Sunday, May 12, 2013
On Vancouver Island, Women Still Get a Taste of Frontier Justice
If you're going to run afoul of the law on Vancouver Island, you had better hope and pray you're not female.
If a man is arrested in Victoria and goes before the court and his case is adjourned for a few days for a bail hearing, he arrives at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre that night, says Paul Pearson, co-chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s criminal section in Victoria.
“He’s given medical access. He’s given a change of clothes. He’s given a shower, toiletries, access to a gym, a TV, a padded bed, all the basics of life,” he said.
“A woman in the same situation, is housed in a tiny cement cube with a rubber mat on the floor, usually beside the drunk tank with screaming drunks all night.”
Women clients have cried their eyes out, describing their detention in police cells, Pearson said. These women have not been convicted. They are presumed innocent.
There are also no medical facilities for these mentally and physically fragile women in the police lockups, he said.
“It’s a ticking time-bomb. These women have medical challenges and there are no nurses on staff. There’s no way to take care of their medical needs. They’re having their period and there’s no shower, no bath.
“Everyone knows it’s a problem. Everyone knows it’s a major issue. But it’s literally going to take someone dying, or almost dying to make a change,” said Pearson.
I guess not everyone knows it's a problem. I mean, after all, we do have a woman premier, don't we? If she's not attuned to really outrageous problems like this, who is? Oh, I see. Apparently no one.