Because if you’re Black, you are three times more likely to end up in a federal penitentiary.
Because if you’re Indigenous, you are nine times more likely to end up in a federal penitentiary.
Because these racist disparities are getting worse, not better.
Because immigrants face deportation after being punished for a criminal
conviction, effectively being punished twice, once when they’re
sentenced criminally, and then again by being permanently removed from
Canada – often after living here since childhood.
Because over the past ten years the number of women in federal custody
has increased by 40% - in some institutions women are being forced to
sleep in visiting rooms due to the fact that there are not enough cells
for everyone locked up.
Because under Harper the prison budget has almost doubled, with the
government building new prisons and expanding old ones, preparing to
lock up even more people as part of its agenda of repression.
Because at the same time as more people are spending time in prison,
more prisoners are spending time in solitary confinement. More prisoners
are also being double- or even triple-bunked, in general population as
well as in segregation.
Because locking people up make communities less safe.
Because from the G20 to the Quebec student strike, prison is
increasingly being used as a threat against people who stand up to
resist the global austerity agenda.
Because prisoners are brutalized and killed, and the coroner’s office simply covers this up.
Because we can’t tell you how many people died in custody in 2011,
because the government’s figures are incomplete and misleading, and
their statistics lie.
Because prisons are an inherent part of the state and capitalism.
Because prison is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem.