Books Beyond Bars would like to voice our solidarity with the prisoners who are currently on strike at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside. We have sent the following letter to Justice Minister Furey, and encourage you to write to him as well.
Dear Mr. Furey,
We, the members of Books Beyond Bars in Halifax, Nova Scotia, are writing to express our solidarity with prisoners at Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside who are peacefully protesting their unjust treatment.
We work with incarcerated people directly through our programming. We want to echo their demands for better health care, rehabilitation programs, exercise equipment, contact visits, personal clothing and shoes, nutritious food, improved air circulation, healthy items at the canteen, no limits to visits and access to the library. These services and resources are essential and urgent to the well-being of people in the carceral system.
In particular, through our work distributing books and journals in the women’s section of the Burnside prison, our members see first-hand how vital access to literature is to incarcerated people.
We also run a Read-Aloud program, which helps incarcerated mothers connect with their children through recorded stories. As important as this service is to our participants, we know that it is no substitute for contact visits. Denying contact visits is harmful not only to parents, but to their children, which has a ripple effect that harms entire communities.
We call on you to do everything in your power to address these conditions.
The members of Books Beyond Bars