In support of prisoners and prison justice activism in Canada

Joint Effort

Stark Raven Media Collective

Prisoners' Justice Day Committee

Books To Prisoners

Vancouver Community Net




Stark Raven Radio: A Closer Look at Prisons & the Psychiatric Survivor Movement

First Monday of each month, 7-8pm.
In Vancouver at 100.5FM, and online: www.coopradio.org
Find out more about Stark Raven, including how to hear past shows and our podcasts.

Event: Education Behind Bars Panel
Wednesday October 1 2014 6:00PM-8:00PM.
SFU Surrey Campus 250-13450 102 Ave, Room SUR2740. Surrey, BC. FREE. Wheelchair and scooter accessible.
Education is regarded as the single most effective prevention against re-offending, providing people in prison with improved self-esteem, communication skills, & greater employability prospects upon release. This interactive panel discussion will explore some of the ways people are working to create access to education behind bars. Featuring Shoshana Pollack (Coordinator of National Inside-Out Program training, Wilfred Laurier), Kim Williams (UFV), and Liz Fulton Lyne (Greater Edmonton Library Association). A partnership event with the SFU Women’s Centre & SFPIRG’s Letters for the Inside Program.
More info: Facebook Event Listing

Watch the 2014 Vancouver Prison Justice Day Rally
Prison Justice Day is a day to remember all those who have died in prison. Find out more about the history of PJD.
View video online of the speakers from the 2014 PJD Rally in Vancouver.
Watch highlights on Shaw Cable 4 (in the Lower Mainland, BC) on Working TV the week of Sept 22- 28th (and possibly the following week): Sat 1am, 8am, 3:30pm; Sun midnight; Mon 3:30am; Tue 3am; Wed 7:30am; Thu 8:30pm.

International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA)
held on Algonquin Territory in Ottawa at the University of Ottawa, June 2014.
More info: www.actionicopa.org

Making prison mother baby units work in Canada
Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education supports the rights of an infant to stay with their mother in prison. Check out their website and find out more about the reinstatement of the Mother and Baby Program in BC Prisons

Library program for women at Edmonton Institution for Women
Greater Edmonton Library Association (GELA) Women's Prison and Reintegration Committee runs book clubs and book exchanges for prisoners at the Edmonton Institution for Women (EIFW) through Edmonton Public Library.

Prisoner's Strike In Winnipeg seeks your support and donation
October 2013
Federal prisoners in Manitoba walked off their jobs in early October joining their counterparts across the country. They have been refusing to work or report to program assignments, coming out of their cells only to shower every other day. Prisoners Strike Support Network in Winnipeg, Manitoba has started a strike fund for the prisoners at Stony Mountain (Federal Prison) to encourage those on the inside and to send them funds to cover essential expenses while they are away from work.
Find more info and donate at: indeigogo.com

Support immigration detainees on hunger strike for better conditions
Lindsay, Ontario, October 2013
More info: endimmigrationdetention.wordpress.com

Prison Letters
Ottawa-based collective of academics and students with a mandate to promote prisoners’ and former prisoners’ access to information and resources and act as a voice in the community for prisoners. More info on our Prisoner Resource page.

Support the Claire Culhane In Memory Fund
Claire Culhane was a passionate prison abolitionist who worked tirelessly in support of prisoners.
After she died in 1996, ex-prisoners, friends and family set up a commemorative bench for her at John Hendry Park (Trout Lake) in East Vancouver.
In order to support the maintenance of the bench the In Memory Fund is seeking donations.
Donations can be made with the Vancouver Park Board [contact: 604-257-8513, donations (at)vancouver.ca]:
**online at donate.vancouver.ca (Please use the "Dedicate a Park Amenity" donation form and choose the "Claire Culhane In Memory Fund" designation)
**by cheque payable to "Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation" c/o Claire Culhane In Memory Fund 2099 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC. V6G 1Z4.

The Penal Press -- A History of Prison from Within
New website archiving the history of prisoner publications in Canada, with an open-access archive. penalpress.com

Prison Justice Day Pins
*Support Prisoner Solidarity work by purchasing a pin. More info

FEATURES other recent additions and areas of interest

Literature you can download! Updated Aug 2011
Find 11 leaflets that you can download on our virtual table, on topics ranging from FASD to Alternatives to incarceration to Transgender prisoners in Canada. Includes a new bilingual (French/English) PJD leaflet.

Recent Stark Raven Interviews
Download & listen on your computer and MP3 player

Listen to the program.
Highlights from the 2014 Vancouver Prison Justice Day Memorial Rally.

Listen to the program.
-Highlights from the 2013 Prison Justice Day Rally.
-Discussion on the Canadian Prison Guard's Union "anything but conservative" stance.

Listen to the program.
-Joel Bitar, activist from New York was extradited to Canada to face charges related to the 2010 G20 protests. We hear from him from jail, where he is serving a 20 month sentence.
-Marty Fink, from the Prisoner Correspondence Project, talks about the queer prisoner pen pal project and supporting queer and trans prisoners. Link to the full interview.
-Mad Pride: Highlights from 2001 Rally in Vancouver and upcoming 2014 events.

Audio coming soon.
-Poetry in prison: hear the documentary.
-Interview with Peter Lehmann from Berlin, publisher of books on alternatives to mainstream psychiatry.

Listen to the program.
Leah Harris longtime psychiatric survivor activist, filmmaker, performance poet and technical director of Madness Radio.

Mon April 7th, 2014. 7-8 pm PAROLE: THEN AND NOW
Listen to the program.
-Prison Justice: We speak to a lifer who has been out for more than 40 years and has spent much of that time supporting prisoners as they leave prison. He shares his experiences and perspectives on the parole system in Canada from its origins in the 1950's until now.
-Deconstructing Psychiatry: Two poems by Leah Harris.

Mon March 3, 2014. 7-8 pm DECONSTRUCTING PSYCHIATRY: Hearing Voices Network
Listen to the program.
Ron Coleman is an voice hearer educator and advocate - spreading The Hearing Voices Network message - he supports people in learning how to live well with their experiences.

Listen to the program.
-Greater Edmonton Library Association (GELA) Women's Prison and Reintegration Committee runs book clubs and book exchanges for prisoners at the Edmonton Institution for Women (EIFW). We will speak with them about library services for prisoners.
-Karen Taylor, educator and advocate for The Hearing Voices Network, speaks about Croft House, Voice Hearers and Recovery.

Listen to the program.
We speak with Maria D’Auria, clinical counselor and mental health advocate to explore the rise and limits of the medical model of “mental illness”. How might extreme states of consciousness and/or trauma construct possibilities for other ways of relating around “mental illness”?. Show also includes prisoner commentary on computers on the inside.

Mon Dec 2nd, 2013
Listen to the program.
A new documentary film The Inmates are Running the Asylum documents the grassroots history and radical self-run model of the Vancouver-based MPA (Mental Patients Association). We also speak with the producer of the film and two former MPA members who were part of the organization in the early days.

Mon Nov 2nd, 2013. Mental Health Reform || Prisoner Strikes
Listen to the program.
Community mental health advocate and activist Ron Carten on mental health reform and representation agreements. Prisoner strike update and support work from Winnipeg.

Mon Oct 7th, 2013. Prisoner Strikes
Listen to the program.
A prisoner in Ontario speaks about the prisoner work stoppage against the 30% pay cut in the "Offender Accountability Initiative". Another prisoner shares his perspective on the hunger strike in an Ontario prison protesting conditions for immigration detainees. With live musical guest, Jude, on her ukelele.

Mon Sept 2nd, 2013
Listen to the program.
Highlights from Vancouver's Prison Justice Day rally.

Mon Aug 5th, 2013
Listen to the program.
Prison Justice Day Special: Mother's supporting their children who are incarcerated. A conversation with Deborah Hawley from MORE for change (Mothers Of Offenders & Others Rallying & Educating For Change). And two prisoner's perspectives on this Prison Justice Day.

Mon July 1st, 2013. Prison Justice: The challenges faced when getting out of prison
Listen to the program
Mark tells his story about the challenges facing people leaving prison and the value he sees in restorative justice approaches. Writing from prisoners.

Mon June 3rd, 2013. Writing from Prisoners. Andrew Feldmar on alternative therapies.
Listen to the program.
PRISON JUSTICE: Voices From the Inside, writing from prisoners
DECONSTRUCTING PSYCHIATRY: Andrew Feldmar, psychotherapist in independent practice in Vancouver; schooled by R.D. Laing and the Philadelphia Association, critiques traditional psychiatric interventions and offers acute perspectives to alternative therapies in practice.

Mon May 6th, 2013. Hearing Voices Network.
Listen to the program.
DECONSTRUCTING PSYCHIATRY: Aural hallucinations are pathologized as positive symptoms of schizophrenia, a growing movement called the Hearing Voices Network advocates that 'voice hearers' listen and negotiate with their voices; educator and activist Ron Coleman is a voice hearer from the U.K. we will hear his recent presentation at SFU of personal account of the movement.

Mon April 1st, 2013. Prison Radio. Ashley Smith Inquest.
Listen to the program.
PRISON JUSTICE: Dee, from Prison Radio on CKUT, joins us to talk about community radio and prisoner support. Human Rights activist, artist and prisoner P. Collins' latest commentary: on Ashley Smith and the inquest into her death.

Mon March 4th, 2013 Mumia Abu Jamal. Community-based alternatives to psychiatry.
Listen to the program.
PRISON JUSTICE: Focus on US Political Prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu Jamal including a new film, Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey With Mumia Abu-Jamal and his thoughts on lawyer, now political prisoner, Lynne Stewart.
DECONSTRUCTING PSYCHIATRY: Loren Mosher, an American psychiatrist developed an experimental community based project based in phenomenological principles. More on how the Soteria House philosophy operated as an alternative in contrast to the bio medical model.

Mon Feb 4th, 2013
Listen to the program.
DECONSTRUCTING PSYCHIATRY: Sylvester Kontontoka, founder and president of the Mental Health Users Network of Zambia, presents the issues that confront individuals caught in the psychiatric system in Zambia.
PRISON JUSTICE: The challenge getting books and magazines in jail. A G20 political prisoner tells his story.

Mon Jan 7th, 2013 Writing from prisoners. Psycho-spiritual inquiry into our dark sides.
Listen to the program.
PRISON JUSTICE: Voices From the Inside, writing from prisoners
DECONSTRUCTING PSYCHIATRY: Poet, author and activist Vanessa Fisher on her psycho spiritual inquiry of the role of the dark side in her life.

Link to Archived Stark Raven Podcasts (back to Aug 2006)