Ivan Apaolaza Sancho

Entretien avec Ivan

Listen to an interview with Ivan by clicking the play button below. You can download the MP3 here.

Access To Books Coalition

The Access To Books campaign, launched in May of 2008, is a coalition of different organizations that reject the lack of access to books, and conditions of detention based on isolation and deprivation.

The Access To Books Coalition has been trying to send Ivan books since February of this year, but becaue of provincial law and RDP prison policy that prevent gifts or packages being sent to people in prison, have not been able to. Further, the RDP prison library closes from April to September, leaving the over 600 inmates, including Ivan, without books or reading material for almost half the year.

Ivan is just one among tens of thousands of people incarcerated in Canada who are routinely refused access to books and reading material. Ivan's case shows how conditions of detention based on punishment and deprivation intersect with a "justice" system that incarcerates people without charge or trial.

Books can mean different things to each one of us; they open a door to multiple new places. For those of us in jail, they are one important way to fill the time. Books are an essential part of my life. Reading helps me to escape from these four walls. When I'm refused access to books, I feel like I'm more a prisoner than ever.

Ivan Sancho, RDP prison, May 15 2008

Access To Books Coalition Demands:

  • To immediately open the RDP prison library and keep it open year-round, as well as all other prison libraries that close for the summer
  • That ALL inmates, regardless of whether they are incarcerated in a pre-trial / pre-sentencing facility or serving out their sentence, whether they are incarcerated in a minimum, medium, or maximum facility, and whether they are in segregation/solitary confinement or not, have access to their prison library.
  • REAL access to books and reading material for ALL incarcerated communities that is of their own choosing.

Peeople to Contact to Pressure

  • Federally

    Stockwell Day
    Minister of Public Safety
    (613) 995-1720

    Keith Coulter
    Commissioner of Corrections
    (613) 995-5781

  • At RDP Detention Centre

    Rocque Levesque
    (514) 494-3930 ext.3418

    Aimee LeFrancois
    Librarian & Resource Room Coordinator
    (514) 494-3930 ext.3415

  • Provincially

    Jacques Dupuis
    Ministre de la sécurité publique
    (514) 747-4050

    Jean Lortie
    Directeur générale des services correctionnels

The People's Commission Network is a working group of QPIRG-Concordia qpirgconcordia.org 514.848.7585 info@qpirgconcordia.org

Contact the People's Commission Network: QPIRG Concordia - Peoples's Commission Network c/o Concordia University 1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8 commissionpopulaire@gmail.com

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