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March-April 2017

Q&A: Renu Mandhane of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

The chief commissioner on the fight to end solitary confinement in provincial jails

Carine Abouseif

In the fall of 2016, an inmate spoke to Renu Mandhane through a small hole in the glass at a provincial jail in Thunder Bay, Ont. He told her he had been in segregation, or solitary confinement, awaiting trial for more than four years. The Ontario Human Rights Commission and Mandhane, the chief commissioner, brought […] More »
July-August 2014

Crime and punishment

Sinead Mulhern@SineadMulhern

In the late ’90s, the Canadian government debuted what was supposed to be a new, golden era of rehabilitation in women’s prisons. Yet, less than two decades later, the dream has failed. What one former inmate’s struggles and successes tell us about a broken system RIGHT BEFORE WE MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME, AVA* SENDS […] More »
March-April 2011

This45: Gerald Hannon on trans rights activist Syrus Marcus Ware

Gerald Hannon

For the last two years, anyone weary of the increasingly commercialized and blissfully apoliticized nature of Pride in Toronto has made a beeline for the back-to-the-future experience that is the Trans March. It’s small, friendly, community-based, unendorsed by any corporate interest. It’s also politicized, giddy, and endearingly disorganized, the way many of us remember Prides […] More »
July-August 2010

Postcard from Rio de Janeiro: Carnaval behind bars

Jennifer OsborneWebsite

Rio de Janeiro has a murder rate as high as a war zone—millions of impoverished people here resort to crime for survival. A kid from the favelas of Rio has limited career options: kidnapper, cocaine trafficker, gang leader, robber, or hit man. For many, prison is safer than the streets, and comes with more reliable […] More »
May-June 2010

Strapped for funds, Yellowknife’s prison has become a mental health ward

Lauren McKeon

With just one overworked psychiatrist for the whole territory, the North Slave Correctional Centre has become a de facto psychiatric hospital. Stuck in legal limbo, dozens of prisoners wait—and then wait some more—for justice Inside Yellowknife’s courthouse, behind the plastic shield of the prisoner’s docket, Tommy is plucking his fingers: one, two, three, four, from […] More »
May-June 2009

Postcard from Liberia: The Prisoner

Myles EsteyWebsite

On Christmas Eve, 1989, Charles Taylor’s band of rebels stormed the small border village of Butuo, Liberia, taking over the police station and sparking a civil war. Chief Inspector Morris Gonylee waves dismissively at the state of ruin the station now lies in, a common sight in a nation struggling to rebuild from this 14-year […] More »