think that prisoners are bad women who do not deserve better treatment. Prisoners are so scared and dependent on officials that they can hardly do anything to improve the situation. The need of the hour is to change the attitude of the official.
Jennifer M. Kilty. Criminology, University of Ottawa
Governance through Psychiatrization: Seroquel and the New Prison Order
In this paper I will examine how prisons as archaic institutions of power, govern through the process of psychiatrization, which is a form of moral regulation. A brief history of the feminist literature on the psychiatrization of women, particularly that pertaining to women prisoners, will be presented to locate the trajectory of this process and of its discourse. By using data secured through in-depth interviews with federally and provincially sentenced women in Canada, I will demonstrate how the complaints of women prisoners (everything from substance and alcohol withdrawal, to hearing voices, depression, and insomnia) are being ‘treated’ with the drug Seroquel, which is prescribed and claimed to be of use for manic episodes, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I argue that this process of psychiatrization demonstrates an attempt to mitigate the women’s individual citizenship, where the ability to actively engage in the regulation of their own mental health identity is reconfigured to fall under the realm and power of the psy-experts within the prison. It is important to provide a space for marginalised persons to be heard, therefore a specific emphasis will be placed upon the women’s discourses and a feminist position will be taken in order to deconstruct and critique this process of pathologizing women’s minds and bodies.
Howard Sapers. Office of the Correctional Investigator, Government of Canada
Human Rights and Corrections: A Prison Ombudsman’s Perspective
An important challenge for all countries, even advanced democracies, is guaranteeing the human rights of its prisoners. The quality of regard to, and respect for, human rights impacts on the success of prisoners’ reintegration and participation in society. This presentation will review the legislative mandate of the Office of the Correctional Investigator (Federal prison Ombudsman) and the Office’s role in fostering a correctional environment respectful of Canada’s domestic and international human rights obligations. The delivery of mental health (MH) services to federal offenders will be focused on through a human rights lens. Mentally ill prisoners are entitled to programs and MH services that meet their needs and which conform to professionally accepted standards of care; yet the number of prisoners suffering from significant MH issues is increasing and mental health care continues to be inadequate, impacting on both their period of incarceration and their timely release back into the community.