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Many of the prisoners profiled in this book have experienced not only the formal disciplinary process and lengthy administrative segregation but also the impact of involuntary transfer from medium to maximum security or from maximum security to the Special Handling Unit. Involuntary transfers, the subject of Sector 5, are the site of intersecting and competing interests -- those of the warden to maintain a safe and peaceful prison, and those of prisoners not to be subject to greater pains of imprisonment without a fair hearing. These involuntary transfers have consistently also been the source of more complaints filed with the Canada's Correctional Investigator than any other area of prison justice.

A set of powerful images and metaphors has grown up around the involuntary transfer. What wardens refer to as "Greyhound Therapy" is often used as an administrative alternative in cases where the evidence against a prisoner is not at hand to secure a disciplinary conviction. Prisoners who are the objects of involuntary transfer have been characterized as "barbarian princes." Critics have questioned the practice of basing this Greyhound Therapy on secret information provided by "faceless informers." The first part of Sector 5 charts the existing boundaries of justice surrounding involuntary transfers and suggests some fairer landmarks. In Chapter 2 I focus on one specific form of transfer that carries the harshest of consequences for a Canadian prisoner -- the transfer to the Special Handling Unit. While tracing an historical heritage to the nineteenth-century Prison of Isolation in Kingston, these institutions, opened in 1977, have left their own distinctive imprint on the prisoners who are unfortunate enough to be sent to them. Using a split screen -- the one reflecting the official Correctional Serviceís paper trail, and the other the voices of prisoners themselves -- I review the record of change and transformation in these the most repressive of Canadian prisons.

One of the most important developments in the operation of modern prisons has been the liberalization of the regime governing visits between prisoners and their family and friends. The federal regime in Canada, in contrast to its predecessors, gives prisoners the right to have visits. Unless security or safety considerations dictate otherwise those visits allow for personal contact without physical barriers. Prisoners are also able to participate in private family visits for up to three days in houses or trailers specially designated for that purpose. In addition, in most institutions on a regular basis there are socials, powwows and other functions in which members of the community can come into the prison, either in the gymnasium or one of the outside recreation areas, to share a meal, some music and companionship. None of this is a substitute for family life but it is a far cry from the old regimes. From the perspective of a correctional administrator, this liberalization and the recognition of the principle that maintaining contacts with the community is an essential element of a prisonerís eventual reintegration, carries with it a dark underside; every step in opening up the inside to the outside results in potential holes in the security regime through which flows a seemingly unending supply of drugs. Hidden with the folds of clothing and underwear, "suit-cased" in condoms inserted into body orifices, the couriering business flourishes within federal penitentiaries without the benefit of Fed-Ex or the Canadian Post Office.

During the period of my research the Correctional Service of Canada joined in the War on Drugs and implemented "administrative" sanctions to buttress the deterrent effect of the disciplinary code that prohibits the use or possession of drugs. Part of the artillery in the war is the introduction of IONSCAN machines installed at the entrance of institutions that are able to detect traces of different drugs on articles of clothing, money, credit cards or keys. Chapter 3 of Sector 5 looks at the way internal Visits Review Boards make decisions authorizing or restricting visits based on safety or security concerns, and whether these decisions are consistent with the governing legislation or reflect a pattern of pre-1992 customary law in which visits were seen as privileges rather than legal entitlements. The chapter also questions whether in the War Against Drugs, armed with the new drug detection technology, one of the casualties is fairness.

To combat the flow of drugs and other contraband and to ensure security and safety within the prison, correctional administrators maintain that it is necessary that they be given broad powers to search prisoners and their cells. Prisoners maintain with equal vigour that daily and routine searching undermines their dignity and privacy -- two of the most precious and scarce human resources in a prison. A home may be someoneís castle and there are a few prisons left in Canada that have the castellated architecture of bastilles, but for a prisoner the keys to that castle and every space within it are in somebody elseís hands. With their lives so circumscribed prisoners argue that the law must recognise the importance of privacy and dignity in what little room is left to them. In Chapter 4 of Sector 5, building on the Supreme Court of Canada jurisprudence on the Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and tracking this right through to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, I go on to examine how law was translated into operational reality at Kent when prison officials received information that there is a gun and ammunition in the possession of prisoners.

One difficulty in writing about the Canadian prison experience is finding the appropriate language. Great novels like Aleksandr Solzhenitsynís The Gulag Archipelago and Oriana Fallaciís A Man have deepened our understanding of the terror and privation of totalitarian prison systems. Books written by political prisoners themselves, such as Jacobo Timermanís Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number and Pramoedya Ananta Tourís The Muteís Soliloquy, have given expression to the horrifying nature of imprisonment without trial and the fate of the disappeared in the dictatorships of Argentina and Indonesia. Canadians reading these accounts can only stand in awe of the men and women who have survived these experiences with their spirit -- if not their bodies -- unbroken. In the face of these appalling abuses of human rights, how does a Canadian prisoner without the lodestar of political or intellectual conviction explain what the experience of imprisonment means to the "common criminal"? Over the years, I have met a number of prisoners with the verbal ability to take us beyond the physical plane of imprisonment into an interior space from which their experiences of justice and injustice are articulated. The words of some of these prisoners are woven into the book, and the last part of Sector 5 tracks the life and times of one such prisoner, Gary Weaver.

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