreamed of lost possessions, a train,
Acoby. a church, their judges… Their dreams were
Renee, if you’re still all different, but whatever they dreamed, the
sleepers were miserably aware that they were
in the game my hat is prisoners. If in their dreams they roamed over
definitely off to you. green grass or through city streets, it could
I would also like to con- mean only that they had tricked their jailers
clude that as an Indige- and escaped or had been released in error
nous person myself or and were now wanted men. That total, blissful
Illustration by Brian Kerr (unceremoniously known forgetfulness of their shackles imagined by
as) an Indigenous offender too, agree that Longfellow in “The Prisoner’s Dream” was

The detrimental consequence


such individuals who share the same charac- denied them. The shock of wrongful arrest, fol-
teristical background/ethnicity as I, are in fact lowed by a ten- or twenty-year sentence, the
more prone to be criminalized and imprisoned baying of the guard dogs, the sound of escort
for lifestyles or substance use and abuse, troops priming their rifles, the nerve-racking
By Brian Kerr in a 10-ft hell in a cell and suffered most, if mental health concerns and history of sexual jangle of reveille in the camps, seep through
As if 22 months in segregation c/o the not all of the same effects I have relentlessly abuse, violence and trauma. As colonialism is all the strata of ordinary experience, through
all their secondary and even primary instincts,
Joyceville institution back in between 2008 endured. Although I myself have not seriously still very much alive today! into a prisoner’s very bones so that, sleeping,
and 2010 wasn’t enough, I then later learn of contemplated suicide does not extinguish the Unfortunately, despite Justin Trudeau’s many he remembers that he is in jail before he be-
other inmates, which vary in severity, have fact, I definitely know what it’s like to want to apologies, colonialism isn’t about to dislodge comes aware of smoke or the smell of burning
succumbed to conditions as deplorable as my die. Which I would say in a mentally psychotro- itself anytime soon. and gets up to find the place on fire.”
own. For instance, Gavin Annett of whom I pic, if not psychosomatic way is just as bad; if Case and point: I encourage you to research From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “In the First
solely give my condolence to, spent 6 months not much worse. Everyday during my second these findings, the Dangerous Offender Circle”
8 // WRITINGS ON THE WALL
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
noticed a white glimmer in the distance that is and the pain that pulsates in cadence with the

GirlTalk
pulling me closer and closer, as if a mime has beat of your fragile heart. I care about your
going back to school and completing my GED tightened his imaginary rope around my waist well-being and I pray for you to find the Cour-
and post-secondary courses, and partaking and began tugging with all his might. This white age that Creator has hidden within your Spirit,
in programs, some more than once. Most glimmer intrigues me like a firefly flickering so you can get through your current struggles
By Moka Dawkins in the wilderness. I am focused on chasing and the ones yet to come.
importantly, I put my trust in God. I built myself
Hey y’all, Welcome to another issue of a foundation from nothing and I tried to help it down and capturing it, so I can admire the I was taught by Elder Jim Johnson to never
Girl Talk and yes it’s me your girl and writer him do the same, but instead, he tried to take beauty of its existence. The day I capture the pray for strength, because by doing so, you are
Moka… Heyyy… mine from right under my feet. He wanted me white glimmer I will have the opportunity telling Creator that you are strong enough to
So first I want to start off by thanking you to have nothing because he has nothing, you to give you the life you are entitled to and handle more hardships.
all for your love and support towards me know the old saying: misery loves company. undoubtedly deserve. You can finally feel safe, Ask our merciful Creator to grant you Cour-
and my situation, it was honestly touching. I Even though he hurt me, God is good and is secure and assured that I will protect you and age, because it lets Him know you need help
really wasn’t expecting to be so embraced by dealing with him. My man is still standing by our community in the ways that are expected getting through what He has put in your way.
so much love, respect and hope. Thank you my side cause he knows me and knows I would of me. Don’t expect your prayers to be answered
for giving that to me in my darkest hours, if never do such an act. All my supports are still in As I currently reside in this torture chamber immediately, because you are still obligated to
it wasn’t for you girls and guys I don’t know place and standing by my side, those are bless- I fear for the children, because they have been make an effort to create change on your own.
what I would have done for strength. So again ings within itself. He thought he could make misguided and betrayed by those who possess Elder Dan Ross shared a teaching about
thank you from the bottom of my heart, I love me crumble, but God is good. I thank God that I the responsibility to teach; but are instead asking Creator for help. On my hardest days I
you all. have strong evidence to prove that his lies he’s encouraging destructive behaviour. I am actually find it to be very helpful.
I’m going to give you all the update on claiming never happened and this is just an act understanding of their current condition and I A man was at the bottom of a mountain with
what’s happening with me since the last Cell of straight evil. empathize with who they are becoming or have his baggage and he asked, “Creator, can you
Count, and get ready cause this is gonna drop Since this happened to me I have to say it already become. I once used to be a misguided help me get this baggage up the mountain so I
your jaws to your knees. Honey, as much as has opened my eyes and I now have more child who felt unloved, unwanted and misun- can push it over the edge?”
I try to live quietly and peacefully, drama just compassion towards people facing these types derstood. My personal experiences are what Creator replied, “Yes, I can help you with your
seems to find a way into my life and the worst of charges. I’ll be real with you, before this hap- established my negative outlook on life, which baggage, but there’s a catch.”
kind of drama too! The unexpected kind, so pened to me, I was a person who looked down is what reinforced my Shadow Road morals, The man asked, “Okay, what’s the catch?”
this is what’s happening. on people with such charges and I didn’t really values and ethics. Although, I developed a Creator answered, “I’ll push, but you have to
I was granted early parole and was sup- care to hear their side of the story. It wasn’t poisonous personality and a distorted belief pull first.”
posed to be released on May 6, 2019. until I came back into my range crying that day system I still have the power to implement my I understand all too well how life can be
The date today is May 30th, 2019 and I am they charged me, when everyone was asking principles in a positive manner by not only edu- extremely overwhelming and very easy to fall
currently inside again at another prison. me what’s wrong and I explained that one of cating myself on self-discipline and self-respect, into a pattern of negativity, due to the hope-
What!? How!? Huh!!! I Know!!! So this is what those individuals whom I wasn’t pleasant to but by practicing what I am learning through lessness that lurks around every comer like
happened. at all spoke up and said, "now you know how I self-reflection and mindfulness of myself and Freddy Krueger taking pleasure in your fear as
I was called down to professional visits on feel” and turned around and walked away. He the world around me. he wiggles his bladed fingers in excitement.
May 5th, 2019 around 12:15pm. When I got left me standing there stunned. I didn’t know The world is a dangerous place that is pollut- I have hit rock bottom and by doing so I have
down there they brought me into a room and what to say or do, I was just shocked. Even ed with hatred, jealousy, greed and temptation. learned valuable lessons. I’ve made significant
there was this guy sitting there. Right away I though there was a little fire burning inside me I have become vulnerable and impressionable gains in my life that I never expected to hap-
knew he was a cop. He identified himself as that wanted to shoot some sparkful comments like so many others before me and I am paying pen, so I believe that you will find hope through
officer so and so and then told me that he is back at him, I couldn’t. He was right, I do know the price for the unacceptable acts I have com- sincere prayers and seeking solace in Creator.
placing me under arrest. I couldn’t believe it! how he feels. Now I have a better understand- mitted against humanity. Although, my heart shatters like a broken
The day before I was supposed to get out, I ing of how people’s vengeful lies can mess up a I used to believe I cared about you and our window when I dwell on how our People were,
broke down and cried. I was crushed. person’s life. community, but after giving it some thought and still are, victims of degrading, inhumane
My family on the outside were on their way I want to take this moment to apologize to I’ve concluded I have never truly cared about and cruel treatment, I proudly remind myself
from Montreal to pick me up. Like how is this everyone who I ever encountered and treated you and our community, because every time I that we are still here, despite the ideology of
happening?! I said what are you arresting me them differently because of their charges or made the immature decision to harm another the European settlers. What we are up against
for? I didn’t do nothing. He then informed whatever reason. I am truly sorry for my action/ individual I did so selfishly; without consid- today is nothing compared to what took place
me that my old cell mate claimed that I had comments towards you and hope that you can ering how you and our community would be in the past.
harmed and threatened him. I couldn’t believe forgive me. impacted. I only cared about the immediate If you are seeking hope, you should be able
it, I never touched that man. I have a partner To all these people who are charged, or even gratification I would receive, rather than the to find it in the history that has embedded itself
who I’m deeply in love with and he knows this. worse, convicted of an offence they didn’t com- long-term effects my actions would have on in the soil of Mother Earth. Our ancestors have
You see, he is jealous, he’s told me this a few mit, my heart goes out to you and I’m sorry for my victims, their loved ones, my loved ones shed blood, sweat and tears that have been
times himself, cause I have a special someone what you’re going through and know you are and our community. You are all victims of my soaked up by the land like a thirsty sponge.
in my life, cause I’m granted parole, cause my in my prayers. Know that there is someone out dishonourable acts. The next time you bleed, break a sweat, or cry,
future is looking a lot brighter than his is. I here who is feeling your pain. Keep your head I have abandoned you and left you drowning remind yourself of the courage, strength and
just never thought in 100 years that he would up and never give up the fight. in your tears, but for what it’s worth, I have resilience our ancestors held within their Spir-
turn around and backstab someone who was Make sure to stay tuned in to Girl Talk to find returned; extending my arms to pull you out its. They endured brutal mistreatment that was
his friend. I tried to give him words of confi- out what’s going on with me and please feel of the depths of despair and to lead you out intended to wipe out our culture completely.
dence and advice when he was feeling down, free to write me about comments you may of the melancholy maze. My effort is limited, It is a depressing thought, yet simultaneously
letting him know that I did my years, and that have, or future topics you would like to see. due to my incarceration, but when I reintegrate inspiring.
there was a time that I didn’t know if I was Address it to: Girl Talk at 526 Richmond Street back into society I will not be a disgrace to our I have finally been able to reflect on my past,
ever going to get out. But I did everything in E, Toronto ON, M5A1R3. Thanks for tuning in to People by repeating what is contrary to the Sev- acquaint myself with my emotions, acknowl-
my power to fight for my freedom, such as another issue and Girl Talk will be talking soon. en Sacred Teachings. edge the awful things I have done and continue
I made a promise to Elder Dan Ross, who I on my journey, while focusing on my balance
to get in touch with my emotions, which is consider my grandfather and the greatest man like a man walking across a tightrope with a
Dear Hopeless Pocahontas something I was never able to do until just I know, that I will share the teachings he has heart full of confidence.
shared with me. He helped me comprehend In all honesty, I would like to apologize once
(A Dedication to Indigenous recently. I was closed-off to everyone, including
myself, due to the trauma I have succumbed the fact I am responsible for helping our People again from the bottom of my heart for disre-
Women) to since the moment I took my first breath. I overcome the obstacles in order to achieve garding your emotions and dishonouring your
will continue to heal from this trauma until my the success we so desperately desire. With his Spirit for all these years. I can’t expect you to
By Nolan R. Turcotte dying day, but only Creator is aware of when teachings I have come to understand how my automatically forgive me for allowing you to
Dear Hopeless Pocahontas, my time to enter the Spirit World will present contribution to criminal activity has only dam- be abused, broken-down and disposed of like
I would like to take this opportunity to itself, so I must take advantage of every second aged the image of who we are as Indigenous a piece of trash. It was never my intention to
apologize to you for my unfortunate absence. that passes me by to better myself as a Warrior People and I need to help redefine us through be selfish, inconsiderate and hurtful towards
My incarceration has left you with one less for the benefit of our People. mending the disconnection that has developed you. I don’t believe you deserve any kind of
Warrior in our community to protect you and You and the children matter the most in this over many generations of genocide, which has mistreatment and it embarrasses me to say
the children that are growing up without my cruel world and it is my duty to keep you away caused issues such as abuse, addiction, suicide, that I have spent 12 years in prison and every
guidance. It is my responsibility to share the from the cruelty that plagues our land. My lateral violence, imprisonment, gang affiliation, poor decision I have made was just more pain
Fire teachings and so far, I have failed epically. imprisonment has given me insight on how to lack of education, and violence towards you. that got piled on top of you as if you were being
I am ashamed of the pain and suffering I have become a true Warrior and although it has tak- I can relate to so many Indigenous youth buried alive.
caused you and our beautiful People. en longer than it should have, I intend to take and adults, which will aid me in my journey In conclusion, I can only pray you find closure
To be quite honest, I am just beginning to learn all the necessary steps to prove myself to you. to reconnect, reunite, and re-familiarize our in my reflections, comfort in my honesty and
how to be a true Warrior. For years I have been Actions speak louder than words, so even struggling People with what has been forgotten inspiration in my words of encouragement. I
lost, confused and unbalanced, but I owe it though I am a man of integrity and have your through unconditional love, understanding and believe you will one day ascend to the highest
to you to embrace the teachings of Courage best interest at heart, please don’t take me at acceptance. degree of faith, which will ultimately unshackle
and Humility by taking the initiative to make face value. I will do all that I can, but mistakes I hang my head in shame as I think about you from your haunted past, so you can move
changes to the way I think, behave and honour happen even when I try my hardest to avoid your suffering and it eats me alive when I think forward with your life in harmony without
the Spirit of humanity. conflict. Please, pray that I practice Courage of our missing and murdered women and girls, feeling the need to look back at what no longer
I hold myself accountable for the injustices I and Humility when faced with obstacles that because a percentage of our men are respon- matters.
have forced you to endure unwillingly. I am a are detrimental to the well-being of myself, sible for their deaths and disappearances. If I You’re a beautiful Indigenous woman, so
broken man, but that’s no excuse for the way you, and our community. I no longer want to could give my life for their resurrection I would make sure you smile even on your saddest
you have been mistreated by my selfishness. be a disappointment to you, nor be a burden make it happen instantly. days. Tough times don’t last...tough people do.
I acknowledge that the path I chose to walk to your Spirit. I never wanted to be anything I have been the cause of immense heartache All my relations.
on in the past wasn’t the right choice and it undesirable to you, but I have only just come and trauma, which has left many families ab-
only allowed you to become vulnerable and to the realization that I have let you and our solutely horrified and perpetually broken. That
victimized in the saddest, most disturbing ways community down. has inspired me to make a difference, because I
imaginable. I wish I could erase everything neg- Finally, I can recognize when I have said or no longer believe in the justifications I’ve made
ative you’ve ever experienced and take away done something wrong, which allows me to in the past, regarding my use of violence. Now,
your pain by feeling it for you. I deserve to be consider all my options that can help me pre- I believe in helping others in need by way of
the holder of your hurt, because I am the guilty vent future misbehaviour. With trial and error common courtesy, generosity, and offering my
one, while you are innocent. So beautiful, so comes experience and growth. unwavering support.
Sacred, so worthy of all things good. Now, that I have opened my grey eyes to the I worry about how you are coping with the
Through self-reflection I have been able blackness that mercilessly devoured me I have trauma that has lodged itself into your mind
9 // WRITINGS ON THE WALL
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
Veteran Guards 'All gone in a blink of an eye'
Uncle Bill’s at work, Brother Mike’s dead, I
guess I’ll call home.
By Philipe Poisson One ring goes by unanswered, two rings,
When I say “veteran guards”, what do you three. Just when I think nobody’s home, I get a
think of? Is it an old experienced guard doing timid “…hello?” It’s my 3-year old daughter. “Hi
his nightly cell checks with a flashlight? Maybe. sugar” I say to my baby girl. “How’s daddy’s little
Or do you think of a war-hardened veteran who princess?” The giggle I get back makes me wish
takes on the job of a prison guard? Probably I was free. She says mommy wants to say hello.
not. But the truth is that 90% of war-hardened “Hey baby, how are you?” I ask my baby-moms
veteran soldiers become cops, security guards in a silky baritone. She says fine, just the same
and prison guards! old, same old. She says my daughter keeps ask-
All war-vets / soldiers already have experi- ing for a puppy. I tell her I’ll get her one when
ence in hand-to-hand combat, taking prisoners I return home. “When will that be?” She wants
of war, handling hysterical people, firearm to know. Again, I tell her I’m not sure. She tells
training and riot-control, among other things. me about her moms, her auntie, and how she’s
And most, if not all, have PTSD and/or Shell- runnin’ low on dough. A tap on my shoulder.
Shock Syndrome. So how does this affect us “My time’s up baby.” I tell her I’ll call next week.
inmates? She hangs up. I hang up. This has been a phone
For starters, something as simple as a fire call home.
alarm can make a vet guard go back in time to
their war days and training instinctively kicks in. Unreasonable Delay
They look to silence any threat that may pres- By Brian G Kerr
ent itself whether it be to their safety, others’ As we know the Supreme Court of Canada
safety, or to the safety of their base (in this case made a ruling stating an indictable offence
a federal prison). I find that it’s so obvious to us must be brought to trial within a 30 month time
what the problem is that we simply overlook frame and that a summary offence must be
it. And the problem, at least the way I see it, brought to trial within an 18 month time frame.
is that we as inmates are being “corrected” by Interestingly enough, despite such a ruling and
a system that is run by others that have not my application for a stay of prosecution upon
addressed their own problems. Talk about the the grounds that it took a total of 38 months to
blind leading the blind! bring my matter to trial and neglecting that fact

A Phone Call Home I have reason to believe my section 7 and sec-


tion 8 charter rights and freedoms have been
infringed upon, neither a section 24 remedy
nor an application for stay of proceedings was
granted.
Now, as ironic as it may be, I am now awaiting
to be sentenced. It has to date thus been a total
of 20 months. By my actual date of sentencing
as scheduled by the Superior Courts, it will be a
total of 22 months worth of delay.
To my understanding the time frame for sen-
tencing as per the Supreme Court of Canada is
18 months. Author requested to remain anonymous lot of my stress, but CSC didn’t like that. I wrote
Therefore, I ask you - is this or ought this be I have got 22 years in here and have seen and about what was going on in here and what they
deemed “reasonable”? heard it all, you wouldn’t or couldn’t believe were doing, and they didn’t like it at all.
Sincerely, Brian Glen Kerr what I have seen over the years or what I have Things are not always as they seem, are they?
Note - Section II (i): “Any person charged with had to go through. I have worked in CORCAN Just because it says these are the rules, it does
an offence has the right i) if found guilty of the for 22 years so I have seen all of the changes not always mean they follow them right. Like
offence and if the punishment for the offence and not for the better. Sena, before I go on, we are to be let out of our cells at 7:15am,
By Philip Poisson has been varied between the time of commis- yes I am doing a Life 25 sentence for accidental sometimes it’s 7:10am or 7:30am, or it’s late, at
It’s my turn on the phone, who am I going to sion and the time of sentencing, to the benefit shooting and after 3 trials (2 mistrials), I was 8:15am. I went and asked the staff working if
found guilty. But before all that, I was offered there was a reason why we were so late getting

To my foster brother
call? of the lesser punishment.”
a deal of manslaughter, 8 to 10 years and my out. They said they had a late night last night
lawyer said, ‘no, don’t take it, we will go to trial and didn’t feel like dealing with inmates that
and beat it.’ I got Life 25. early in the morning, so we left you locked up a
22 years old, gold medallist skater, 250 little longer, I was like “really?!” Wow. They can
By Tim Rogers motor-cross racer, just starting my career and get away with doing that. The things I’ve see
In the spring of 1968 my live in nanny and tragedy struck again in the form of a house fire,
one race away from a full factory sponsorship over the years and what some staff have done
father applied to the north york children’s aid which destroyed everything they had.
in motor-cross and superbike 750 class. All to myself and others is criminal.
society to become foster parents. We lived in a John and his cousin, Gary Bearfoot, were
gone in a blink of an eye. First, I lose my fiancé Once again, my PO sticks her nose into my
5 bedroom 2900 sq. ft. house and since all 5 of moved to the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) in
and then my life. I was bullied, neglected, then personal life: a woman I have been writing to
my older brothers and sisters had moved out North York because of lack of space for them in
beaten and tortured by police (some of which for quite some time. My PO went out of her
they now had the space for them to do this. Hamilton’s CAS.
was caught on video). Warning: I jump all over way to call her and tell her lies about me. This is
The initial house inspection and interview were Two weeks after their arrival in July 1972,
in my memories sometimes, yes I have memo- not the first time this has happened. There was
all quite positive: Gary’s parents came to pick him up as they
ries of child abuse, learning problems, writing another woman I was corresponding with. She
i) Plenty of space and rooms in the house and were moving out to Alberta to join his mothers’
problems, reading problems, but somehow, came up for visits and everything was going
large backyard family to live.
I managed to graduate grade 12 and went to really good. My PO called her and told her lies
ii) My father was employed full time at Cana- John was left behind because there was not
welding school. Even through the hard times I too, but the woman I was writing to didn’t listen
da Post as part of the team putting together the enough room for him to go. His aunt, being his
never turned to drugs or alcohol. I always had to her and told her off. So my PO called child
new postal delivery system that would utilize legal guardian, signed off as such, essentially
a female friend to turn to, talk to and hang out services and told them that she was putting her
the present day 6 digit code on the bottom of leaving John without any family being an only
with to take my mind off things. But there was children in danger by having a relationship with
all of the addresses presently used everywhere child and orphan.
always jealousy, people who make things up, if a known murderer, and if she doesn’t stop, her
in Canada. This letter is for him.
they don’t get their own way. I’ve met my share her children would be take from her. So that
iii) The only negative aspect and the most My Indigenous foster brother John P. This is a
of them. ended that relationship too. This is what I have
important one of all is they were not married letter of repentance to you. Your forgiveness is
Outside the jail and inside bullies too. I have to look forward to?
and in order to become foster parents, they not what I ask or deserve.
noticed over the years, different things going I even lost my daughter. The last time I saw
had to be. July 1972 at the age of five you came to live in
on with me. I tried our Mental Health Services, her was in 1996, and I have not seen her since.
So they decided that the one obstacle stop- the horror in which I had to survive. In a short
but I’m not “suicidal or at risk for self-harm or There’s so much more but that’s enough for
ping them would have to be eliminated. time, you soon had your own horrors to live
of harm to others,” so I’m not a concern at this now.
They set the date of sat sept. 6th 1969 to be with the abuse she began to heap upon you.
time. Back in the 80’s, I was diagnosed with So now something for the block. I am an
married. The times i should have stepped in to make
PTSD. That’s when I tool roller skating more inmate that has served 24 and a half years of a
Upon returning from their honeymoon 22nd her stop, but did not, I say sorry for not doing
seriously. I also got a support animal and did life 25 sentence. I have done all my programs,
of September she called Children’s Aid the next so. The times she belittled you, I should have
what the doctor told me to do. Things got bet- completed my correctional plan, and done
day and set up a new interview. spoke up against her, but did not.
ter. I was good for years. But then everything everything I was asked or told to do. Despite
Result of the second interview: approved to I say sorry for not doing that.
fell apart after a horrific event, and it started all this, CSC says because of the complaints and
be foster parents. Which started in January of The many times she beat you just for the
over again. grievances I have filed, I am not ready for a min
1970. She, however, insisted that they would pleasure, I did not try to stop her.
Some days are good, and some bad. I yet. I need to just do whatever I’m told without
only house children under the age of seven. I say sorry for not doing that.
answered questions and nothing came of it. question, even though I know it’s not right. I
****The only plausible explanation for this stip- Your proud heritage, your immense pride,
Bullshit, I say. I don’t feel CSC has helped me at was told there is no right or wrong way, “only
ulation by her was that she knew the younger your family memories that all died, I say sorry
all over the years. I have helped myself to get the CSC way.”
they were the less likely they would be able to for not helping you to keep them alive.
where I am now, but everyone needs a little Okay, so our rights and freedoms have just
tell of her abuse that was heaped upon all who The only one wish that I have for you is that
help now and then, right? However, I’m not the been all thrown out by CSC. Sorry, I feel that
entered the house of horrors.**** you made a better life once that existence was
kind of person that will ask for it anymore, why this is Canada and we should still have some
The following is the one that haunts me the through. A good paying job, a loving mate,
because it seems like if you ask for help, that rights. But CSC doesn’t think so. CSC staff
most. He came to stay at the age of five in children that you love and adore and those
means you’re weak OR have mental health is- are supposed to respect the rule of law, but
1972, he stayed until his 18th birthday. feelings from them returned back to you.
sues and should remain in jail longer. It makes they don’t. They’re supposed to help inmates
John’s parents, who resided in Six Nations of The day will come my, foster brother, when our
you seem like a threat to the public, that’s become law-abiding citizens, but don’t do
the Grand River, just west of Hamilton, Ontario, time has come to pass.
bullshit, I say. My lifeline was my computer, that either. What is CSC staff really doing for
had died from acute poisoning from home- Face-to-face we will meet again, of that you can
I used it for studying, writing, doing music, inmates? Cruel, inhumane treatment. Flashing
made alcohol in the early winter of 1971. be sure. My only hope is that when that day
playing games, doing school work and drawing. lights in our faces, depriving us of rec time and
John’s maternal aunt took him in as one of the comes, your arms will reach out to embrace me
I helped me a lot and that’s how I deal with a the list goes on and on.
families where he stayed until July 1972, when once more and you still call me your friend.
10 // WRITINGS ON THE WALL
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019

Cell Count Health Resource


Publication Contributor Guidelines
By Sena Hussain with consultation from your safety.
Janet Rowe and Claudia Medina Our ultimate goal in making these decisions
Hello to our dear contributors and readers! I is the free entry of Cell Count into federal and
have written out these guidelines in the hopes that provincial institutions, the survival of the publi-
it will give you all a clearer understanding of what cation itself and the safety of our contributors.
we are looking for in regards to your submissions Pen Pals was a section in Cell Count in
as well as a breakdown of each section. I will previous issues that featured ads for people
only be printing it in this issue of Cell Count. If inside looking to correspond with one another.
you would like a copy of this mailed to you in the Unfortunately, this section caused Cell Count to
future, or if you have any questions, comments or be banned by many institutions because they
input about it, please feel free to write or call to deemed it a security risk for people inside to
request a copy. Thank you in advance for taking have ways of corresponding with one anoth-
the time to read this! er at different institutions. It also required a
It is recommended that before submitting an massive amount of work, effort, resources, etc
article, poem, art work, prison tweet, etc, you to carry out, which we simply do not have the
read these guidelines carefully. capacity to do anymore. We understand that
Cell Count is a health resource publication this section brought a lot of joy and connection
for and about people inside prisons in Canada. for people inside, and are very saddened that
As a publication, it provides a space for people we cannot continue this endeavour any further.
inside to share and express their feelings, We will continue to keep an updated list of
thoughts, ideas, concerns, etc about the alternative individuals and organizations who
experience of incarceration. We see the act of provide correspondence services in our bulletin
expression and publication as beneficial to the board section.
mental health, and in many ways, the survival CONTENT DESCRIPTION
of people inside. News articles related to pris- Sections:
ons in Canada are also shared to keep people Bulletin Board
inside up-to-date and informed about what These are small updates about what is going
is going on with the prison system. We also on at PASAN, Cell Count, or about other organi-
use the popularity of this publication inside to zations/groups/individuals that are relevant to
share resources and health + harm reduction people inside.
information to support people inside living with News on the Block
HIV, HCV, people who use drugs, tattoo, have These are articles gathered from various me-
sex and who struggle with mental health and dia sources that keep our readers up-to-date
trauma. about what is going on with the prison system
What we will not publish: As a health re- in Canada and abroad.
source publication that goes into federal and Writings on the Wall
provincial institutions across Canada, we walk a These are articles that are written by people
fine line between allowing for as much free and inside expressing various thoughts, feelings,
open expression from people inside as possible opinions, ideas, experiences, critiques. These
(much of which involves deep critiques of cor- can be about the experience of being incarcer-
rectional systems here) and trying to anticipate ated or any other subject matter.
if certain content will be subject to a certain From Inside
level of censorship both from those in adminis- Poems written by people inside
tration roles and individual staff members who Prison Tweets
By Zakaria Amara may disagree with what is being published. We Short, 1-2 sentence posts written by people
Those who refuse to embrace despair and let go of hope, are the only souls that reach this place. work hard and diligently to have Cell Count inside.
I've been waiting for you. And you, have finally arrived. reach as many of our subscribers as possible Obituary
Do you still remember the first lesson of the desert? inside, and unfortunately, some of this involves A short piece dedicated to someone who has
Everything that is to come is already near. deciding whether certain content might result passed away. This could be anyone. We try to
I am Abu Nour, a life traveler like yourself. in a ban, pause or delay of the publication mak- provide this space knowing that grieving a loss
I was lost in the desert and wandered for what seemed like an eternity. ing it inside. For this reason, we ask that you can be very difficult while inside. Also to hon-
And like you, I refused to believe that anything in this world, not even an infinite desert, could do not send us content that can be interpreted our the memory of those who have died before
conquer my soul. as posing a security risk, expressing that you making out of prison.
Look around you... would like to harm yourself or another person, Art
Can you see just how impossible our existence is; everything that surrounds us is hostile to us, anything that may describe circumventing a Art created by people inside.
and yet here we are! Out of the chaos of the desert, the order of the Oasis somehow emerges. correctional security procedure, or encouraging Health and Harm Reduction
This over here is the Sapling of Hope. Look at it. violence. Please keep this in mind and use your These can be articles written by people inside
Look at how small and fragile it is, yet this entire Oasis moves forward because of it! I often think discretion when creating content for Cell Count. about the subjects of health and harm reduc-
to myself that it must have a sense of humour, for it only seems to perform its miracle when we We also must balance the fact that we are tion. It can also feature resources and articles
are not paying attention to it. funded by government health agencies (note: about health and harm reduction from various
Do you believe in Demons? Not sure? we intentionally do not receive any funding organizations, groups and individuals involved
Then who do you think was responsible for all of those awful thoughts that you had in the des- from any level of corrections), so, unfortunate- in this work.
ert, all those hopeless and despairing thoughts, all those piercing doubts, all those imaginary fears ly, we also must consider who the author, art- Resources
and worries that whipped you into an anxious frenzy, all those cruel voices that told you again and ist, poet, etc is that is sending us their work. We Health, harm reduction and prison work-re-
again that you were less worthy than the dirt beneath your feet? strive to remain non-judgemental and unbiased lated organizations, publications, groups and
Look behind you... STAND STILL! in regard to what a person may have done that individuals that people inside can access. The
DON'T BE AFRAID! has led to their incarceration when considering organizations that we include in this section
They can't come any closer. These are the three Demons of Despair, and they are always stand- content to publish in Cell Count. However, if have been cross-checked by us to ensure that
ing here at the southern edge of the Oasis. Since they can't uproot the Sapling themselves, they the author, artist, poet, etc is very high profile they can either receive collect calls or have a
constantly whisper despairing thoughts to you, so that you would uproot it yourself. Despair is a due to the nature of the harm they may have toll-free number available to people inside.
choice; no one can take your hope away from you, only you can give it up. caused, and publishing their work may cause About PASAN
The first demon whispers awful thoughts to you about your future. The second demon whispers a media backlash against Cell Count that could A section that describes PASAN, the organiza-
awful thoughts to you about yourself. result in a loss of funding, we will not publish it. tion responsible for publishing Cell Count, the
And the last demon whispers awful thoughts to you about everyone else. Once you've given up We will also not publish content that we work we do, how we started, those who are
on all of those things then what is the point of living? deem to be racist, transphobic, homophobic, currently employed, those who volunteer and
Awareness is the greatest defense against all demons. This is why these green stones are here. misogynist, stigmatizing towards people living the contributors to the current issue of Cell
They are the Stones of Mindfulness and they encircle the Oasis like a ring. Their purpose is to with HIV, HCV or experiencing other health Count.
make visible any demon that tries to enter it. issues, etc. CONTACT
Come with me. There are so many wonderful things that I want you to see. Keep your eyes open Please try and avoid sending us details about Address submissions and questions to:
for a great well. I will tell you more about it when we reach it. your case. If talking about your case is central Regular mail: Cell Count, 526 Richmond St E,
The meaning of my name? to your submission, try to put us in touch with Toronto, ON, M6N 4V6
Abu Nour means Father of Light. Nour Al Huda is my daughter's name. It means Light of Guid- your legal representative so we can clear it Telephone: toll-free 1-866-224-9978 collect:
ance. In a way, Abu Nour could not have existed before she came along, for by giving her, her with them, as we do not want to inadvertantly 416-920-9567 ext 228 (please call us toll-free if
name, she gave me mine. And now whenever I am mentioned, she is mentioned, and whenever put your freedom in jeapordy in any way. Also possible to help save us some $$)
she is mentioned, I am mentioned too. Though we are apart, we remain inseparable, and that, is avoid including your full name with where you Email: sena@pasan.org
the power of love... are incarcerated. Either send us a story about Please note: we cannot receive submissions in
.... At the Tree of Love where you are incarcerated with another name, person when PASAN workers are inside prisons.
This is the Tree of Love. Love is what connects us to everything and everyone. initials, etc that we can use, or send us your They must be sent through the mail or transcribed
Why is one side of the tree missing? full name but do not mention where you are over the phone.
Cont'd on page 12 incarcerated. We worry that this can be a risk to
11 // FROM INSIDE
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
Sean S. Moyneoux strongest soulz when he said “I have a dream” Patrick JM Dowdell (the Sundance kid)
PJD - FW Malcolm X said “By Any Means Necessary” Thirteen and a half
August 10th is a day to remember our fallen I don’t believe he meant ‘do things improperly Sitting here picking at my own brain,
brothers Stay strong! or forcefully’ Asking myself am I going insane.
A day to remember the heartbroken mothers Earth below me, sky above me I believe he meant ‘be strong and stand up for Watching them strip all my dignity away,
For those that have died and fallen for the Fire within me! what you believe, and by any means necessary Then they expect me to remain clam and at
cause - FW help those who are weak’ bay.
We take off our hats with silent applause In this knowledge comes power Respect has always been a two way street.
We do not eat, we do not work We sent off dovez It’s a power that brings honour Remember this before I jump to my feet.
It is a day to reflect on our brothers who hurt 4 a lifetime of peace Bringing forth wisdom There were two previous stages before I met
The pain they go through continues to this day We took actions w love To those that are chosen this fate
That such we give up this time and pray Embracing all Chosen by God to lead One’s the arrest and then the courts sentencing
So here’s to the fallen and the hurt once again My heart is broken To lead those that are lost like sheep state
To remember our brothers and all of our BUT There’s a reason I rock this thirteen and a half
I haven’t given up G, AKA Shane Halliday
friends The final decision came down to twelve jurors,
Untitled - Forgotten Warrior Crawling Out of the Darkness and Into the one judge,
The days go so fast, the nights so long Light And let’s not forget that half chance.
I cannot right what I’ve done wrong Everyone runs 2 the heart It’s very dark in here, where am I? I can’t see
My eyes are tired from the tears I’ve cried That beatz w compassion any light. I can only see the darkness, I can’t see Roy T.J. Rousseau
I want to do right or at least have tried When feelingz are shared anything, there is nothing to see or touch. Am FIGHTING ONES FEARS
I miss my family so very much The cold windz turn gentle I lost? I must be lost, but how did I get here? I FEAR IS TO BE CONCIDERED TO BE IN ONES
I stay in contact try not to lose touch And the other becomes can’t remember, did I make a wrong turn some- SELF, BUT ONLY TO BE CONQERED OR OVER-
So very sorry I am indeed BELOVED where? Did I sleep into a deep hole? I must COME.
To make you proud is all I need - Forgotten Warrior have fallen into a hole I dug? I must have, how All my life I have had to consider and face my
If I could do it all again long have I been in this hole? fears on a day to day, hour by hour, minute by
Where do I start or even begin The taste of lust is sweet It seems like I’ve been here for a very long time minute basis. For in some cases I only had a
To spend more time with those I love When people like us meet! now, I want out of the hole, where do I go? Who split second to decide to conquer that fear or
I need some help from up above - Forgotten Warrior can help me? succumb to its wills.
So I say I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart Can someone please help me, please take my Fighting ones fears is hard for most, even hard-
I wish we were not apart Strength is not about where you break hand, please God help me, wait, I hear a voice, er for others. But what one person fears is not
Thank you very much, god bless - Itz about how you handle yourself when you’re quiet, listen, what is He saying? I hear him now. what others fear or is it the same in how they
broken “You down there” says the voice. will fight to overcome their fears.
- Forgotten Warrior “Yes” I answer, “Where are you?” I ask.
Philipe Poisson For all will in some way choose to ether fight
“Lift your head up and look far into the dis- their fears or simply ignore and hide them
Lady H #4 tance, can you see that speck of light up there?”
Freedom (Poetry) 2019/02/11 from there self and the people around them.
In my loneliest momentz, in the dead of nite Asks the voice.
I go for a picnic and sit next to a stream, and I In a way to me it1s harder for the people who
When I missed having a comforting numbness “Wait, let me focus my eyes” I say. “Yes, I see it”
leave my troubles behind as I start to day- choose to hide or forget their fears, than to
I hated her 4 what she had promised I answer.
dream; turn and face them.
Yet loved her 4 what she had meant 2 me!
It isn’t long before I am fast asleep, hearing When hiding ones fears and not choosing to
She was my one “I am there” says the voice.
nothing not even a peep. face them. The fear grows stronger and will be
- Forgotten Warrior “Please don’t leave me, I am afraid” I say.
Next thing I know I am wide awake, the sun has even harder to overcome that fear, when the
gone down and the night chill makes me shake; “My child” says the voice. “I will never leave you. time comes or situation arises.
Reality has arrived w the nite I will guide you out of the darkness and into
It will be a long ark walk home tonight, but Letting fear control or run your life, is never
The truth is as dark as my soul the light, just trust Me and start crawling. I am
that’s okay because there’s no need for fright. good to one's brain, heart or soul. For that fear
“I want 2 be w you, when I sleep here” says the voice. will override your choices in life and you could
I dream, in my dreamz, my false reality
The Stars At Night miss out on great opportunities or experiences,
We are 2gether” As I crawl I ask “who are you, and why are you
I look up at the stars at night, seeing them even romances. You have to face your fears.
- Forgotten Warrior helping me?”
shine so bright; I leave you with these words of hope and guid-
A shooting star I did saw, as I looked on in The voice answers “you are my child and I am ance, choose to fight your fears today, it will be
I’m thinking of dancing Pow Wow God your Father, you called on me and I came
wonder and awe. harder to face tomorrow.
2 the song “Lost in the Fire” to you”.
In space the Earth spins round and round,
By Gesaffelstein & The Weeknd Now with God’s help I am crawling out of the
making nothing but nary a sound; WHEN ALL ONE CAN DO IS DREAM
And putting it on Instagram darkness and into the light. I know now that the
Are we alone in this Universe, when our bodies When all one can do is dream or wish upon a
There’s a few songs I wanna do Father has always loved me and would guide
die and our spirits disperse. falling star, from out the heavens.
That I’m practicing 4 it, we’ll see me to the light. Why now in these times of transgressions do I
Imagine Dragons is another one
Memory Lane feel thy sorrows upon my life?
THUNDER!!
I once took a trip down memory lane, and I Zakaria Amara I only wish the best of times and memories for
swear it did almost drive me insane; By Gary “Gwiszy” Wiszniowskit thy love and lover. What this man would give to
From many years of hard abuse, my body was be in his place buy thy side.
used by others with misuse. Free ‫هللا مسب‬ Not a day or night, nor hour or minute passes
But there were some very good days, when I I imagine being back. John Eldridge wrote: without your face in my thoughts.
sat in the sun and soaked up the rays; Being outside, instead of in. “Every woman can tell you about her wound; How I can think of how soft your lips were the
Although my early memories are quite rough, No more negative thinking. some came with violence, others came with ne- first time we kissed.
it’s made me into a man who is tough. Dreams severed from their stems. glect. Just as every little boy is asking one ques- Also what it would be like to kiss thy on your
Swallowing self-pity. tion, every little girl is, as well. But her question pouty pink soft lips again one day, Or to feel
The Silence At Night In a moment that means squat. isn’t so much about her strength. No, the deep you silk like hair on my arms and shoulders.
The silence that presents itself only at night Positive thinking I hold onto. cry of a little girl’s heart is am I lovely? Every With the edge of your nails in my back, our legs
is a thing of beauty to me. Only at night can I Because it’s all that I got. woman needs to know that she’s exquisite and intertwined in such passionate moments.
ever start to relax the tension that my body has Nightmares of old decisions exotic and chosen. I can only want or dream of thoughts of these
built up from the stress of the day. As I take a Many roads left behind. This is core to her identity, the way she bears memories.
Only blessed things come now. the image of God. Will you pursue me? Do you
slow deep breath in, I imagine only calm and
At the most inconvenient, unexpected of time.
Prison Tweets
serenity entering my stressed, stiffened body. delight in me? Will you fight for me?
With each long shuddering breath out, I can So much new goals, overflowing intentions. And like every little boy, she has taken a wound How other people treat you is their path. How
imagine all those words that one associates Greatness in freedom, overcoming detentions. as well. The wound strikes right at the core you react is yours
with negativity fly out and away, not to return Consequence is now; as if your life of her heart of beauty and leaves a devastat- The hardest journey is from our head to our
until the following day when the first stirrings Was tossed to a curb. ing message with it: No! You’re not beautiful heart and the healing journey is that journey
of my fellow humans starts breaking the night’s Voices inside, mistakes I’ve made and no one will really fight for you. Like your back from our heart to our head.
silent embrace, just as the sun breaks the dawn The lessons now learned. wound, hers almost always comes at the hand - Forgotten Warrior
calling forth all the stress and tension that ac- Yet a short distance from the world. of her father.
That in here makes a matter. A little girl looks to her father to know if she is Obituaries
companies it. Oh, how I cannot wait to embrace
the silence at night. Preparing goals and dreams lovely. The power he has to cripple or to bless To my Dad who passed away on February
For now souls feel battered. is just as significant to her as it is to his son. If 4th, 2019: I’m going to miss talking to you and
Forgotten Warrior Identity numbers you inside and about. he’s a violent man he may defile her verbally laughing about our old war stories together.
Everything must change or sexually. The stories I’ve heard from women I want you to know I will keep your spirit alive
Is She? - Feb 2019
When you’re let out. who have been abused would tear your heart and share our stories with others. I love you
Is she? Strong enough 2 back me up?
Have patience soon will be done out. Janet was assaulted by her father when Dad and it sucks that you’re gone. Your one
Can we talk endlessly 2 each other?
Now just wait till you receive freedom. she was three; around the age of seven he and only son, The Sundance Kid.
Can we share emotionally about each other?
showed her brothers how to do it. The assault
IS SHE? By Anthony AKA Bless continued until she moved away to college. Inside Out
- FW
Lost World What is a violated woman to think about her With tears in my eyes and my head held high is
Therez no love There’s so much pain in the world beauty? Am I lovely? The message is, No you how the resignating words of Shanes passing
There no caring So much more than we can ignore are dirty. Anything attractive about you is dark filters through myself within the federal system
But at least I survive Most people have become desensitized and and evil. a couple months later. Unfortunately, that's the
- FW callous The assault continues as she grows up, through last thing Shane Gambie and I will have shared
Others have become sympathetic, creating violent men and passive men. She may be in this material world. I wanted to share my
Turn ur fear 2 anger movements stalked; she may be ignored. Either way, her condolescences with the reality of life and it's
And that anger 2 strength When will politics stop hindering progress heart is violated and the message is driven deadly grup lets go of yet another friend that
Finally that strength 2 purpose And all nations move forward together as a farther in: you are not desired, you will not be crossed my path. May you rest in peace and I'll
- FW World government protected, no one will fight for you. The tower see you when I get there. Be good or be good
Hopefully providing for all humanity is built brick by brick, and when she’s a grown at it.
Lifez toughest challenges r given 2 Creatorz I believe this is what Martin Luther King meant woman it can be a fortress.” Respect, Jason Wall
12 // FROM INSIDE
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019

The Oasis Z. Amara cont'd from page 10


threw myself at the first demon that I saw. As we both went down, the back of his head landed
hard on a rock, which instantly rendered him unconscious. As I attempted to get off him and stand
back on my feet, my face came within inches of his, and I could see his face clearly, now that his
hood had receded...
Because we are all one half, traveling through life in search of what could fill our missing half. There are some truths in this universe, which upon contact with, can alter you, transform you,
You see, we all need to love and be loved; to give it and receive it. To love ourselves and to have transfigure you, utterly change your very being, instantly do to you what Alchemist have long tried
ourselves love us back. To love our parents and to have them love us back. To love our siblings to do to common metals.
and to have them love us back. To love our neighbors and to have them love us back. To love our You see...
soul mates and to have them love us back. To love our children and to have them love us back. To The demon on that ground was not a demon...
love all living things and to have them love us back. And no love... no love is greater than to love He was a man...
our Maker, and to have Him love us back. And that man was me.
Every evil... every illness... every wound can only be when love is absent. To love another human The edges of my old universe began to roll back like a scroll being folded, while a new universe
being is to be so concerned about their well-being that you are always seeking to fill the voids you began to unfold. Tears from my eyes fell into his open mouth, and with every drop, a gentle light
find within them, wishing to make them whole. began to shine forth from it. As I looked around, I saw the forces of darkness collapse to the
Come. Look over here. ground one after the other. The light grew in brightness and intensity, spreading in every direction,
These engravings were left behind by past travelers. as the overwhelming darkness began to retreat like a wounded animal.
"Love is the whole, and we are the pieces" You too will experience your own battle with darkness, and if you find a way to see through it -
And read this one over here: even if you stumble as you try - you will emerge transformed. Just remember that faith without
"Love is the river of life in this world. Think not that ye know it who stand at the little tinkling rill, wisdom is blind, while wisdom without faith is heartless.
the first small fountain. Not until you have gone through the rocky gorges, and not lost the stream; Do you still remember the well that I told you about in the beginning? Look ahead. Do you see it?
not until you have gone through the meadow, and the stream has widened and deepened until ...At the Well of Wisdom
fleets could ride on its bosom; not until beyond the meadow you have come to the unfathomable The water of this well never overflows nor is too shallow to be reached by hand. They say that
ocean, and poured your treasures into its depths - not until then can you know what love is.” wisdom is to do the right thing, in the right manner, at the right time.
… Go ahead and drink from it.
When I got lost... You see, in the beginning, I simply informed you about the existence of this well. Then, you saw
I was not alone... it with your own eyes. Finally, you drank from it yourself. Wisdom can't actually be taught. It can
My soul mate followed me. We both hoped to survive the harsh journey together. But after years only be gained through experience. Can you place a fruit on a tree? Of course not! It must grow
of travel with no end in sight, I decided that if I ever felt her grip weaken, then I would let her go from within. Everything that you learnt so far will only serve you once your soul is ready to bear its
in peace without resistance. So when that moment finally arrived and I felt her hand loosen, I told fruits.
her that I loved her and let her go. Do you see these blue butterflies flying around?
I still see her in my dreams, but even there I can't bring myself to speak to her. Maybe I am afraid They are the Butterflies of Forgiveness. They help keep the Oasis cool and pleasant. If they were
of finding out that she no longer loves me. Or maybe I am afraid of discovering that she is no lon- to disappear, the desert's scorching heat would invade this place, and everything in it would begin
ger the same person that I was once in love with, and so through silence my memories of her are to die.
left preserved. Or maybe I am simply practicing the most perfect form of love. Whoever engraved Only you can nourish these butterflies. Do you want me to teach you how?
this message over here knew exactly what that means: Before you fall asleep every night, take a moment to forgive every being that ever hurt you, and
"Perhaps providence had rightly wanted him to be a chaste witness ton beauty; that he should then ask your Maker to inspire those whom you hurt to forgive you. It's much more difficult than
never disturb. Was this not the manifestation of the most perfect love, such as he professed to his it sounds, but a wise man once said that "forgiveness is n gift that we give to ourselves". The first
lady, loving from afar, renouncing the pride of domination? Is aspiration to conquest love?" victims of the flames of anger and hatred are their carriers.
Have you ever pondered how the act of love is at its core an act of faith, and how the act of faith The sun is about to set and the night will soon arrive. Come with me, there is one last thing that I
is at its core is an act of love? want you to see.
...At the Tree of Faith ...At the Tree of Reliance
This is the tree of Faith. It stands at the center of the Oasis. When it is young, it's weak and frag- We have reached the northern edge of the Oasis, and this here is the Tree of Reliance. It looks
ile; it grows stronger and taller with every good act that you do, and every storm that you preserve, like a Willow tree that is about to fall over from the sheer weight that it has burdened itself with.
until it finally shoots up to the heavens and connects with our Maker. Look ahead to the north. Do you see those giant frightening shadows? They are an illusion creat-
When you climb this tree, you can see further in the distance; if you climb a bit higher, you may ed by the Demons of Fear. I know this, and yet they still fill me with worry and anxiety. Sometimes
even see glimpses of the unseen world, and while you are up there, you can look down and gain a their sight cripples me with such fear that I stay frozen in place until the sun mercifully sets, and
better perspective on how things really are... the shadows disappear, and my fear thaws away.
Who is our Maker? That's why I often come to this tree and sit beneath its shade. Here, I can law down my burdens
Only you can answer this question, but I will tell you this much: Just as there is only one of you, and place them into the hands of my Maker.
there is only one of Him, and the fact that you exist is proof that He exists. Go back to a time when Do you know what the last lesson of the desert is? It's engraved right here:
you could no utter a single word or understand it. Go back to the days of innocence, and see the "What hit you was never meant to miss you, and what missed you was never meant to hit you.
world anew, and then you will realize that what I said is true. Destiny's pens have been lifted, and its pages have long dried"
Can this tree be destroyed? This is the last lesson because it is the most difficult to master. Let go of your illusions of control,
Yes, it can. You see, every traveler must one day confront the Demons of Darkness. Not long ago, and realize from deep within, that what shall be will be. Do what you can do, and to your Maker
they descended upon the Oasis in their thousands. They came from every direction with blinding leave the rest.
sand storms, under the cover of pitch-black clouds that resembled moving mountains. They wore It is a paradox. How can we have free will and predestined fate existing at the same time? I can't
dark cloaks and hoods that concealed their faces. explain it to you in words, but if you travel long enough you will realize that it's true.
When I saw them approaching, I quickly dug a hole and hid in it after covering its mouth with Come. Let's sit under the tree and watch the sun set.
branches and leaves. From there, I watched with sheer terror as these demons invaded the Oasis
and destroyed everything in their path with fire and fury.
When they finally reached the Tree of Faith, it refused to burn, so they began digging at its base, ...Under the Tree of Reliance
determined to uproot it all together. Do you want me to tell you what will happen tomorrow?
After everything that I endured. After everything that I survived. There I was, huddled in a hole, Tomorrow, if our Maker wills, the sun will rise, and you too will rise with it. But unlike the shining
cowardly watching everything be destroyed, as if it never was, as if it meant nothing. At that mo- bright sun, your heart will be veiled by dark clouds of discontent. You will rise pretending as if you
ment I heard the voice of an old friend of mine repeating an advice of his, "Abu Nour! Why do you woke up to the wrong life; suspecting that perhaps while you were asleep, a mishap must have
always run away from your troubles? Don't you realize that even if you managed to fly to another occurred in the realm of the souls, and you were somehow assigned someone else's fate.
planet, there too they would find you?" You will remain in this state for weeks, maybe months, and possibly years. Then one day, an
As I was hearing these words, I saw the thread that weaved through my entire life. I saw myself unexpected single moment of clarity will arrive that will dispel the clouds, and help you see as you
running from my troubles, from my loved ones, from myself, and from my life... never saw before. This is when you will realize that what you found here are in fact life's greatest
I finally saw the pattern... treasures; and that if this is where your journey has led you so far, then maybe you were never
I finally pulled the thread... lost after all. And that's when you will decide to walk down to the Sapling of Hope, and stand there
And that's when it happened... waiting...
Feeling a surge of newfound strength, I climbed out of my hiding place without hesitation, and ...waiting there as I waited for you.

Mercedes takes the top. Come when I crash all ya’ll I’m pisces no one see how
Mary Ellen Young Shot caholla Here thought you new all Deep we be in the sea no one me
M.E.Y. That I‘m a shot caholla I tell I wear is new Ever be deep deeper than any other
As they say I’m maryellen Runner hundred thousand all sign we be pretty dangerous
Is a provider I got issues Ya’ll run nun ya’ll ain’t Cat Box Sound fish we go where no other
Yeah crack the dawn bitch Gotta count give it bring it Soundin with you crew being has ever went I’m a
Maily it should be about trust Respect give it all ya’ll don’t All screw beast bitch I pull you under
Yes I lick the lips yeah maryillin Beef too busy respecting Ya’ll screwd I’m legendary I show you a
I ill I won’t slow down speed Me babysitin ya’ll money ya’ll This cat in his raps all Feeling that you haven’t felt
Up Maryellen be living it up Dope hope I don’t show up Talkin hard Before your heart I stole
Light it up no she can’t come All ya’ll don’t baskits of All scraps You feelin felt attraction
I won’t put no tattoo in my Money to babysit for me Ya’ll think you got the Strong wild everything you
Chest with his name in the ALL YA’LL Best of me Ever wish for granted right
Middle no man who the mac That yo! Boy tell you I Get next to mey Here one woman has it yeah
M.E.Y. I got the whip open Want some more! All vex ya’ll see Me one woman man you’ll be
It’s about trust your time I want some more! This cat thinks he soundin smiling ear to ear happy yeah
Is up I’m self centered I’m fine Big Thomas Young Thomas All dope You’ll be sex made money
Fresh mad money it’s beautiful Maryillin on this trap He hope Made respect made loyal made
Patient select takes the top Pullin up to the spot taken your She be copy catty my flow Nothing not a problem we
Ill same shit different hood Door man takin him up to the But she be Be having it made deep like
Come out and pay how Top as I pay him more than Too slow The sea yeah you’ll see no one
Many rocks smoked fatal You do as I do things I do This cat be copy catty Mention pisces I be the
Scar never get drop who Making him real like things real This catty Deepest from the zodiac we
Takes the top Mercedes your I be that hollacalla putting This Batty!! Don’t fuck around we
Time is up who’s next if It on ya sayin doinit livin it Legendary beast like I
You don’t understand English Right sexy anything baby Legendary we be me Say from the paradise sea deepest felt
13 // art
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
Illustration by Joey
14 // art
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
Illustration by Sean Triten

Illustrations by George Fobert


15 // ART
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
Illustration by Jeremy Hall
16 // resources & about pasan
CELL COUNT//ISSUE 88//PJD 2019
EAST COAST COALITION des ORGANISMESCOM- ASIAN COMMUNITY AIDS SERVICE 200 Gerrard St E, 2nd Flr, Toronto, M5A 2366 or 1-800-665-2437
MUNAUTAIRES QUEBECOIS de LUTTE- When prisoners call, they offer them 2E6 416-506-1400 PLBC - PRISON OUTREACH PROJECT
ALLY CENTRE CONTRE le SIDA (COCQSIDA) small bursaries to cover their calling Toronto Community Hep C Program 1107 Seymour St, Vancouver, V6B
Take collect calls Accept collect calls fees Accept collect calls 5S8 Toll Free: PROV - 604-525-8646
150 Bentinck St, Sydney, NS, B1P 1 est, rue Sherbrooke, Montréal, H2X 107-33 Isabella St, Toronto, M4Y 955 Queen Street East, Toronto, M4M FED - 1-877-900-2437 (#’s approved
1G6 902-567-1766 3V8 514-844-2477 2P7 416-963-4300 (Collect) 3P3 by institutions and are NOT Collect
AIDS COALITION of NOVA SCOTIA COMITÉ des PERSONNES ATTEINTES BLACK COALITION for AIDS PREVEN- 416-461-1925 (Collect only on Tuesday Calls)
Accept collect calls du VIH du QUEBEC (CPAVIH) TION & Friday, 11am-5pm) Positive Living Society of BC
1675 Bedford Row, Halifax, NS, B3J 1-800-927-2844 Accept collect calls Once out, please call 416-417-6135 Leita McInnis, Prison Outreach
1T11-800-566-2437, 902-425-4882 2075 rue Plessis bureau 310, Montreal, 20 Victoria St, 4th Flr, Toronto, M5C Worker
AIDS COMMITTEE of NEWFOUND- H2L 2Y4 1-800-927-2844 2N8 416-977-9955 (Collect)  PRAIRIES  1101 Seymour St, 4th Floor, Vancou-
LAND & LABRADOR CANADIAN HIV/AIDS LEGAL NET- HIV COMMUNITY LINK ver, BC V68 0R1 Fed: 1-877-900-2437
Take collect calls ONTARIO WORK Prov: 604-525-8646
Accept collect calls
47 Janeway Place, St. John’s, NL, A1A 2-SPIRITED PEOPLE of the 1ST NA- Accept collect calls 110-1603 10th Ave SW, Calgary, AB, T3C LINC
1R7 1-800-563-1575 TIONS 1240 Bay St #600, Toronto, M5R 2A7 416- 0J7 403-508-2500 33270 14th Ave, Mission, BC, V2V 4Z7
AIDS NEW BRUNSWICK Accept collect calls 595-1666 (Collect) AIDS SASKATOON 1-877-424-4242 (BC only)
65 Brunswick St, Fredericton, NB, E3B 145 Front Street East Suite 105 Toron- FIFE HOUSE 1143 Ave F N, Saskatoon, SK, S7L 1X1306-
1G51-800-561-4009, 506-459-7518 Accepts collect calls NATIONAL
to, Ontario M5A 1E3 416-944-9300 242-5005 1-800-667-6876
AIDS PEI AFRICANS in PARTNERSHIP AGAINST 490 Sherbourne St, 2nd Flr, Toronto, CENTRAL ALBERTA AIDS NET- CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF ELIZA-
Take collect calls AIDS M4X 1K9  WORK SOCIETY BETH FRY SOCIETIES (Women)
2-375 University Ave, Charlottetown, No collect calls, call PASAN 416-205-9888 No collect calls 701-151 Slater St.
PE, C1A 4N4 902-566-2437 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, M5A HIV & AIDS LEGAL CLINIC OF ON. 4611 50th Ave, Red Deer, AB, T4N 3Z9 Ottawa, ON
AIDS SAINT JOHN 1R3 416-924-5256 (HALCO) 403-346-8858 K1P 5H3
Don’t accept collect calls AIDS COMMITTEE of CAMBRIDGE, Accept collect calls HIV EDMONTON (613) 238-2422
115 Hazen St, NB, E2L 3L3 506-652- KITCHENER,WATERLOO & AREA 55 University Avenue, Suite 1400 9702 111 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, BRAIN INJURY ASSOC OF CANADA
2437 Accept collect calls Toronto, ON, M5J 2H7 1-888-705-8889 T5G 0B1 1-877-388-5742 440 Laurier Ave. West, Suite 200
BOOKS BEYOND BARS Have a toll-free number HIV/AIDS REGIONAL SERVICES (HARS) KIMAMOW ATOSKANOW FOUNDA- Ottawa, ON K1R 7X6 Toll-free: 1-866-
P.O. Box 33129 2B-625 King St E, Kitchener, N2G Accept collect calls TION 977-2492
Halifax, NS 4V4 519-570-3687 (Collect), 1-877–770– 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L Accept collect calls CATIE
B3L 4T6 3687 1G5 613-545-3698 (Collect) RR 1, Site 1, Box 133, Onoway, AB, T0E 1-800-263-1638
HEALING OUR NATIONS: AIDS COMMITTEE OF GUELPH ONTARIO ABORIGINAL HIV/AIDS 1V01-866-971-7233, 780-913-9036 555 Richmond St W #505, Toronto, ON
1-800 565 4255 Accept collect calls, prefer that people STRATEGY NINE CIRCLES COMMUNITY HEALTH M5V 3B1
3-15 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y use their Accept collect calls CENTRE NEW LIFE PRISON MINISTRIES
2N21-800-565-4255, 902-492-4255 89 Dawson Rd, Unit 113, Guelph, N1H 844-A Princess St, Kingston, K7L 705 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 0X2 P.O. Box 123
MAINLINE NEEDLE EXCHANGE 3X2 1-800-282-4505; 519-763-2255 1G5 613-549-7540 (Collect) 1-888-305-8647 Arva, ON
Calls from within Nova Scotia are free (Collect) PEEL HIV/AIDS NETWORK PLWA NETWORK OF SASKATCHEWAN N0M 1C0
Don’t accept collect calls AIDS COMMITTEE of NORTH BAY Accept collect calls No collect calls Aftercare support: 1-888-842-6898
5511 Cornwallis St, Halifax, NS, B3K and AREA 160 Traders Blvd, Unit 1, Mississauga, Box 7123, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 4I1 306-
1B3 902-423-9991 Accept collect calls L4Z 3K7 373-7766 Prisoner-Specific
SHARP ADVICE NEEDLE EXCHANGE 201-269 Main St W, North Bay, P1B 1-866-896-8700, 905-361-0523 (Collect) OUT SASKATOON
Accept collect calls PETERBOROUGH AIDS RESOURCE PRISONERS UNITED ORGANIZATION
2T8 705-497-3560 (Collect) 320 21 St W, Saskatoon, SK S7M 4E6 Created by and for prisoners in the Ca-
150 Bentnick St, Sydney, NS, B1P AIDS COMMITTEE of OTTAWA NETWORK (PARN) 1-800-358-1833
6H1 902-539-5556 (Collect) Accept collect calls nadian federal system. We encourage
700-251 Bank St, Ottawa, K2P 1X3 613- PRINCE ALBERT METIS WOMEN’S you to share your stories to shed light
SIDA/AIDS MONCTON 238-5014 (Collect) or Toll Free (ON & 302-159 King St, Peterborough, K9J ASSOC.
Accept collect calls as long as they’re 2R81-800-361-2895, 705-932-9110 (Col- on the current practices and problems
QC only) 1-800-461-2182 No collect calls within the correctional system. PO Box
HIV related AIDS COMMITTEE of THUNDER BAY lect) 54 10th St E, Prince Albert, SK, S6V
80 Weldon St, Moncton, NB, E1C STREET HEALTH CENTRE 30009, Greenbank North PO, Ottawa,
574 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, 0Y5 306-763-5356 ON, K2H 1A3
5V8 506-859-9616 P7B 3Z2 1-800-488-5840, 807-345- Accept collect calls RED RIBBON PLACE
EAST COAST PRISON JUSTICE SOCIETY Hepatitis C Treatment Program 235 BLACK INMATES & FRIENDS ASSEM-
1516 (Collect) (ALL NATIONS HOPE AIDS NETWORK) BLY
6061 University Ave, PO Box 15000 POSITIVE LIVING NIAGARA Wellington St, Kingston, K7K 0B5 613-  2735 5th Ave, Regina, SK, S4T
Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2 549-1440 (Collect) 2518 Eglinton Avenue W, Toronto, ON,
Accept collect calls from registered 0L2 1-877-210-7622 M6M 1T1 ph (416) 652-3131
clients THE AIDS NETWORK (TAN) STREET CONNECTIONS
QUEBEC Don’t accept collect calls OUT OF BOUNDS MAGAZINE
(Recommend that you get a case man- No collect calls 6000 William Head Rd, Victoria, BC
CACTUS ager to get registered with them) 101-140 King St E, Hamilton, L8N 705 Broadway Ave, Winnipeg, MB,
1B2 905-528-0854 toll free 1-866-563- V9C 0B5
Accept collect calls 111 Church St, St Catharines, L2R R3G 0X2 204-940-2504 WOMEN: 50 JOURNAL OF PRISONERS ON PRIS-
1300 rue Sanguinet, Montreal, H2X 3C9 905-984-8684 or toll free 1-800- 0563 Argyle, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0H6 204-
THE WORKS ONS
3E7 514-847-0067 773-9843 943-6379 c/o Justin Piché, PhD, Dept of Criminol-
CENTRE for AIDS SERVICES MONTRE- ANISHNAWBE HEALTH AIDS PRO- Accept collect calls
277 Victoria St, Toronto, 416-392-0520 WEST COAST  ogy University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON,
AL (Women) GRAM K1N 6N5
Accept collect calls No collect calls (Collect)
TORONTO PWA FOUNDATION AIDS VANCOUVER ISLAND PRISON FREE PRESS
1750 Rue Saint-Andre, 3rd Flr, Montre- 255 Queen St E, Toronto, M5A 1S4 416- Accepts collect calls. 713 Johnson St, PO Box 39, Stn P
al, H2L 3T81-877-847-3636, 514-495-0990 360-0486 Accept collect calls from clients
3rd Flr, Victoria, V8W 1M8 250-384- Toronto, ON, M5S 2S6

ABOUT PASAN STAFF CELL COUNT TEAM


PASAN is a community-based HIV Service organization Outreach & Education Chaman R Vashishtha Lead Editor: Sena Hussain
that strives to provide community development, educa-
Prison Education Programs:  Office Coordinator Supervisors: Janet Rowe and
tion and support to prisoners and ex-prisoners in Ontario
PASAN conducts HIV prevention education programs in Claudia Medina
ON HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and other harm reduction Eveline Allen
many adult and youth institutions in the southern Ontario
issues. PASAN formed in 1991 as a grassroots response
region.  This program includes a Peer Educators Group,
Regional Prison In-Reach Coordinator Cell Count Contributors to this
to HIV in the Canadian prison system. Today, PASAN
whereby ex-prisoners living with HIV are educators for Aaron Bowerman
issue:
is the only community-based organization in Canada Greg McMaster
current prisoners.   Peer Health Navigator Coordinator
exclusively providing HIV and HCV prevention, education Jeremy Hall
PASAN conducts free training for those working with
and support services to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their Orev Reena Katz Jay Bevan
prison-affected and drug using populations.  Training
families. Art to Power Resiliency Project, Program Coordinator Michelle
topics include: Reginal Nixon
Trevor Gray
Support Services ▪ HIV & Prison Forgotten Warrior
▪ Harm Reduction Community Programs Coordinator
Zakaria Amara
Individual Support Services: ▪ The Impact of Segregation Sena Hussain Brian G Kerr
▪ Individual support & counselling ▪ Stigma & Discrimination
Communications & Resource Dev Coordinator Moka Dawkins
▪ case management Philipe Poisson
Systemic Advocacy
▪ pre-release and post-release planning Lindsay Jennings Tim Rogers
▪ referrals  Since our beginnings in 1991, PASAN has always Provincial HepC Program Coordinator Sean S. Moyneoux
▪ advocacy for medical services  maintained a focus on systemic issues of HIV/AIDS and Gary “Gwiszy” Wiszniowskit
Claudia Medina
▪ housing supports prisons.   Some has been involved in many systemic Anthony AKA Bless
advocacy efforts including: Program Manager G, AKA Shane Halliday
▪ phone support through collect calling 
▪ emergency financial assistance (limited budget for fees ▪ Prison Needle Syringe Project (2014/15) Stephanie Moulton Patrick JM Dowdell (the Sundance
related to identification and prison release.  Application ▪ Advocacy against the use of segregation Harm Reduction Outreach Coordinator
kid)
requirements exist) ▪ Presentation to the Canadian Human Rights Commis- Roy T.J. Rousseau
sion (2001) Janet Rowe Jason Wall
▪ Advocacy for male-to-female transsexual/transgendered Executive Director Mary Ellen Young
Community Support Services:
prisoners and HIV (1999) Joey (note from Sena: sorry Joey, I
PASAN also provides support AIDS Service Organizations Cherisa Shivcharran couldn't make out your last name,
▪ Presentation to the Presidential Advisory Council on
and community groups across Ontario.  This includes: 
HIV/AIDS in Washington DC (1998) Provincial Community Development Coordinator please let me know what it is so I
▪ resources & educational materials
▪ Presentation to the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Aanya Wood
can add a note for our next issue!)
▪ training
AIDS (1996) Sean Triten
Federal Community Development Coordinator
▪ assistance to set up prison outreach and support ▪ HIV/AIDS in Youth Custody Settings: A Comprehensive George Fobert
projects Strategy (1996) Amina Mohamed
▪ strategies to develop referral “hubs” for HIV positive ▪ Organization of the first National Workshop on HIV/ Women's Community Program Coordinator A big thank you to our volunteer
prisoners AIDS in Prison (1995). 
transcribers:
We are located at: 526 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON Fiona Bennell
▪ networking for the development of a continuum of care ▪ HIV/AIDS in Prison Systems: A Comprehensive Strate- M5A 1R3. Call us toll free at:
for prisoners transferred between regions 
Brendan Arnott
gy (1992) 1-866-224-9978