We have all been horrified by the death of Soleiman Faqiri while in custody in Ontario, and are standing with the family to demand answers. Mr. Faqiri's death was the latest of fifteen deaths last year at a correctional facility, or at a hospital following a transfer from a facility, in Ontario. These deaths are the most awful consequence of the heedless expansion of the prison system over the past decade.
Last year, however, people started organizing for change. In the wake of last year's hunger strikes by immigrations detainees, the federal government has begun a process of reviewing immigration detention. In Ontario and BC, prison justice activists have launched and won cases to regulate the use of solitary confinement and lockdowns. In December 2016, a class action lawsuit for on behalf of federal inmates who had been subjected to solitary confinement was allowed to proceed. Representing some of the workers who are endangered by prison overcrowding, the BC Government Employees Union has launched a campaign to draw attention to prison overcrowding.
iPolitics is going in depth on this issue in the coming months. Please follow their coverage and push Minister Ralph Goodale and your provincial authorities to demand prison reform. The Activist Toolkit will also continue to publish ways to support the long overdue reform of our prison system.