A lot of you don’t know this, but across Canada, Prisoners at all Institutions are fasting for the entire day to support “Prisoners Justice Day.” This movement has been in effect since 1974, something dear to those inside who know the hardships inmates endure… It’s held annually on August 10th to honour those in the system who have died “unnatural deaths” while incarcerated, to celebrate the few who gave voice to prisoners and fought for rights for them… and yet, no one ever talks about it… 40+ yrs later…
I know, I hear you… why should you care? It’s just a bunch of criminals right? They deserve to be in there so they deserve what they get? Correct?
And, disclaimer, if you’re a child molester, child murderer, etc, you probably do deserve what you get… but…. They only make up a tiny percentage of prisoners… the majority are in there thanks to a failed Justice system, broken homes and neighbourhoods, poor reserves, childhood abuse/trauma/neglect, addiction issues, you name it. They are the broken, the forgotten, the people you label a “bad influence” and push away under the carpet like the dust you just didn’t have the time or effort to clean… but what happens to them once they get there???
There are literally hundreds of lawsuits against institutions across Canada for inhumane treatments of prisoners while in detention, and I’m not talking “oh the food was bad” cause half the time to food is completely inedible so let’s get that straight. I mean correctional officers forcing inmates to fight against their will, sexual assault by other inmates or guards, physical and verbal assault by inmates and guards, mental and physical degradation on a daily basis.
Want an example? I know a guy who went to Edmonton Max for DUI, he was supposed to serve 2 yrs. He was forced into a fight by guards against a man who tried to kill him… it was kill or be killed… and this gentleman “won” the fight… what he “won” was a life sentence for murder… and later when his family drove up to see him from Manitoba, approx 12hrs… they were killed in a tragic car accident… now tell me that he deserved what he got? He now spends his days making art and drawing while serving a 20yr sentence…. Or what about the man he had to kill in order to get the life sentence? What about all the other lives that NO ONE EVER HEARS ABOUT OR EVEN BLINKS AN EYE FOR????
When these “criminals” come out they are never the same, and rarely rehabilitated. They’re scared, demoralized, and without hope… and you expect them to integrate back into society after months if not years of torture? And just carry on? There’s a reason there’s an actual term for people like that. They say they’re “institutionalized.” That’s a polite way of saying they have Stockholm Syndrome mixed with PTSD. They need help, the need love, they need a system that has let them down time and time again.
I can still hear you, “so what they deserve to suffer.”
Have you ever been wrongfully accused of anything?
Have you ever made a mistake?
Have you ever engaged in any kind of illegal activity and thanked God you were never caught?
You are not immune to what happened to them, you got lucky. You didn’t have to tread the line that they do, scared for their lives, staring at 4 cement walls encased around them, battling daily degradation, humiliation, and isolation from any kind of solace… praying someone will take the time to visit them, take their calls or write to them… instead of forget about them which so many are so apt to do.
For anyone with loved ones in prison, you know how hard it is. My heart goes out to you big time. To all the people who have lost someone in prison, or lost pieces of themselves while incarcerated, my heart goes out to you too. May you all know the joy of living again, and know that some people do not live to control and degrade, some of us just want the best for all of you.
Lastly, for all the people doing time on the inside, way to stand up in solidarity. You may be “ghosts” to some, but I see you. I see Dead People… and you CAN live again, you just need a good spirit handler to lift y’all up. Stay strong x