Our Letter to the Office of the Correctional Investigator

Please use any part of this letter for your own use.

December 12, 2020

 

Dr. Ivan Zinger

Office of the Correctional Investigator 

P.O. Box 3421, Station "D"

Ottawa ON 

K1P 6L4

 

Dear Mr. Zinger, 

 

Re: Issues Affecting the Safety of Federally Sentenced Women

 

We would like to make a complaint on behalf of all federally sentenced women in Canada.

 

We have seen documentation that shows that there have been numerous allegations of sexual assaults by trans-identifying males in women’s prisons since the implementation of Interim Policy Bulletin 584 in 2017.  We know the sexual assault of women in prison by trans identifying males has been a concern in other countries.  This is not a new or uncommon problem.

 

Many women in Canadian prisons are survivors of sexual assault, and many of them aboriginal women.  The idea that they are being imprisoned with men, especially those known to be predators of women, seems like a form of torture. Women who have been caught in the justice system surely deserve safety and adherence to their human rights during their periods of incarceration.

 

We request a national external review of the policies and practices allowing trans-identified male prisoners – who are often violent offenders -- to serve their sentences in women’s prisons.  

 

We request a moratorium on all transfers from men’s prisons to women’s prisons until it can be confirmed – if it can be – that female prisoners are not at increased risk.

 

One of our members already wrote a letter to Deputy Commissioner Connidis but received only a formulaic response from her office. We are applying to you for justice for Canadian women prisoners.

 

Attached are a number or links to references to help elaborate on our concerns.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Respectfully,

Women’s Space Vancouver

 

CC:

Shawn Bayes, CEO - Shawn.Bayes@elizabethfry.com 

Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety - Bill.Blair@parl.gc.ca

Honorable Jack Harris - Jack.Harris@parl.gc.ca

Honorable Shannon Stubbs - Shannon.Stubbs@parl.gc.ca

Honorable Erin O’Toole - Erin.OToole@parl.gc.ca

Honorable Jagmeet Singh - Jagmeet.Singh@parl.gc.ca

Honorable Don Davies -  don.davies@parl.gc.ca

Honorable Justin Trudeau - justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

 

References: 

 

Michael Williams convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in relation to the 2005 murder and rape of 13 year old indigenous girl in Edmonton AB. As of January 2020 he is in segregation at Kent awaiting transfer to FVI (Fraser Valley Institute women’s prison) 33344 King Rd, Abbotsford, BC V2S 6J5.

 

Matthew (Madylin Rebecca) Harks (multiple convictions, including three convictions of sexual assault against girls under eight years of age). Imprisoned at Grand Valley Institution for Women (GVI) 1575 Homer Watson Blvd, Kitchener, ON N2P 2C5, Canada

Patrick (Tara) Pearsall (17 counts of sexual assault and 17 counts of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability, also been charged with failure to comply with probation) imprisoned at Vanier Centre for Women, 655 Martin St., Box 1040, Milton, ON L9T 5E6.

 

Jean Paul (Fallon) Aubee (charged with first degree murder) imprisoned at Fraser Valley Institute women’s prison, 33344 King Rd, Abbotsford, BC V2S 6J5.

 

Adam Laboucan (Tara Desousa) (Dangerous offender, dangerous sexual offender, murdered (drowned) and raped a baby, confessed to murdering a three-year old child) imprisoned at Fraser Valley Institute women’s prison, 33344 King Rd, Abbotsford, BC V2S 6J5.

 

John (Jamie) Boulachanis (First degree murder). January 2020, requesting transfer to either Joliette Institution for Women 400 Rue Marsolais, Joliette, QC J6E 8V4 or Grand Valley Institution for Women (GVI) 1575 Homer Watson Blvd, Kitchener, ON N2P 2C5, Canada