WINNIPEG – APTN’s award-winning investigative news program, APTN Investigates, is taking viewers inside corrections facilities to see what’s really behind the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s justice system. While Indigenous Peoples make up just under five per cent of the Canadian population, they now account for more than 32 per cent of all incarcerated inmates.
In this special four-part series, the APTN Investigates team brings viewers with them behind the walls of some of Canada’s most notorious prisons. Inside Corrections looks to understand why Indigenous Peoples are the fastest growing prison population in the country.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that Canada’s criminal justice system has challenges and the numbers indicate that it’s Indigenous Peoples who face a disproportionate share of the consequences,” explains APTN Investigates producer Cullen Crozier. “We have to start asking ourselves why all levels of government seem unable to reverse this alarming trend.
“In this series, we will be asking tough questions of policymakers in Ottawa and speaking with a number of current and former inmates who have been impacted by the system to provide some historical context on how we’ve arrived at this point,” Crozier says.
Here is what you can expect from each episode:
Episode 1 – 2180 Days: Airs March 10, 2023
Although solitary confinement was abolished in 2019, it continues to operate under several different names. In this episode, reporter Brittany Guyot speaks to Joey Toutsaint, a federal prisoner who estimates that he has spent more than 2,000 days in isolation, battling to overcome his daily thoughts of suicide.
Episode 2 – Hard Time: Airs March 17, 2023
John Derek Mills is a ‘60s Scoop survivor from Waterhen Lake First Nation with a long juvenile record and a lifetime of crime that culminated in a botched armed robbery in 1996. Originally sentenced to seven years in prison, Mills is still behind bars nearly three decades later. In this episode, reporter Rob Smith talks to Mills to uncover why he has fallen through every crack in the justice system.
Episode 3 – The Long Road Home: Airs March 24, 2023
In 1994, Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance, two sisters from Keeseekoose First Nation, were convicted of second-degree murder in the death of a Saskatchewan farmer, a crime they maintain they did not commit. In this episode, reporter Priscilla Wolf speaks to Odelia Quewezance, who is fighting for her freedom after spending more than 25 years in prison.
Episode 4 – The Prison Within: Airs March 31, 2023
The Special Handling Unit (SHU) at the Regional Reception Centre is Canada’s only “supermax” prison, a facility to which prisoners are sent when they are deemed too dangerous for even maximum security. Two decades of reports show that Indigenous prisoners in maximum security and the SHU are disproportionately high while healing lodges for Indigenous inmates have empty beds. Reporter Tom Fennario speaks to former Indigenous SHU inmates and human rights advocates to find out if there is room for Indigenous-specific rehabilitation under such extreme conditions.
For more information, visit www.aptnnews.ca/ourstories/insidecorrections.
About APTN Investigates
APTN Investigates is the first Indigenous investigative news program in Canada. Produced by award-winning journalists, APTN Investigates offers hard-hitting investigative reports that expose injustices and uncover the truth for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. Catch the ground-breaking program every Friday on APTN!