This second installation in the CPR Zine Series contains a transcript of an interview we did in February 2018 with Jarrod Shook. We discussed prison labour, resistance to prison pay cuts inside, the four-year lawsuit, and next steps in the struggle for better wages and dignity for prisoner workers.
Tonight we bring you an interview with Jarrod Shook about the latest Federal Court ruling on prison wages.
In 2013, the Conservative Government introduced a 30% pay cut to wages for work done by prisoners and called it a “food and accommodation tax” as well as eliminating incentive pay work done at CORCAN facilities, a government agency that contracts out prison labour to both the public and private sector. Prisoners are forced to purchase items such as stamps and personal hygiene products through government designated suppliers, and wages had already decreased sevenfold in actual purchasing power, as they hadn’t been increased since being established in the 1980s.
After exhausting internal grievance procedures, prisoners at Collins Bay Institution launched a work strike, which spread to federal prisons across Canada. Since 2014, several prisoners were fighting a lawsuit against the Government of Canada challenging the constitutionality of the pay cuts. At the end of January, a Federal Court in Ottawa threw out the case, ruling that prison labour falls under ‘programming’ and that prisoners are not in an employer-employee relationship with the Correctional Service of Canada.
I spoke with Jarrod Shook, an ex-prisoner who was a regular contributor to CPR while incarcerated at Collins Bay. He was a spokesperson for the strike in 2013, an applicant on the lawsuit, and he is now studying criminology at the University of Ottawa where he continues to be involved in prison-related activism. We discussed the history of the Inmate Pay System, resistance to prison pay cuts inside, the four-year lawsuit, and next steps in the struggle for better wages and dignity for prisoner workers.
June 11th has been observed since 2004 by anarchists and environmentalists as a day of action to mobilize around imprisoned comrades. Tonight we bring you an interview conducted by June 11 organizers with Ann Hansen, a freelance writer living on a farm near Kingston and former member of Direct Action, an underground anarchist guerilla group active in the 1980s.
This year, CFRC 101.9FM held a special broadcast live from May Day celebrations in Kingston, on May 1st from 4-6pm (despite terrible weather!). As the whole CPR crew was involved in producing this broadcast, we have uploaded the broadcast here for your listening pleasure.
This week we welcomed special guest M into the studio for a live on-air interview. We discuss the Guelph Anarchist Black Cross and its role in anarchist prison support, the emergence of the ‘noise demonstration’ tactic in Ontario, state repression and defensive infrastructure, and whether we can ever claim ‘victories’ in the struggle to destroy prison for anything short of, well, destroying prison.
Later in the show, we aired a short interview by a CPR contributor with anarchists in Philadelphia about the September 9th U.S. prison strike and the various ways people tried to support it in their local context.
Call for information: We’d like to do a future show with M about Do-It-Yourself remedies for common ailments using items you can get at canteens and cafeterias inside. Send us your ideas and we’ll work on this for the new year!
With the U.S. prison strike now in full swing, we set out to review the strike activity and outside solidarity to date across the world. We share several audio segments from across the U.S. covering what’s happening with the strike.
CPR hosts C and Reeko discuss the imminent U.S. Prison Strike. We play the initial call-out for the strike, Ohio prisoner Sean Swain’s statement in support of the strike, a poem by an outside organizer, as well as an original interview with a member of the Providence, Rhode Island chapter of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.