August 10th: Come to Kingston this Prisoners’ Justice Day!

Come to Kingston this Prisoners’ Justice Day!

PJD is an international day to remember those who have died in prisons, during which prisoners around the world refuse work and food.

Kingston has long been the centre of the prison industrial complex in so-called Canada. As the government continues to push forward an agenda of prison expansion following the passage of Bill C-10, construction is already underway on new units at Collins Bay, Millhaven, and Bath Institutions.

This August 10th, join us in Kingston to mark PJD.

Stay tuned for more information at


May 15th: Mohammad Mahjoub Speaking Tour in Kingston


Mohammad Mahjoub on speaking tour
Tuesday May 15th, 6:30pm
Wilson Room, KFPL, 130 Johnson Street


For almost twelve long years, Mohammad Mahjoub, a torture survivor, has been detained without charge in Canada. He was held for lengthy periods in solitary confinement and later under house arrest. All on the basis of secret information which the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has admitted was likely obtained under torture. Now, for the first time in twelve years, Mr. Mahjoub is permitted to travel outside Toronto.

Mr. Mahjoub is one of five Muslim men who have been struggling for justice in Canada against so-called security certificates. Security certificates allow the government to indefinitely detain or deport people on the basis of their profile. He will tell his story in a seven-city speaking tour, as the Justice for Mahjoub Network gears up for a day of protest to mark the 12th anniversary of his arrest on June 26th.

Kingston’s event is sponsored by:
No One Is Illegal Kingston, OPIRG Kingston, PSAC Local 901, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, End the Prison Industrial Complex, Peace Kingston and CFRC 101.9FM.

For more information about the Kingston stop please contact

** More on Mahjoub:
** Security certificates:

The Twelve Year Tour is supported by:
Canadian Labour Congress,
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group,
No One Is Illegal (London, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver – Coast Salish Territories),
Prism Magazine,


Justice for Mahjoub Network

Noise Demo Workshop @ The Artel, April 23rd 7-9pm

Prison Privatization Article

Posted below is a letter to the editor published in the Whig-Standard on March 9, 2012. We couldn’t find an online version of it so scanned and re-posted it here because it sheds some light on the private prison lobby in Canada. Apologies that a bit of the text was cut off.

Cryptome Publishes Blueprints for New Prisons

Construction drawings and specifications for new prisons at Collins Bay, Bath, Millhaven, and Stony Mountain institutions were published on March 8, 2012 by the leaks website Cryptome.

This comes shortly after a CBC Report revealing that blueprints for Collins Bay Institution show provisions for permanent double-bunking cells.

View and Download the Blueprints Here

New prisons will have double-bunking provision

From CBC News (link includes video)

A Conservative MP says the government has no plans to make double-bunking of prison inmates a permanent practice despite provision for future double-bunking in expansion plans for a federal prison in Kingston, Ont.

Plans by architectural and engineering firm Norr for the Collins Bay federal prison show standard cells to be built with provision for a “future upper bed.”

Double-bunking, or putting two inmates in one cell, does not meet the standard for inmates set by the United Nations, and Canada’s prisons ombudsman warned in his annual report last year about the increasing practise of double-bunking in Canada’s already crowded prisons.

But Candice Hoeppner, parliamentary secretary to the minister of public safety, said any plans for double-bunking is temporary and just good planning.

“We’re not double-bunking on a permanent basis,” she told Evan Solomon, host of CBC’s Power & Politics.

“In fact, right now we don’t even need to,” Hoeppner said, adding that the estimated increase in the prison population will be less than originally expected.

But opposition MPs pointed to numbers from Correctional Services Canada that show 13 per cent of federal male inmates are already double-bunked in Canada, and the number is expected to rise to 30 per cent temporarily — even before the tougher sentencing provisions of the government’s omnibus crime bill, C-10, kick in.

“This [the Collins Bay plan] is a template … for all construction they are doing now, so they clearly have plans to do that,” NDP Justice critic Jack Harris said.

Harris noted that prisoners ombudsman Howard Saper has condemned double-bunking for increasing violence between inmates, threatening the safety of guards and increasing the problem of infectious diseases.

Hoeppner says Collins Bay was built in the 1930s and is in need of upgrades, and the double-bunking provision is just more capacity in case it is needed.

“When you look at the drawings and we refer to it, it actually just said just put in the metal placings for it, so it actually is not going to be a [second] bunk that’s built … there’s the metal [placings] in case a second bunk is required.”

But Harris said building in double-bunking is not good planning.

“The prudent planning would be to avoid the kinds of prisons policies that they’ve got now, which is going to lead to more violence, people with less rehabilitation after being in prison and coming out being more dangerous offenders than when they went in,” Harris said.

Correctional Services of Canada said last year in an internal document entitled “Infrastructure Renewal: Frequently Asked Questions,” that it was “conducting on-site investigations to determine the requirements for double-bunking and other short-term measures” due to expected over-crowding caused by tougher crime laws, especially the so-called Truth in Sentencing Act.

A Correctional Services spokesperson said the initiatives would be to deal with the short-term influx of inmates.

Reflections in Time: An Exhibit by Peter Collins