On Wednesday October 10, a four-member delegation from AWH met with Pam Damoff, MP to discuss Canada’s correctional system. As a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety, Pam is well placed to move our ideas forward in Ottawa. We were pleased to learn that Pam has toured many correctional institutions in Canada and shares our concerns about the current welfare and future prospects of the inmates.
Our delegation expressed our wish for a lower rate of incarceration in Canada where many of the inmates spend months on remand waiting for a court date simply because they can’t pay the bail amount. We stated our worry about the overrepresentation of poor and indigenous Canadians in the prison population, and our concern about the long-term social effects on children separated from their mothers.
We expressed our opposition to solitary confinement as a corrections strategy and our opposition to mandatory minimum sentences.
MP Damoff received our positions graciously and said she will keep us informed about any developments on our stated objectives.