Building Community Instead of Separating Families : The New Abolition

Building Community Instead of Separating Families : The New Abolition

There are a lot more ways to reduce crime than there are to get rid of prisons, policing, immigration detention or Child Protection Services (CAS). And most of those ways involve community -building and supporting the family as a unit. Rather than tearing those down and putting in a system that is racist and a new(ish) form of slavery. The only ones who are profit(eer)ing from this system are businesses. Not the country, not it’s people and most certainly not those who are incarcerated. All that really happens to them is they get treated like an indentured servant for the duration of their sentence, and they better learn how to be a criminal. And they get bitter and angry.

So why not try something different? If greed is the only need that is met by the current system, why do we continue it?

  • For the poor, find social funds and programs to mitigate this and help them learn what it takes to at least cope in our society.
  • For the survivors of harm, find a way to access recovery services and heal their addictions (self-care).
  • For the victims of colonization, find ways to empower their lives and communities.
  • And since racism and bigotry are the base reason these systems exist, then refocus, retrain or disband them. Because in an enlightened world, this is just not acceptable, is it?

Because of the pandemic, now more than ever, we need to reduce any system that is a congregant setting. And each of these relies on just that. So we need to think about this hard and fast. BEFORE the second wave is officially here.

……. resources

Rxadvocacy- Interview with Elizabeth Fry
What is Elizabeth Fry? Began in 1969

…… Abolition Thoughts

We are not doing nearly enough to address the root causes of poverty, addiction, homelessness, and mental-health crises, abolitionists contend, and criminalizing poverty through harsh fines and debt regulation; criminalizing addiction through drug laws; criminalizing homelessness by conducting sweeps of people sleeping in parks; and criminalizing mental illness by turning prisons into de facto psychiatric hospitals is all treating the symptom instead of the disease. This is one of the key differences between reform and abolitionism: The former deals with pain management and the latter with the actual source of the pain.Abolitionists, therefore, share an idea—a vision—more than a structure: a future in which vital needs like housing, education, and health care, are met, allowing people to live safe and fulfilled lives—without the need for prisons.
According to abolitionists, many of the reasons people end up coming into contact with law enforcement can be solved through more humane means. Decriminalizing mental-health episodes, fighting homelessness, or decriminalizing drug use are three clear ways to keep people from getting pipelined towards prison. And for abolitionists, we don’t just stop at decriminalization: Adequately funding mental-health treatment, providing housing for those in need, and offering adequate rehabilitation services for people with substance dependence are all critical. As author Alex Vitale told me, “Housing-first initiatives for homeless people—that is police reform.”


While Aboriginal people make up about 4% of the Canadian population, as of February 2013, 23.2% of the federal inmate population is Aboriginal (First Nation, Métis or Inuit). There are approximately 3,400 Aboriginal offenders in federal penitentiaries, approximately 71% are First Nation, 24% Métis and 5% Inuit.

Since 2001, the federal Aboriginal inmate population has increased by 56 per cent.
• Aboriginal women represent 33 per cent of all women sent to federal institutions.
• 21 per cent of all Aboriginal offenders were 25 or younger.
• Aboriginal offenders make up almost half (47%) of the inmate population in the Prairies.

The Gladue factors include:

• Effects of the residential school system.
• Experience in the child welfare or adoption system.
• Effects of the dislocation and dispossession of Aboriginal peoples.
• Family or community history of suicide, substance abuse and/or victimization.
• Loss of, or struggle with, cultural/spiritual identity.
• Level or lack of formal education.
• Poverty and poor living conditions.
• Exposure to/membership in, Aboriginal street gangs


The National Household Survey 2011 data approximates that nearly half of the foster children under age 14 in Canada are Indigenous. The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada estimates that Indigenous children comprise 30-40 percent of kids in care.
Manitoba’s numbers also show disproportionate representation of Indigenous children in out-of-home care. Indigenous children make up about 26 percent of the provincial child population, yet in 2014, Manitoba Family Services reported that nearly 90 percent of 10,000 kids in care were either First Nation, Metis or Inuit. And a new report from MCHP demonstrates that over one out of every five First Nations children in Manitoba spends some time in care before their 15th birthday.


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