prisoners rights

67 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Tom Wolf, John Wetzel

Cancel the new punitive PADOC policies, respect the rights of prisoners and their families

We are families and friends of incarcerated loved ones, professionals who work closely with people in PA prisons and concerned citizens who care about human rights. On September 5th Department of Corrections Secretary Wetzel and Governor Wolf announced new punitive protocols that will further punish, restrict and control people incarcerated in PA prisons. Governor Wolf and the Department of Corrections want to censor and restrict books, increase surveillance of prisoners mail, violate attorney-client privilege and institute cruel, restrictive visiting room policies which violate the American Disabilities Act. Join us in demanding that Governor Wolf and the PA Department of Corrections cancel these policies immediately and respect the rights of incarcerated people, their families and the people who work with them.  We demand that we be able to order our incarcerated loved ones, friends and clients books from (formerly) approved vendors and that they be able to hold them in their hands. The Pennsylvania DOC's move to E-books and a central marketplace that they control is censorship and a monopoly and we fully reject it.  We demand that our loved ones be able to touch letters that our hands touch too. We reject that our mail should be sent to a private company in Florida, Smart Communication, at taxpayer expense where it will be copied, the originals destroyed and the copies sent on. Furthermore during this process our mail will be scanned into a searchable database to increase already pervasive mailroom surveillance on our communication. If mailroom staff needs to be increased to search for contraband the DOC should do just that. The contract with prison profiteer Smart Communications should be immediately cancelled.  We demand that legal mail not be photocopied. In another protocol confidential legal mail will be opened and photocopied and the photocopies will be passed on to the incarcerated person. This is violation of attorney-client privilege and it will expose legal mail to be read in part if not in whole. It cannot stand.  We demand that vending machines and photos be restored on visits immediately. A new protocol states that vending machines and photos will be restricted for 90 days at which point new policies around these activities will be unveiled. This is unacceptable. People travel far to visit with their incarcerated family members and they deserve some basic decency. They ought to be able to share food and memorialize their time together through taking photos. Furthermore there are many people who are diabetic or have other conditions and cannot spend an 8 hour visit without eating anything. Not only is the the restriction on vending machines cruel it is also a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  We demand that official visitors should not have to wear plastic gloves on visits. A new policy requires that lawyers, paralegals, official visitors from the prison society and others be required to wear plastic gloves on visits. Our people in prison are not contaminated or diseased or otherwise toxic and they should not be treated like quarantined and subhuman specimens. It's notable that they make only professionals wear gloves. They know very well that this policy serves no public health purpose and it is clearly meant to denigrate prisoners and their families.  We demand respect. For too long elected officials have believed they can increase their political capital and their career prospects by punishing us, our incarcerated family members and our clients. Enough is enough. We pledge that we will never stop fighting until we are heard.  

Amistad Law Project
3,291 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau

Improve Health Care in Prisons!

Prisoners in Canada are suffering and dying due to inadequate health care.  Many prisoners report long waits (up to years) for medical attention, misdiagnoses, poor pain management, a lack of mental health support, as well as difficult living conditions including sweltering heat in the summer,  cold in the winter, poor quality food, disturbing noise levels, restrictive communication with families and more. On several occasions, the Correctional Investigator (CI) has raised serious questions about the quality of health care and diagnostic processes in federal prisons without any adequate changes from Correctional Services Canada (CSC). The release of healthy individuals from prisons is important to public health. Prison health is public health! Although this petition focuses on the federal prison system in Canada, the substance of these recommendations should also be implemented within prisons under provincial and territorial jurisdiction as well as in all prisons worldwide, in which prisoners can regularly experience poor health care. This petition calls on the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau to mandate the Hon. Ralph Goodale, the Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, and the Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould to work together to ensure those in Canadian prisons have full access to health care that meets the requirements of the World Health Organization’s Prison Health Policy guidelines, the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the UN’s Bangkok Rules. This includes decent and compassionate health care of prisoners with respect to their dignity and human rights (note 1). Specifically, we call on the federal government to: 1.  Ensure that all prisoners have access to: o   full yearly physical and dental examinations based on a standard protocol for all prisoners in Canadian correctional institutions; o   prompt professional medical appointments leading to swift diagnoses and treatment of potentially serious conditions, such as cancer; o   prompt professional medical appointments, treatment, and support, which must include eye care, dental care, mental health care, and medical care for chronic and episodic conditions such as HIV and AIDS, hepatitis C virus (HCV), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and others; o   palliative care and simple, swift compassionate release when terminally ill; o   culturally specific and holistic treatment in support of the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023; 2.  Ensure conditions that protect and enhance health by not violating protections against cruel and unusual punishment under the Charter or international human rights law. This would, in effect, reduce the number of prisoners in each prison (note 2). 3.  Transfer responsibility for the health of prisoners to community health care services away from correctional authorities.  This is important because the prison system does not meet  acceptable standards of care because of a lack of health resources and conflicts between healthcare and security protocols; 4.  Fund community health care services to be able to provide health care services to prisoners and fund the training of community health care personnel in the provision of health care in the prison context, including the legal obligation to ensure equivalent quality health care for prisoners; 5.  Support the rotation of health care personnel between working with prisoners and working with the public outside prisons; 6.  Ratify Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, and implement its mechanisms for monitoring places of detention; 7.  Establish panels of independent specialist physicians and nurses to carry out mortality reviews on prisoners who die while in the custody or control of Correctional Services Canada; 8.  Be accountable for implementing recommendations made by the Office of the Correctional Investigator, including by mandating publicly provided detailed rationale in the event any recommendations are not implemented within given time frames. This petition has been launched by the families of David Huxtable and Peter Collins. Both suffered extreme pain and died of cancer following a lack of adequate medical care and medical attention by Correctional Services Canada. This petition is raised in the names of all prisoners who have suffered and died under inadequate health care in all prisons everywhere. Thank you for signing and circulating this petition both within and outside of Canada. Please go to the facebook page if you would like to connect more with us:‐Health‐Care‐in‐Canadian‐Prisons‐Petition‐165516223988583/ The recommendations listed in this petition are endorsed by:The John Howard Society of Canada: The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies:         Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network: St. Leonard's Society of Canada A New Vision:                    PASAN: Prison Lives USA: International CURE: The West Coast Prison Justice Society: South Riverdale Community Health Centre Professor Terri Leclercq: Prison Justice Film Festival: St. Leonard's Society of North Vancouver of Prisoners on Prisons Criminalization and Punishment Education Project Across WallsRestoring Dignity and Hope  Note 1:  Particularly via the use of ss. 29, 81, 84, 85, 86 and 87 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, accompanied by adequate funding as required. Note 2:  By the use of ss. 29, 81, 84, 85, 86 and 87 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, accompanied by funding as required. References UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners including clear health guidelines latest revision 17 December 2015 (The Nelson Mandela Rules): The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023: Corrections and Conditional Release Act: UN Bangkok Rules:  “Providing Better Health Services in Prisons can Help Improve Lives”: WHO Guide to the essentials in prison health: Article in Canadian Medical Association Journal: (This is still the case.) by Peter Collins about David B. (not the David mentioned in this petition) who died of cancer while in prison before Peter himself was diagnosed with cancer: Open letter to Justin Trudeau from prisoners demanding changes, including in health care: Articles giving details of the lack of care given to Peter Collins: “Report gives diagnosis of poor health in Canadian Prisons.”: 2014-2015 Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator, including a large section on health care: 2015/2016 Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator, including a section on health care: “An Investigation of the Correctional Service of Canada’s Mortality Review Process”: In the Dark: An Investigation of Death in Custody Information Sharing and Disclosure Practices in Federal Corrections - Final Report. August 2, 2016: The College of Family Physicians in Canada – Prison Health Program Committee- resource:

Dale Huxtable
5,469 supporters