Punished for Aging: Vulnerability, Rights, and Access to Justice in Canadian Penitentiaries
Published: July 2019© 2019
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 264 Pages
Illustrations: 10 b&w tables
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
264 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.60 in, 10 b&w tables
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, which 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.
1. Some Context: The Canadian Federal Correctional System
2. Age and Health Care Behind Bars
3. Reform for Older Prisoners: Release and Institutional Accommodation
4. Democracy in Action: Implementation of Policy Reform and Prison Oversight
5. Correcting Wrongs and Pushing for Reform through Administrative Boards and Tribunals
6. Correcting Wrongs and Pushing for Reform through Courts
"In Punished for Aging, Adelina Iftene amplifies the little-heard voices of aging inmates incarcerated in Canadian penitentiaries. Iftene overlays those voices with compact, yet clear, analysis of the policy and legal context in which punishment is administered, attending specifically to how inmates experienced the process of aging whilst subject to the techniques and forms of incarceration."
Joshua David Michael Shaw, Punishment & Society
"Whether readers come to Punished for Aging for the primary data or for the legal analysis, this book is an important work. Impressive both in its scope and its depth, it respectfully conveys the voices of a population who are too often invisible to those whose lives are not directly touched by the prison. As such, it makes a significant contribution to both the prisoner health and prisoner justice literatures."Helen Hudson, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books
"Punished for Aging is important scholarship. Grounded in a substantial and original study of the health issues and experiences of older prisoners in Canada, this timely work critiques and reviews the legal mechanisms that might address those issues facing aging prisoners today."Debra Parkes, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
"Adelina Iftene presents a comprehensive and compelling case for the invigoration and amplification of compassion and common sense when it comes to addressing the myriad issues related to the increasing numbers of aging prisoners in Canada. In addition to providing insights into the lives, illnesses, and deaths of those behind bars, Professor Iftene invites readers to explore and interrogate the intersecting loops of sentencing and penal reform through the various court cases, reports, consultations, and inquests into the lives of those who are too often relegated to the ranks of the dispossessed, who are vilified, ignored, or forgotten. Punished for Aging should be in the ‘must read’ category for all those who work in, teach, or legislate about criminal law, sentencing, and prisons."Kim Pate, Independent Senator for Ontario
"The prisoners whose stories inform this study are treated with dignity and respect – an important lesson for those who do prison research."Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada (2004–2016)
"This beautifully crafted book explores a distressing reality: the prison system is increasingly preoccupied not with punishment but with managing the chronic health needs of aging inmates. Adelina Iftene skillfully shows us a world that is rarely seen, and the results are as mobilizing as they are illuminating."Lisa Kerr, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University