Amanda's resilience

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Dear PAOV,

I have always admired resilience. Toughness. The capacity to recover from difficulties.

When I first met Amanda Lepine, I quickly recognized her resilience. Amanda got in touch with me at BCCLA when she decided to share her experiences as part of the recent solitary confinement trial.

Support our fundraising campaign to end indefinite solitary confinement once and for all. Click here to donate today.

Amanda was first incarcerated at age 12. She has spent the majority of her life surrounded by violence. Incarcerated today, Amanda has every reason to maintain an impenetrable barrier between her inner self and her external reality.

Still, she chose to speak.

As I sat in the courtroom listening to Amanda describe some of the most discriminatory and damaging aspects of Canada’s prison system, I was in awe of her resiliency.

Amanda Lepine gives testimony at the BC Supreme Court of her experiences in solitary confinement.

She was an immovable truth. Her voice was steady, her demeanor calm. She spoke about being held in solitary confinement for weeks on end because she wouldn’t take responsibility for something the correctional officers acknowledged she didn’t do. She spoke about her painful childhood and forced separation from her grandparents.

She described being locked down in a unit for 8 days with a group of women who were denied food, toilet paper, and basic feminine hygiene products.

Help end the abuse of long-term solitary confinement in Canadian prisons by making a donation today.

She spoke of reports from her youth following her 20 years later, and being used to justify increased prison security ratings. She spoke of her experiences as a Métis woman – experiences of cultural disrespect, and discrimination on the basis of her sexual orientation

Amanda’s story isn’t told by what has been done to her. She writes it every day with resilience, bravery, and compassion.

Amanda has joined others leading the call to end the harmful solitary confinement practices taking place in Canadian prisons. Canada is trying to take away the legal victory that Amanda’s leadership helped achieve.

Please give now to help us fight the Federal Government's appeal.

Finding strength in our collective ability to persevere,

Jay Aubrey
Counsel, BCCLA


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