We are a group of friends who live in Southern Ontario and who have, separately and together, been doing prisoner solidarity organizing of different kinds for many years. We are anarchists, and although our focus has often been prison, we bring to it a broader critique of power and hierarchy that influences how we choose to organize. Some of us have done time, but all of us know what it's like to be separated from people we care about by prison walls, and this feeling is a big part of why we don't want to see the system expand. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our aim is not exactly that of supporting on the outside the demands formulated inside for the improvement of some details of the prison regime. It is not that we turn up our nose at such demands, since we know how things go in prison. Above all, we seek to fight against the idea of imprisonment itself. We want to succeed in the destruction of these damned institutions. Therefore, we can encourage and take up every sort of demand that contains the only vital demand: 'Air!' - A Crime Called Freedom
It is important to note that a decrease in the number of people incarcerated does not necessarily mean that our society, as a whole, is becoming a less carceral one. As the War on Drugs loses legitimacy, attempts to decarcerate nonviolent drug offenders have sometimes been accompanied by an increase in punitivity for 'violent' convicts ... In some places we are also seeing a pivot toward private reentry programs, private probation services, parole and other forms of custodianship that involve surveillance and monitoring. It is possible that as technologies of control are perfected, carcerality will bleed into society. In this case, the distinction between the inside and the outside of prison will become blurrier. It is even possible to imagine a future where the prison as a physical structure is superseded by total surveillance without physical confinement. - Carceral Capitalism
But these pulsations inside particular prisons are related to the pulsation of development and transformation in the prison system as a whole, which is moving towards an opening. ... That is to say, there is more participation. ... The concept of participation is not at all separate from the concept of separateness. I participate, and in an initial phase of this participation I feel closer to the others who participate along with me. As this increases, however, the very process of participation isolates me and makes me different from the others, because each one follows his own road in this participation. ... Participation causes further separation, a greater division inside the prison, because the few people of a consciously illegal disposition, that is to say the ones who really are ‘outlaws’, stand out. - Locked Up
There’s nothing to be amazed of as far as continuing to struggle in jail, what else can you do? The struggle continues, and if you don’t, if you give up, you die, you are damned, because it takes effort just to be in contact, and when they put you in isolation, fuck with your mail, etc., you have all the proof you need that whatever it was you did, it was of consequence. “As long as you fight, the decision is still up in the air,” Ruchell Magee. They only win when we are convinced to let them have their way. - A Soldier's Story
After the recommendations from the Arbour Inquiry into Certain Events at P4W (Prison for Women) were published in 1996, the federal government decided to close P4W and use these recommendations to create a blueprint for six new regional federal prisons for women. The heart and soul of the Arbour recommendations was the idea that the new prisons would have women-centred programming and Native-specific cultural programming. ... What the new regional prisons would not have were maximum-security units, guards in uniform, tiers, barred cells, ranges, pods, bubbles, or long periods during which women would be locked in their cells. [...] Unfortunately, this new reformist paradigm began to melt like McArthur Park in the rain, even before P4W was closed. The CSC used the 1995 prison escape of a few women prisoners over the unfinished perimeter wall of the new Edmonton Institution for Women, and the confrontation between guards and prisoners that precipitated the 1994 IERT intervention in P4W's secregation unit, to justify building multimillion-dollar maximum-security units in each women's federal prison compound. Security and repression are such integral features of the CSC that, like two starving dinner guests, they quickly began eating up all the money originally allotted for progressive programming and education. - Taking the Rap: Women Doing Time for Society's Crimes