Periodical profile published 1983

Year Published:  1983
Resource Type:  Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number:  CX2877

ODESSEY is a newsletter produced by inmates of Millhaven Penitentiary. The purpose of the newsletter is "to bring to the attention of the public of what we, the members of the Odyssey Group and other contributing aruthors believe to be gross injustices prepetrated by the Canadian Correctional Services, Canada's Justice System, and other services related to the correctional field." The ODYSSEY group is "a group of long term prisoners who feel that prisons and the justice system in Canada can and must be changed through non-violent means."

Recent articles deal with such topics as arbitrary transfer of prisoners; demeaning body searches of prisoners and family members coming to visit them; and compulsory trust funds for priosners' money to which they are denied access even to pay lawyers' fees to launch an apepal. One writer describes the difficulty of sending mail out because of the cost of stamps and stationary. He suggests he be given either the free mailing privileges or the recent pay hikes of Members of Parliament, a reasonable solution in his mind because "The way I figure it, members of parliament and myself have a lot in common. We're both wards of the State and neither of us ever accomplish anything."

One lengthy article is from a Native prisoner, Standing Deer, who views himself as a prisoner of war. He writes that "In jail, your peoplehood is expressed in any ways, the most important of which is the obligation to demand of your keepers that you - as well as your brothers and sisters - be treated as human beings. Each time you acquiesce to inhumane treatment - either to yourself or to a brother or sister - you have traded part of your peoplehood for policemanhood. If you co-operate enough times lby refusing a demand the respect and human dignity due you as a human being, you will wake up some morning and find that you have become part policeman.

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