Jail Conditions

I have been reading some news articles about the jail conditions during the G20 summit in June 2010.

I know that the issue with the G20 police efforts is/was that it is/was too much. More recently, TO Police Chief Bill Blair said that the police were “overwhelmed” and “not properly trained.” To read the TO Star news article, click HERE.

I also know that some of the people complained that they were arrested because they were just “there.” Wrong place. Wrong time. When I first watched it on television, I could see some peaceful protests going on and remember saying to my friends, “I wish I was there.” Not to be there but to support my friends who I knew were there that were peaceful protesters. I don’t wish that anymore.

Among those people that were arrested, they said that the jail conditions were horrible. Jail isn’t supposed to be a 4-star hotel stay. Or even a 1-star hotel stay.

From the various articles that I have read, I can remember reading that girls had to go to the bathroom in front of male officers. Male/females stripped searched. Physically abused. No food. No water. For hours at a time. No lawyer. No phone call.

Sorry, but it’s jail. Jail cells don’t have a separate room for a bathroom with a door. Jail cells don’t have down filled duvets waiting for you to be wrapped in. Oh and if you are just being held for a certain period of time (usually less than 12 hours), food doesn’t have to be provided for. Just a light snack. A glass of water. Isn’t it that a person can survive 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food… Just a rule of thumb.

Judging how the police reacted during the G20. That’s all they reacted on. A rule of thumb.

But this post isn’t about jail conditions during G20. Where some people were held for a little as a few hours. To maybe a few days.

This post is about the fact that incarcerated Aboriginals face more dire jail conditions than what those people would have experienced. At alarming rates.

I found this article, again searching for something completely unrelated to G20, titled Jail Conditions For Canadian Aboriginals a “Disgrace”: Ombudsman. I like how at the end of the article it says,

“If this was the case for non-aboriginal people, I’m almost certain that Canadians would react and demand that something be done,” said Beverly Jacobs.

If the people who are fighting for their “Jail Rights” during the G20, then they should fight against the conditions that not just Aboriginal but also non-Aboriginal incarcerated people face every day in jail. Like, lack of bedding. Or no doors on their bathroom stalls.

Ps. My vent for the day. And, end scene ;)

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