Statement on the tragic death of an incarcerated woman in Clarenville

With the recent news of the death of a woman who was incarcerated in the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville, our immediate thoughts went to her family and loved ones, and all the women who remain in the Clarenville prison. We mourn and remember her.

For the last five years, staff from the St. John’s Women’s Centre, Marguerite’s Place supportive housing program, and the Safe Harbour Outreach Project (SHOP) have been welcomed into this women’s prison – the only official women’s prison in our province – to provide more community support, programming, and advocacy for criminalized women before, during, and after their incarceration.

Through this work, we have come to know that the majority of incarcerated women are women living below the poverty line, women dealing with homelessness and unstable, unsafe housing, women who are Indigenous, women who have untreated mental health care needs and untreated addictions, and women who have experienced sexual and physical violence. We have come to see the impacts of our province sending some of our most marginalized women to chronically overcrowded and under-resourced prisons instead of doing the work to divert women in our criminal justice system to essential services and supports that they need.

These are women from our communities, from our towns, from our outports, from our provinces, from our lands, and we have a responsibility to remember them and make sure they are not left behind. We must amplify the voices and experiences of women behind bars.

During this tragic time, we are listening to women who are grieving, offering kindness and care, and telling everyone who will listen that women in prisons are valued and loved. We recognize incarcerated women for their dignity, their ability to care for one another behind prison walls, and their resilience.

We call on our communities to join us in learning from criminalized women, listening to their needs, and advocating for better futures for all of them. We also call on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to organize an immediate assessment on the health care needs of women in prison, to be conducted in partnership with front line services and organizations supporting criminalized women before, during, and after incarceration.

Hey Rosetta! lending a holiday helping hand to the St. John’s Women’s Centre

The Hey Rosetta! Christmas shows have long been a St. John’s holiday staple, the kick-off to the festive season in “Town.” This year, Hey Rosetta! has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold to these shows will go to support St. John’s Women’s Centre! In the spirit of this partnership, they have also generously donated five pairs of tickets to their final, sold-out show at Mile One Centre to the Women’s Centre.

Today we are launching an auction so that you can bid on your chance to experience what promises to be one of the most memorable nights in St. John’s music history – then spend a night at JAG Boutique Hotel, with its classic rock inspired decor, and enjoy a leisurely brunch the next day at Blue on Water. Music, relaxation, and great food, all in the heart of downtown, and all in support of a fantastic cause.

The successful bidder in this auction will receive:

Two (2) general admission (floor) tickets to the Friday, December 22 show at Mile One Centre;
A one-night stay at JAG Boutique Hotel on Friday, December 22; and,
A gift certificate for brunch for two (2) at Blue on Water.

The other four pairs of tickets (one general admission, three seated) will be auctioned separately. To view the auctions and place your bid, click here.

The Women’s Centre thanks Hey Rosetta! and their management team, PLUS1, JAG and Steele Hotels, and Blue on Water for their support.