No On Prison Expansion / #NOPE Initiative
The No On Prison Expansion / #NOPE initiative gathers information on the construction of new jails, prisons and penitentiaries, as well as additions to existing carceral facilities across Canada. By disseminating information obtained through online content searches and (in)formal information requests filed with provincial-territorial and federal government agencies, we aim to open-up spaces to debate the consequences of expanding the state’s capacity to confine human beings, which has the potential to shape patterns of marginalization, criminalization and punishment for generations to come.
Deriving our knowledge from the lived experiences of those affected by imprisonment and social scientific literature, it is our position that prison expansion deepens our reliance on a costly, unjust, and ineffective response to criminalized conflicts and harms. As such we are calling for a Canada-wide prison expansion moratorium.
Rather than advocating for more cages, we promote carceral divestment strategies that diminish our use of incarceration (e.g. decriminalization of prohibited drugs, decarceration measures that transition prisoners into their communities, excarceration measures that divert the criminalized from serving custodial sentences, etc.).
Rather than wasting tax dollars on counter-productive human warehousing, we promote justice reinvestment strategies that would divert funds currently destined for prison expansion towards addressing social inequalities that foster ‘crime’ as a primary means of prevention. We also advocate the use of prison divestment savings to build capacity in Canadian communities for restorative and transformative justice processes to flourish when survivors, perpetrators, and their communities of accountability are willing to work collectively to take stock of the human needs arising from social conflicts, as well as envisage and implement measures towards healing affected parties and attacking the structures that create the conditions for social harms.
If you are an individual, group or organization who wishes to join and/or endorse the #NOPE initiative please contact us.
c/o Justin Piché, PhD
Department of Criminology
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada