Prison pizza fundraisers on hold; win-win situation under review


For many years inmates in Canadian prisons have used their own money to, on special occasions, order pizza or chicken to be delivered to the prison, all with the permission of the warden. More importantly these events were fundraisers for groups such as Doctors Without Borders and victims of hurricanes and earthquakes. Over the years tens of thousands of dollars have been raised. But recently Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has put an end to the meals pending review.

Inmates in prisons across Canada raised tens of thousands of dollars each year from those food drives, according to John Chaif, a member of the inmate committee at Joyceville Institution, near Kingston, Ont.

This will turn a win-win situation into a lose-lose. Allowing inmates to, on occasion, spend their own money on a small treat can only make for happier inmates which may lead to better working conditions for prison guards. In addition, the loss of charity donations will be felt by several organizations.

“Canadians were concerned that dangerous and violent prisoners had across the board access to pizza parties and BBQ socials,” wrote a spokesperson for Toews in a statement to CBC News.

Maybe the Minister should limit the ban to Deep Pan pizzas in which weapons could be smuggled. From what one learns from the media, drugs and weapons make their way into prisons without being hidden in food; this ban may only serve to rile the inmates and will cost charities valuable funds. Let the inmates contribute to society in this way and have a slice or two: if you don’t treat people, even prisoners, like humans, don’t be surprised if they don’t act like humans!

4 thoughts on “Prison pizza fundraisers on hold; win-win situation under review

  1. Good post! I find it disconcerting that this government seems to think of criminals as being less than human. They don’t say it outright but it’s clear from their words and their actions.

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