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81 Reasons to Oppose the New Youth Super Jail!

by Marika, Prisoner's Justice Action Committee

The new Super Jail for Youth in Brampton – the Greater Toronto Youth
Centre - will cost Ontario taxpayers 81.1 Million dollars to build, and we
can easily think of 81 reasons why we don't need this super- jail, and 81
ways that this funding could be used to help make communities genuinely
safer and healthier.

The 81 Reasons Campaign was launched last January by Toronto's Prisoner's Justice Action Committee, a grassroots prison abolitionist group. PJAC coordinates annual Prisoner's Justice Day Events, hosts an annual prison justice film festival, carries out popular education on the prison industrial complex, and works with allies inside to help raise issues on the outside.

The work of the 81 Reasons campaign is now being carried out by an always-growing, broad coalition made up of young people from across the GTA, representatives of prominent Black social justice organizations, prison abolitionists, teachers, artists, youth workers and others.

Young people need good schools, recreation centres, family support and good social services – not more jails. Incarceration further marginalizes disadvantaged youth, traumatizes young women, discriminates against queer youth, aboriginal youth and black youth and channels youth into adult prisons.

Large jails far from family increase the problems that lead youth into conflict with the law, while community programs reduce re-offending and help young people rebuild their lives. According to the Canadian Department of Justice statistics, less than 50% of available beds for youth in custody in Ontario are now occupied - based on the numbers alone, it is impossible to justify a new 192-bed jail. Since the passing of the
Youth Criminal Justice Act in 2003, the rate of youth incarceration has steadily decreased. This jail is a waste of essential public funds, and will only bring about more violence and oppression directed at poor youth, Black youth, and young people from First Nations.

Jail construction is set to begin before the new year, and now is an essential time to be pressuring the Ministry of Child and Family services to withdraw this scheme. You can help by joining the 81 Reasons campaign.

We need your skills, and no previous organizing or committee experience is necessary. Members are currently active in sub-committees focusing on research, lobbying, movement building, media, and arts & culture.

Please contact us for more information or if you'd like to get the details for our next meeting: <81reasons@gmail.com> or 416-324-5078. Check us out online at