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OCDC Prisoners Go on Hunger Strike

The Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP) announced in a Tweet Wednesday evening that 14 men began a hunger strike to protest conditions at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre.

The Takeaway: Prisoners at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre began a hunger strike Wednesday morning to protest inadequate meals for those who follow religious diets, and several other grievances including inadequate sanitation supplies.

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  • The CPEP listed the group’s grievances in a series of posts that you can find here.

The grievances include several allegations surrounding the quality of prisoner’s meals, generally, and specific complaints about the quality of meals served to prisoners observing religious diets. These complaints include:

  • Discriminatory practices regarding the quality, and portion sizes of meals for those who require either Halal or Kosher diets,
  • This practice forces inmates to abandon their religious diets in order to obtain “edible” food. 
  • Halal meals not containing meat since May 25th
  • The company contracted to produce the halal meals allegedly is not certified to properly provide halal meals,
  • The meals being provided do not meet the Canadian Food Guidelines

They also cite general issues such as the provinces new magazine policy not being implemented, there no alternatives proposed for cancelled visitations, and a lack of sanitation supplies such as soap.  

The Bottom Line: This strike raises concerns over the treatment of prisoners at OCDC generally and the religious freedoms of those affected inmates. Check out CEPE on Twitter to find way’s to help protect prisoner rights.