Support Peter Collins
Conditions Impossible to Meet:
Peter Collins is a prisoner at Bath Institution near Kingston, On. He is doing a life sentence under catch 22 provisions, which if not altered, will keep Peter in prison indefinitely. Read more about this issue and sign the petition to allow Peter a fair chance at Parole.
What you can do:
See the draft letter at bottom of this post and send a copy to your MP.
Peter has used the time in prison to not only work on himself (a difficult undertaking in the best of conditions), but he has also shown empathy and contributed much effort to educating others about harm reduction, and HIV/AIDS and HCV treatment and prevention in prison and once released. Issues which impact the lives of prisoners, their families, and the community at large.
Peter has also developed artistic talents inside and has become an exceptionally gifted advocate, writer, and artist, as demonstrated through the many drawings and paintings currently circulating the internet, prisoner rights, HIV/AIDS service organizations across North America.
For more about Peter's life and the story which ultimately landed him in prison see the Rittenhouse blog posting at: http://joanr73.wordpress.com/
Peter's art work:
Letter for Peter:
Could you please paste the following letter into an e-mail and send it to your local MP? Feel free to make any changes or additions you would like in order to personalize the letter. Also, if you know anyone who's not on Facebook who you think would be interested in signing the petition or sending out the letter, please share the link to this site with them. Thanks!
I am writing in regards to a deportable prisoner, Peter Collins. He is a British citizen serving a life sentence in Bath Institution just outside of Kingston.
In 1990 an immigration hearing was held and Mr. Collins was ordered deported. At that time Mr. Collins was advised that he was still eligible for Work Releases(WR), Unescorted Temporary Passes(UTA) and Day Parole(DP), all part of a gradual release process to prepare prisoners for a structured, safe and supported release to the community. Mr. Collins was also advised by his Correctional Service of Canada(CSC) Case Management Team(CMT) that, upon receiving full parole, he would be removed from Canada and returned to the UK.
In 1992, Canada introduced the Corrections and Conditional Release Act(CCRA) and at this time Mr. Collins was again advised, by his CSC CMT to follow his correctional treatment plan and participate in upgrading, employment and to continue working toward his rehabilitation and eventual gradual release. In 2002, amendments were made to the CCRA which completely excluded deportable foreign national prisoners from being permitted to participate in the very conditional release opportunities (WR, UTA, and DP) which help to reduce risk and ensure more successful community reintegration of prisoners.
Mr. Collins was under the impression that he was still eligible to participate in conditional releases under the Canadian Interpretation Act (AI). It was not until the day before his 2008 parole hearing that he was advised, because of legislation changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act(IRPA) and the CCRA, that he was excluded from any community-based conditional release programs and therefore could not participate in the gradual, structured release program that CSC and National Parole Board(NPB) were demanding of him prior to his release.
I am very concerned that Canada’s legislation excludes Mr. Collins from participating in the very conditional release opportunities which CSC and the NPB are demanding of him. The NPB and CSC have a mandate to provide correctional and conditional release opportunities to those prisoners who can be reintegrated into Canadian society. Surely Canadian legislators did not intend for deportation orders to be used to perpetually hold foreign national prisoners while imposing discriminatory and exclusionary policy interpretations. This situation creates a ‘catch 22’ that prevents any realistic opportunity for a release on par with Canadian citizens.
Mr. Collins completed his correctional plan in 1998 and there are no other programs for him to participate in. He has been rated as a low risk for general or violent recidivism. His human rights work has earned him an award for his work in HIV/AIDS harm reduction. For these reasons, I am asking for his release and return to the UK at the earliest opportunity.