Prisoner Rights Resources Canada


Open Door Books to Prisoners Montreal

Books Beyond Bars-Halifax

Books Beyond Bars is a local initiative that goes into the women's section of the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside twice monthly to improve access to books, writing, and literature for incarcerated women. Books Beyond Bars operates with the belief that the prison system is fundamentally flawed. Sending women to prison does not support people in dealing with the issues that led to their incarceration: poverty, abuse, anger, addiction, etc.

Letters for the Inside
SFPIRG - they take requests from prisoners for information prisoners don't have access to in order to carry out various research and education initiatives as well as to keep informed and up to date.

Prisoner Correspondence Project.
The Prisoner Correspondence Project is based in Quebec and coordinates a direct-correspondence program for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer inmates in Canada and the United States, linking these inmates with people a part of these same communities outside of prison for friendship and support.


PASAN - Prisoner HIV/AIDS Support Action Network
PASAN is a community-based network of prisoners, ex-prisoners, organizations, activists and individuals working together to provide advocacy, education, and support to prisoners on HIV/AIDS, HCV and related issues.  PASAN also serves all Trans identified prisoners regardless of their health status.

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Advocate for prisoner and drugs policy grounded in human rights - often from a perspective of treating and preventing HIV/AIDS and HCV amongst prisoners and drug users

Canadian's Against the Death Penalty
Interesting grassroots work out of Canada which focuses mainly on USA death row, but also in assuring the death penalty doesn't return to Canada.

Citizens Against Private Prisons
Opposition to private prisons in Canada.  Formed in response to the privatization experiment of Central North Correctional Centre - otherwise known as Penetang.

 Prisoner Correspondence Project
The Prisoner Correspondence Project is a collectively-run initiative based out of Montreal, Quebec. It coordinates a direct-correspondence program for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer inmates in Canada and the United States, linking these inmates with people a part of these same communities outside of prison.
We are always looking for new non-incarcerated folks to become penpals! If you are interested, check out the get involved section of the website and then get in touch.

The Abolitionist
This newsletter is by Critical Resistance in the US.

Cell Count
By PASAN out of Toronto, ON.

Prison TV
A show which aired out of Kingston, ON in the mid 90's.  It was broadcast from Joyceville Pen.

Injustice Busters
North American (with many Canadian) stories of wrongful convictions.

Penal Press
This site provides an archive of newsletters produced from prison by Canadian prisoners. 
"The penal press is a primary source of prison history from within.  Written and produced by prisoners, it provides insight into how convicts viewed the penal justice apparatus, its policies and its practices."


CKUT Montreal Prison Radio 
Database was a bit complex to search.  However if able to listen in live - amazing programming

Stark Raven Media Collective at COOP Radio 
Out of Vancouver - Monthly programming currently, but great easy access archives 

Community Prison Radio - Kingston, ON
Weekly radio show.  Check out below link for archives or
 airing each Wednesday from 7-8pm ET on CFRC 101.9fm
in the Kingston area and worldwide at
CFRC's fm signal reaches KP, Collins Bay/Frontenac, Pittsburgh/Joyceville, 
Bath/Millhaven and beyond.  On the last Wednesday of each month, CPR features 
"Calls from Home,"  sharing letters, emails, voice messages and music requests 
by and for prisoners and their loved ones.
Info and Links to all Shows Listed Here 
At Prison Justice out of BC.
Rabble Stark Raven - MP3 Downlods 
Rabble Podcast Main Page
Check out links to human rights based radio and podcasts
which often talk about prisoner issues.
The F Word, Pivot Legal Society, No One is Illegal, and others 

Association In Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted
AIDWYC is a non-profit organization that has developed a strong reputation as an advocate for individuals who have been wrongly convicted.   AIDWYC's primary mandate is to review and support claims of innocence in homicide cases.


Circles of Support and Accountability
Mennonite Central Committee out of Manitoba.  They are involved in developing and providing several restorative justice programs.

Canadian Families and Corrections Network
I'm not sure who is behind this organization.  It seems some of those involved are connected to Christian groups and Correctional Service Canada.  There are a number of print resources for family members including children of those imprisoned.  They seem to be middle of the political spectrum.


Just Blog - A Rittenhouse Production
A blog by the staff at Rittenhouse.  Rittenhouse is a prisoner rights organization with a mandate to provide education on the criminal legal system.

Prison Justice
One of the more radical sites providing resources for prisoners and their allies in BC and Canada. Some things are a bit outdated but provides some good historical information on prisoner rights struggle and prisoner justice day.

Tracking the Politics of Crime and Punishment in Canada
Justin Piche - Professor at University of Ottawa.  A wealth of well researched information on the prison industrial complex in Canada and the US.


 Canadian Prison Law 
As the name denotes, this may be a good jumping off point if looking for the specific statutes that apply to prisoners

Prisoner Rights Resources USA


Californians United for Responsible Budget (CURB)
This organization looks at curbing prison expansion through public appeals to citizens regarding responsible spending - creative approach!

Critical Resistance
Describe themselves as "a national grassroots organization committed to ending societys use of prisons and policing as an answer to social problems.
California Prison Moratorium Project
Well thought out articles and explanations on prison expansion.


A New Way of Life 
 A New Way of Life’s Founder and Director, Susan Burton, is herself a formerly incarcerated woman who understands the challenges people face leaving prison.
After more than 20 years cycling in and out of the criminal justice system, unable to find work, housing, or drug treatment, Susan finally gained freedom and sobriety in 1997 and made it her life’s work to help other women walking in her shoes.
She began by meeting women released from prison as they stepped off the prison bus, welcoming them into her home, and urging them to stay as long as necessary to put their lives back together.
NOTE:  This kind of initiative - where we involve ourselves on a personal level is actively discouraged in the social work professions especially.  When we go for coffee with those we support or invite them into our homes we are called unprofessional and accused of not being able to maintain appropriate boundaries.  People like Susan are brave and hopefully lead the way for others.

Really interesting look at alternative considerations to the use of prisons from a 1970's standpoint when in the US it was still illegal to be gay and alternatives such as restorative justice were not yet in fashion.

Prisoner Health
Healthcare services provided to prisoners in Rhode Island, USA.  This org. began in mid -80's providing healthcare to two HIV positive prisoners who were being segregated and forced to wear jump suits with bio hazard stickers on them.  Lots of resources on prisoner healthcare, HIV in prison, substance treatment in prison.

Prisoner Rights Resources Intl

Howard League for Penal Reform
A barely left UK organization.  Though they are not particularly radical they have produced some really good programs for reform and offer links to many community based alternatives to imprisonment.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC
Though the UN has some problematic stances on these issues there are very progressive members sitting on committees.  As such there are a number of really good resources for prison reform.
(Plus its not a bad idea to find out which conventions Canada has ratified and seek out spaces to embarrass the government - if that is at all possible with this government!!!)

Drug Policy/Ideology Canada

Author of Vancouver’s groundbreaking Four Pillars Drug Strategy 
and advocate for sensible drugs policy grounded in human rights

Canadian Foundation on Drug Policy

Policy experts independent from government discuss and disseminate info on drug policy in Canada.
Cannabis Facts 
 Frank's web site discusses drug policy of all kinds in Canada.

Vancouver 4 Pillars Drug Strategy

Toronto Drug Strategy

Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy
National org. with main office in Ottawa - Lobby and Education group

NDP Against the Drug War


BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors
BC/ Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors

Unified Network of Drug Users Nationally
Canadian Nationalized Org.


Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution Program
OHRDP provides harm reduction materials for people and organizations working for those who use injection drugs including cookers, alcohol swabs, tourniquets, acidifier, sterile water and filters. 

Canadian Women's Health as Related to Addiction and Trauma                                                                                             

Drug Policy/Ideology USA

Stop The Drug War
US newsletter on all things drug war from around the world