The Prison Letters
Updated: Jun 16
In 2017, just as the #MeToo movement was erupting across the western world, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spontaneously and without forethought gave the nod to males who call themselves women being admitted to Canada's federal women's prisons. The #MeToo movement revealed that women are being subjected too often to criminal acts of sexual assault in the workplace, but the range of complaints was far wider - women are routinely subjected to petty violations of dignity, common humiliations that society more or less condones. These humiliations are soul destroying. They cause people to lose a sense of their own worth in their own eyes. We can live with many deprivations, but we cannot do without a belief in our own basic worthiness.
As a result of Trudeau's decision, imprisoned women are now victimized - in all the ways reported by women in their workplaces - by their fellow inmates, sanctioned by Correctional Services Canada (CSC). If they complain, they are subject to official punishments. There are six federal women's prisons, holding an estimated 800 inmates. Currently there are 10 - 15 males spread across those facilities. What follows are letters smuggled out of the prisons by women's advocates. The names and locations of the letter-writers cannot be revealed. Who will believe these women?
See all the Prison Letters on our Infographics page.