About

We are a growing coalition of activists and grass roots organizers with big ideas. We are interested in raising awareness and opposition to the expansion of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). Our goal is to bring people together to start a dialogue about the prison industrial complex, multi-issue movement building, alternative forms of justice and ways in which we can start a vibrant anti-PIC movement in London, Ontario (lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabek, Huron-Wendat, and Attawandaron Peoples) and more globally. Crime rates are the lowest since 1992, yet incarceration rates are at an all-time high. New legislation continues to create significant increases in prison populations, leading to overcrowding, violence, increased health risks (HIV/HCV), less family support and less safety for everyone (including the person being released from prison). We believe in a pro-active approach to creating safety in our communities, which requires affordable housing, accessible health care, drug policy reform, decriminalization of sex work, decarceration strategies, transformative and restorative justice and meeting the needs of ‘victims’/ survivors/thrivers. Our organizing committee ranges in our ideas and politics regarding the PIC and work on a continuum of penal reform to penal abolition.

In Canada, people from Indigenous communities are the most targeted and over-incarcerated in the PIC. Additionally, People of Colour (Black people in particular), women, queer and trans communities, people living with disabilities, non-status people, people with mental health issues, homeless people, people who use drugs, people living with HIV/AIDS and resisters of state repression are at greater risk of incarceration.

We believe that policing, borders, prisons and institutionalization do not make our communities safer or more secure. We believe in working to build safe, healthy communities based on sovereignty, social justice and self-determination.

The goals of the festival include:

  • Educating the public on prison reform, alternative forms of justice (alternatives to prisons) and abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex.
  • Creating dialogue on local issues (what is happening at Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre) and how they connect to global issues with regards to the Prison Industrial Complex.
  • Engaging in cross movement-building, as prison issues are an intersecting issue for most social justice movements.
  • Maintaining an accessible film festival—including no charge/low charge, accessible spaces, ASL etc.
  • Creating opportunities for people to engage in actions that are meaningful and important to them, through community education and dialogue
  • We would like this to be the beginning of an effort to start a prisoners justice committee to work on local and systemic issues including a campaign to support prisoners at EMDC.

Our Budget

In keeping with our goals to make this film festival accessible we have to raise a significant amount of money to pay for accessible spaces and ASL. We have also decided to make this a free event since many people most affected by the Prison Industrial Complex have limited money.

If you are interested in participating in the film festival or would like to donate to our event, please contact us: PJFFLondon@gmail.com.