Event raises human rights concerns in provincial jails
Published Sunday, August 25, 2019 4:41PM EDT
Advocates for change in corrections continue to push their message.
Former inmate Heather Mason knows first-hand the conditions of provincial jails.
She recalls the overcrowding in Sarnia during her time there in 2015 and 2016. They had just four cells for women.
"At one point there was 13 of us in there," says Mason. "We had people sleeping in our laundry room and they aren't allowed to do that, but there is no cameras so no one knows any different."
Mason served weekends possession of drugs and replica firearms. She told her story at the Hip Hop for Human Rights event in downtown London Saturday.
The event was organized by Jessica Robinson, who lost her sister Laura Straughan at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) 10 years ago.
"I'm passionate about this because my sister spent five days in there and left dead," says Robinson. "It's preventable and it's unacceptable and we're trying to find solutions so it doesn't happen again."
Robinson has also been advocating and petitioning the government for 911 emergency medical access buttons in jail cells.