Prairie Prisoner Support Fund Application
This emergency support fund supports prisoners re-entering the community and those that are still behind bars during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will give out one-time stipends of $250 to recently released prisoners and folks that are still incarcerated.
Since we need this fund to reach as many people as possible, please only apply once. We will continue to fundraise so that we can give out as many stipends as possible.
WHO SHOULD APPLY
The emergency fund is for recently released/still incarcerated prisoners and families of people still incarcerated in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. We ask you to self-assess based on need. We want to prioritize those who do not have financial alternatives such as investments, employment, or other sources of income.
This fund is created based on a shared community trust system. We want to reduce the barriers that invasive questions pose to accessing support while being accountable and transparent to our community.
Funds will be released on a first-come-first-served basis. We want to honour this commitment by trusting that those who have the means will seek out those means, and leave this fund to be accessed by those of us who have little to no choice.
This fund is limited. Using community donations, we will continue to distribute funds for as long as we can. We recognize that this, too, will not be sufficient to bridge the deep gaps that this crisis has caused.
To preserve each other's privacy and dignity, we will never publish the names or details of the recipients.
WHO ORGANIZED THIS SUPPORT FUND
We are Free Lands Free Peoples, a new anti-colonial, Indigenous-led penal abolition group based out of Edmonton, Alberta. We are organizing this fundraiser with the support of like-minded individuals and organizations across the prairies and beyond. While we are an Indigenous-led and -focused group, the Prairie Prisoner Support Fund is open to all -- Native and non-Native -- prisoners and their families in the prairie provinces.
This fundraiser is inspired by the crucial abolition work taking place around the world, and in particular the prisoner fundraiser in Ontario organized by the Prison Abolition Organizing Group, whom we thank for letting us use and modify the text and format of their fundraiser. To donate to support recently released and/or still incarcerated people in Ontario, or to apply for funds in Ontario, please see this link:
WHY THIS FUND EXISTS
Incarcerated people are at a disproportionate risk of contracting COVID-19. Unsanitary conditions, close quarters, frequent physical contact, and the underlying chronic health conditions of many detained people, contributes to the spread of the virus and threatens the well being of prisoners and public health.
Alongside incarcerated people, communities across the country are calling for the depopulation of federal and provincial prisons to protect the safety and wellbeing of prisoners and our communities. Many provinces and territories across Canada have started taking measures to depopulate their jails and prisons safely. However, prisoners that are released do not have adequate support for their transition.
Recently released prisoners need access to funds for housing, food, clothing, and physical and mental health supports. Families who still have loved ones behind bars need funds for expensive phone bills and canteens.
This fund supports prisoners re-entering the community and the families of those that are still behind bars during this crisis.
Community donations have supported all of the funds received. Due to this, we cannot guarantee the availability of funds at any given time. If you would like to share our fundraiser, please use this link:
If you have a question about the application or need support to complete the application, please email freelandsfreepeoples[@]gmail[.]com
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