What are your rights, anyway? Justice Vs. is a podcast that explores the ever-changing landscape of civil liberties in Canada. Host Maria Rio will interview activists, lawyers, organizers, and those most impacted by rights violations across the country. Through these conversations, we seek to understand what our rights are in Canada — to protest, to security, to equality — and what their limitations are and how our systems fail the most vulnerable.
December 30, 2020 - Over half of inmates held in Canada’s provincial and territorial prisons have not been determined guilty. In this episode of Justice Vs. we look at the use of bail in Canada's criminal justice system and how it perpetuates criminal identity among even those not yet convicted of crimes. We talk to Dr. Jane Sprott and James Fauvelle. Dr. Sprott is a professor in the Department of Criminology at Ryerson University. Her research interests include the operation of the youth and adult criminal justice systems, issues around pre-trial release, sentencing in Canada, and perceptions of crime and criminal justice policies. She is currently working on a SSHRC funded project which investigates bail conditions placed on youths. Fauvelle is a third-year student working towards his Bachelor’s in Social Work at Ryerson University. He is an active member in the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation and a registered social service worker in Ontario. He focuses on “integrating the principles, philosophies and theories of Social Service Work from an Anti-Oppressive and Social Justice framework.” The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) spoke with him a few years ago for the report Set Up to Fail: Bail and the Revolving Door of Pre-trial Detention.
Warning to listeners: this episode mentions suicide.
Want to learn more about bail and bail processes? Feel free to read Steps to Justice’s comprehensive guide! - https://stepstojustice.ca/questions/criminal-law/what-bail-hearing
Interested in CCLA’s take on bail? Here’s our report from 2014 about bail practices in Canada. - https://ccla.org/cclanewsite/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Set-up-to-fail-FINAL.pdf
Click here for the most recent issue of Criminological Highlights, a monthly comprehensive report on fascinating criminological research! As recommended by Jane Sprott in our bail episode - https://www.crimsl.utoronto.ca/research-publications/faculty-publications/criminological-highlights-vol-19-no-1-%E2%80%93-december-2020
Call to Action:
Check out these webinars from the Toronto Prisoners’ Rights Project to hear more experiences from those affected by our criminal justice system. https://www.torontoprisonersrightsproject.org/new-page
Want to get directly involved? Volunteer with the John Howard Society or Elizabeth Fry Society,who both do fantastic work with criminal justice. -
November 30, 2020 - Warning to listeners: this episode contains description of abuse and suicide. The United Nations deems solitary confinement torture, so why do Canadian prisons still employ the practice? Today, Justice Vs. looks at how solitary confinement is used within the Canadian criminal justice system, speaking with Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, director of CCLA’s Equality program, and Rachel Fayter, a PhD. candidate in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. Fayter describes her experience being held in prolonged solitary confinement and her academic work investigating solitary’s particular impact on women and those with mental illnesses.
Cole, David. “Final Report of the Independent Reviewer on the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General’s Compliance with the 2013 “Jahn Settlement Agreement” and the Terms of the Consent Order of January 16, 2018 Issued by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario”. February 2020. Read it here.
Jackson, Michael. “Solitary: A case for Abolition”. West Coast Prison Journal. November 2016. Read it here.
John Howard Society. “Solitary Confinement Factsheet”. 2017. Read it here.
Lucas, Joseph W., and Matthew A. Jones. “An Analysis of the Deterrent Effects of Disciplinary Segregation on Institutional Rule Violation Rates.” Criminal Justice Policy Review 30, no. 5 (June 2019): 765–87. Read it here.
Luigi, Mimosa, Laura Dellazizzo, Charles-Édouard Giguère, Marie-Hélène Goulet, and Alexandre Dumais. “Shedding Light on ‘the Hole’: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on Adverse Psychological Effects and Mortality Following Solitary Confinement in Correctional Settings.” Frontiers in psychiatry 11 (August 19, 2020). Read it here.
November 6, 2020 - Protests at the G20 and G8 Summits in Toronto went onto become the largest in Toronto's recent history, scaling at over 10,000 protestors. Ten years later, we ask: what is the legacy of the G20 protests and how do they shape protest today? To find answers, we spoke with Cara Zwibel, director of the Fundamental Freedoms program at CCLA, and Luke Stewart, an activist and professor at Sciences Po Lille in France, who was arrested at the protests and supported by CCLA in his case against police. A note to listeners: this episode contains description of police violence and sexual harassment.
Know your rights with this guide below:
For ways to get involved and learn more about protest in Canada, please see below:
November 6, 2020 - In this episode of Justice Vs., we take a look into the classroom and speak with organizer Becky McFarlane about the fight for LGBTQ2S+ inclusion and why queer visibility is so critical for youth. Later, we speak with Kyle McGiverin, a teacher who uses his position as an educator to normalize queer experiences and produce a queer-inclusive school environment.
For resources mentioned in the podcast, please see below: The 519
Wyvern, a Novel by Kyle McGiverin
For ways to get involved and join the fight for LGBTQ2S+ inclusion, please see below:
Find and Support A Local Organization!
Create Safe Spaces for Your Students!:
October 23, 2020 - “Justice Vs.” is a podcast about the story of civil and human rights in Canada, and a goal of it is to empower others to realize their own position as activists.
In each episode, host Maria Rio discusses some of the most important civil liberties cases and concepts in Canada. Guests include activists, lawyers, CCLA staff, and other individuals who can shed light on often complex topics.
· Arlet Vazquez
· Hope Arpa Chow
· Kate Tutu
· Paul Berry
· Sae Furukawa
· Brigitte Pawliw-Fry*
· Imran Dhanani
· Leo Ghiran
· Rachael Bridge
· Soaad Qahhār Hossain*
· Eilish Waller*
· Irene Lee
· Luke Ryan
· Rachael Dyal
· Stella Racca
· Farid Pesteh*
· Jeremy Zhang
· Natalie Sequeira
· Ren Bangert
* A very special thank you to the Managers of the podcast project. Brigitte and Eilish for Storytelling and Writing, Soaad for Marketing and Communications, and Farid for Audio.