Adelina Iftene, Schulich Law
Punished for Aging: Vulnerability, Rights and Access to Justice in Canadian Penitentiaries
Dr. Iftene will discuss her new book. 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.