We are raising money for Book Clubs for Inmates, TPRP‘s COVID-19 Emergency Prisoner Support Fund, and CPEP‘s Jail Accountability & Information Line (JAIL) because of conditions in prison under the Canadian state.
To bid on a book please go to: https://bookauctiontosupportprisoners.ca/
Originally from this site:
What follows are some basic statistics about our prisons; this information is distressing and may be especially so for members of communities affected by mass incarceration.
- More than 30% of prisoners are Indigenous. Indigenous people compose 5% of the country’s population. The number of Indigenous people in custody is nine times higher than the number of non-Indigenous people.
- 7.3% of prisoners are Black. Black people compose 3.5% of the country’s population.
- Between 2003 and 2013 (the most recent period under study) the incarceration rate for Black people increased by nearly 90%.
- Black prisoners are more likely to be placed in maximum security and least likely to get bail despite being at a lower-risk for re-engaging in criminalized acts after release; there has been little Canadian research overall into the treatment of Black prisoners and other non-Indigenous racialized prisoners.
- Indigenous women account for 42% of women in custody, and Indigenous girls account for 60% of girls in custody. Indigenous women are the fastest growing prisoner population in federal prisons.
- 90% of women in prison were subject to physical abuse and 67% have been subjected to sexual violence and harm.
- Between 40%–70% of prisoners in provincial and territorial jails and prisons are being held on remand, which means that they have not yet stood trial, and that many of our prisons house more “legally innocent” people than “legally guilty.”
- In a 2016 study, 27.6% of prisoners had an identified mental health need; suicide accounts for 20% of all deaths in custody each year.
- The maximum prisons spend per day per prisoner on food is set at $5.41; hunger and poor food are regularly the cause of prison protests, hunger strikes, and violence.
- The maximum pay a federally sentenced prisoner may receive for work performed in prison is $6.90 per day. This rate was set in 1981.
- Phone calls from Ontario provincial jails cost $1 per local call and $30 for a 20-minute long-distance call; most phone calls made are long-distance. In Ontario, there is a 20-minute cap on all phone calls provincial prisoners make. Until this year calls from Ontario provincial prisons could only be made to landlines.
- In one province over a single month this summer, there were no less than five prison hunger strikes: at Barton Jail in Hamilton, at Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay and two at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in Ottawa. Prisoners were protesting conditions including: dirty clothes, lack of clean drinking water, inedible food, lack of access to soap, lack of access to mail, and lack of access to books.
- Police-reported criminalized acts have decreased by 36% from 1998 to 2017, but arrests have only dropped by 16%.
- COVID-19 infection rates are five times higher in provincial jails and up to nine times higher in federal facilities than they are outside of prison.
- As of mid-July 800 people in the federal prison system have tested positive for COVID-19, and 3 people have died.
- Two first-person accounts of living in prison: from Burnside Jail and a Nova Scotia provincial prison.
This fundraiser was organized by a non-Black BIPOC settler to show solidarity with those who have experienced violence at the hands of the state where I live, create, and raise my family. All books were donated directly by the authors. As writers our work involves bearing witness to our world; this fundraiser is an extension of that.
Thank you to Naiomi Perera for the beautiful graphics, to the FOLD for media outreach advice, to Shane Murphy for the pro bono help with the fine print.
Thank you to TPRP and CPEP for their extensive advice and support.
Questions? Go to: https://bookauctiontosupportprisoners.ca/