Punished for Aging: Vulnerability, Rights, and Access to Justice in Canadian Penitentiaries

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University of Toronto Press, Jul 22, 2019 - Law - 264 pages

Built around the experiences of older prisoners, Punished for Aging looks at the challenges individuals face in Canadian penitentiaries and their struggles for justice. Through firsthand accounts and quantitative data drawn from extensive interviews, this book brings forward the experiences of federally incarcerated people living their "golden years" behind bars. These experiences show the limited ability of the system to respond to heightened needs, while also raising questions about how international and national laws and policies are applied, and why they fail to ensure the safety and well-being of incarcerated individuals. In so doing, Adelina Iftene explores the shortcomings of institutional processes, prison-monitoring mechanisms, and legal remedies available in courts and tribunals, which leave prisoners vulnerable to rights abuses.

Some of the problems addressed in this book are not new; however, the demographic shift and the increase in people dying in prisons after long, inadequately addressed illnesses, with few release options, adds a renewed sense of urgency to reform. Working from the interview data, contextualized by participants' lived experiences, and building on previous work, Iftene seeks solutions for such reform, hich would constitute a significant step forward not only in protecting older prisoners, but in consolidating the status of incarcerated individuals as holders of substantive rights.


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The Actors Enter the Stage
Some Context The Canadian Federal Correctional System
Age and Health Care Behind Bars
Reform for Older Prisoners Release and Institutional Accommodation
Democracy in Action Implementation of Policy Reform and Prison Oversight
Correcting Wrongs and Pushing for Reform through Administrative Boards and Tribunals
Correcting Wrongs and Pushing for Reform through Courts

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About the author (2019)

Adelina Iftene is Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.

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