CJ presents: Jordan House (York University)

Fri. Dec. 15 01:55 PM - Fri. Dec. 15 02:55 PM
Contact: Dr. Kevin Walby 786-9105
Location: 3D01

Criminal Justice presents: “The Labour Politics of Prison: Austerity and Prisoner-Worker Resistance in Canada”

Although most commonly associated with the United States, prison labour is hardly a phenomenon exclusive to that country. In Canada, working prisoners have their own issues. As part of the Harper Government’s “Tough on Crime” agenda, working prisoners faced major wage cuts in the fall of 2013. In response, prison organizers in institutions across the country launched a national strike that affected correctional facilities from coast to coast. The strike serves as a case to observe the ways prisoners have organized around issues of work and labour in Canada. This talk will set out the key events and demonstrate (with testimony from participants) how prisoners organize to exert moral, political, and economic power. The reported experience of the strike demonstrates how correctional policy can be contested, not just politically, but also within correctional institutions themselves. Moreover, it serves as an illustration of the challenges faced by incarcerated people in their struggle to improve their living and working conditions.