Relationship, Accountability, Justice: A Conversation about Community-Engaged Research
In 2015, a coalition of six Saskatoon community organizations (the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan, AIDS Saskatoon, STR8 UP 10,000 Little Steps to Healing, Inc., the Mennonite Central Committee, the Micah Mission, and Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City [CLASSIC])1 and a university researcher (Sarah Buhler from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law) came together to address the issue of telephone access in Saskatchewan’s provincial correctional centres. Together we established an informal research coalition that we called “Project Access.” The issue of telephone access in provincial prisons had been identified by the six community organizations through their ongoing work with prisoners and former prisoners. Specific concerns included the exorbitant costs of the prison telephone system and unfair and uneven application of policies regarding telephone access. As we met to discuss the issue, it became clear to us that in order to advocate effectively for changes to the system, we needed to research the issue and to learn more about the ways the current telephone access policies were being implemented in provincial prisons.
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