Update from Quinte Regional Detention Centre
(May 28, 2008)
Yesterday, Shawn Brant was put on 23
hour-a-day lock-down, for a 12-day period.
This is punishment for what Detention Centre officials term "a
misconduct". In this case, the misconduct consisted of Shawn burning
sage in his cell.
While regular Chapel services and bible study are available, and the
med cart rolls around three times daily, Aboriginal inmates are all
but denied access to their religious practice and medicine.
In the five weeks that Shawn has been at the Detention Centre, he has
been permitted yard time to conduct ceremony only three times.
Frustrated by the seeming lack of interest by the institution to
support a regularized program that would observe the cultural and
religious rights of Aboriginal inmates, Shawn notified prison staff
that he would undertake to perform the ceremony in his cell.
Shortly thereafter, he was brought before a Lieutenant, who informed
him that he had no rights while inside, and who termed the burning of
sage as a health and safety issue.
- Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory