What’s in a name? (change!!)

Everyone, I just wanted to say thank Joint Effort again for helping me.

Trying to change my name has been a nightmare and the funniest thing is it’s my real name!!!

So in order to change your name legally here is what I had to do…   

I had to first get 2 pieces of ID with my “LEGAL” name on them which was a hassle all on its own. One of them has to be a government picture ID with proof of residence, the other needs to be your birth certificate or social insurance card.

Once you have these things you are set, all you need is to book an appointment with the closest police station or RCMP for fingerprinting and name change. The fingerprinting costs $103 and they fill your paperwork out there. Then they tell you it will take 2-8 weeks for a response about your name change.

Once you hear back it says the cost is $137 and to keep your receipt from the fingerprinting. Then you will have to pay to have all of your ID changed to your new name which of course I haven’t gotten to yet. However, I have done the first step.

Thanks to Kirsten and Joint Effort. I hope writing this description can be a little helpful, I’m not the greatest writer. I am grateful though….  So thank-you guys.

Ode to civilization after prison: I was inside for a couple of decades and it ate my brain

Prose-poem by Cathee, performed at the Vines Festival in Vancouver, 2022

I’m confused now.  Fortunate entry into unfortunate times makes beauty seen everywhere but in a dream.  The dream of being in the outside, outside of the normal, inside of the city outside myself is…too many directions.  Side to side if time permits.  Up and down?  Never.

Serotonin, Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are my shoes…allowing me to walk…albeit with a lot of ripping oozing blisters

I’m nervous now.  Nervous to know,  what will i say, sound like, behave as…who am I other than the inmate, the criminal who did things in places and times…of being another entity?  Will I get fired, lose friends, make the paper while not being safer than inside the walls of prison violence, shame, and cloistered control? …. see more

Sexual Assault at FVI and GVI

TRIGGER WARNING – medium explicit content

Joint Effort has become aware of this situation unfolding at FVI and GVI. We stand with the prisoners who have been harmed and those rallying around them and are in solidarity with the actions that they want to take. Joint Effort is in the process of making contacts to figure out a response from those of us on the outside.

Community Theater Project

Joint Effort is embarking on a new theatre project. We will be working with Nicola Cavendish (actor/playwright) to do a performative reading of Pamela Mala Sinha’s play, ‘Happy Place.’

Community Theatre Project (CTP) brings together formerly incarcerated folx from the prison for ‘women’ with non-incarcerated Joint Effort community members and professional actors. Playwright, actor and director, Nicola Cavendish will guide participants in a reading of the play, ‘Happy Place’, by Pamela Mala Sinha. The final project will be presented to a select audience of Joint Effort community members and theatre people.

The CTP will create a safer, supportive space for expression. We will engage with the characters in the play from our lived experience of incarceration (from both inside and out), and build theatre skills: reading, acting, interpreting.

About the play: Pamela Mala Sinha’s play explores the lives of seven women aged 23 to 60 who are residents of an in-patient care facility: a microcosm for the world outside its walls. What is it to live inside the suffering of these women…addressing the idea that we are not so different from each other, though our circumstances may be? Each woman must try to find a way to fit into a world that can’t respond to or redress a pain that is ‘un-see-able”. But they are also the ones who can teach one another how to live with what happened to them as no one else ever could. Even if they can’t always do it for themselves.

The CTP’s engagement with this play connects two sites of confinement: a patient care facility and the prison. Both are locations within the carceral continuum of institutions which hold and ‘treat’ those confined within. The carceral continuum is a network of institutions in which relations of domination, corruption and violence underly claims of ‘care,’ and ‘rehabilitation.’ The carceral continuum is a socio-economic strategy to manage poor and disabled people, understood to impact peoples who are disproportionately Indigenous, Black, POC, queer and/or gendered.

Joint Effort signs on to initiative for an Ex-Inmate Committee

“It was a hard-won victory to have Inmate Committees set into law under Commissioner’s Directive 083, which establishes “a means for inmates to provide input regarding institutional operations.” It took a tragic riot at Kingston Penitentiary 50 years ago and a Commission of Inquiry before Inmate Committees were established as a means of improving conditions within correctional institutions. Progress like this is the reason incarcerated people can vote in Canada, why we have a Correctional Investigator, and why we have Inmate Committees in every penitentiary across Canada. The formation of an Ex-Inmate Committee is a natural next step to ensure a seat at the table not only inside institutions but outside as well.” Written by Kevin Belanger Former Inmate Committee Chairman Joyceville Institution JAU & JISMU 2009-2011 & 2018-202.

See proposal here: Voices on the Outside

Financial opportunity for formerly incarcerated students: Arresting Hope Education Award

The idea for education awards started during a participatory health research project inside a BC provincial correctional centre for women. During the research project, incarcerated women gave voice to their goals for improving health, including their goal to engage in meaningful education. One incarcerated woman said, “They should sentence us to education!” In 2008, women released into the community formed a network comprised of formerly incarcerated women and their families, and volunteers and academics, with the aim of furthering the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual healing of women inside and outside prison through participatory research processes. An education fund was created to provide financial support to empower women’s education and that of their children. The Women’s Health Research Institute and BC Women’s Hospital, initially hosted the education fund until 2017 when the Arresting Hope Education Fund was created with the Vancouver Foundation. Net proceeds from book sales of ‘Arresting Hope’ (Inanna, 2014 http://www.inanna.ca/catalog/arresting-hope-women-taking action-prison-health-inside-out/), and ‘Releasing Hope’ (Inanna, 2019 https://www.inanna.ca/product/releasing-hope-stories-of transition-from-prison-to-community/) are being donated to the Arresting Hope Education Fund. An awards adjudication committee, hosted at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, British Columbia’s Indigenous public post-secondary Institute, administers the education awards. Application form: https://www.nvit.ca/docs/arresting_hope_bursary_application.pdf