The Circles of Support and Accountability model matches released high-risk sex offenders with three to five volunteers who generally meet weekly to offer support, friendship and no-nonsense accountability. Two per cent of CoSA participants sexually reoffended over the three years following release from prison, compared to 28 percent among similar populations not enrolled in the program.
I volunteer at a federal prison for men. Last week, instead of the usual circle with a facilitator, it was a "social." Some of the treats on offer had been bought at the prison shop, but inmates also brought desserts they had made. Naturally, conversation turned to the delectables on offer, especially the ones baked by the inmates. Most of the inmates refrained from indulging.
August 10 is International Prisoner's Justice Day, which began in Canada 37 years ago. In 1974 a Canadian man, Edward Nalon, died in the segregation unit of an Ontario prison, resulting in a day of mourning for prisoners across the country. This is an important day to consider how we treat people behind bars, and to remember the goals of incarceration. It is also a day for us to ask many questions about our prison system as a whole, and to assess how some of the recent actions of the Canadian government may affect these conditions
Leonard Peltier, now 68, has been in prison for 35 years. Since 1977, petitions and pleas on his behalf have been ignored; appeals by the Arhbshiop of Canterbury, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, 55 U.S. Congressmen, and Canadian Parliamentarians, and members of the European Parliament Union. But the FBI is adamant that he killed two of their agents.