Where community connects

Prevention, Prisons & Popcorn – Mr. Howard Sapers

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This fall, we’ve started a new series at Central Library called 85 QUEEN. Modelled after the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Public Library, we hope these events will spark community conversations.

Featuring critically acclaimed authors, thought-provoking films, current events, controversial issues, and more, we hope you are able to join us – and join in – at these free events. You can find more info about upcoming 85 QUEEN events at the bottom of this post.

Our inaugural 85 QUEEN event on Sept. 10 was an unqualified success. Every seat was full, and we even had an overflow room with a live feed from the Theatre. More than 200 people joined us for an evening with Howard Sapers, the current Correctional Investigator for Canada.

We’d like to thank our partners for this event: the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, Friends of Crime Prevention, and Community Justice Initiatives.

The evening included a screening of the CBC documentary State of Incarceration, a keynote speech from Howard Sapers, a community response panel, and questions from the audience.

Here are a few interesting facts from his talk:

  • From 2004 – 2014, the Canadian federal incarcerated population grew by 2,203 inmates, an increase of 17.5%.
  • Aboriginal people represent 24.4% of the federal inmate population, but just 4.3% of the Canadian population.
  • Visible minority inmates including Black, Hispanic, Asian and East Indian people represent almost 10% of the inmate population, but just 3% of the Canadian population.
  • From 2004 – 2014, the federally sentenced women population has increased by 77%, with the Aboriginal women population increasing by 133%. 35.7% of women inmates are Aboriginal.
  • 70% of federally sentenced women report histories of sexual abuse; 86% have been physically abused.
  • About 25% of the federal inmate population is age 50 or older.
  • About 25% are serving an indeterminate or life sentence.

Read the story by Anam Latif in the Waterloo Region Record, Prison watchdog is worried about inmates.

We still have plenty of 85 QUEEN events coming up. All are free, and no library card is required to attend. Be part of the discussion!

Sept. 29    Silencing Dissent

Sept. 30    An Evening with Jeff Lemire

Oct. 26      An Evening with Andrew Pyper

Dec. 9       An Evening with Catherine Bush


Author: Charlotte Prong

I'm the Social Media Editor at Kitchener Public Library. Follow us on Twitter @KitchLibrary, on Instagram @kitchenerlibrary, or like our page on Facebook.

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