Ontario’s sickening mistreatment of Adam Capay
The young indigenous man has been in solitary confinement for four years without trial

Learn the name of Adam Capay. He is the living symbol of everything that is wrong with Canada’s prisons, its justice system and its treatment of indigenous people.

Mr. Capay, 23, has been held in solitary confinement in an Ontario provincial prison for four years. He is housed alone in a basement, at the end of a long corridor, in a cell sheathed in plexiglass. The lights are on 24 hours a day.

Mr. Capay has no idea if it is day or night. When Renu Mandhane, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, visited him this month, she said he appeared to have memory and speech problems brought on by his prison conditions.

The only thing Ontario prison officials haven’t done to this poor man is shackle him upside down on a dungeon wall. But they may as well have. Mr. Capay is arguably being tortured by the state. The sensory deprivation caused by constant light is an acknowledged torture technique, and the United Nations says that holding a person for more than 15 days in solitary is in itself a form of torture.

But there is more. Mr. Capay is legally innocent. He was charged with first-degree murder in 2012 after the death of a fellow inmate in a Thunder Bay prison where Mr. Capay was being held on minor charges. Four years later, he has still not been to trial.

The Supreme Court of Canada says that any delay between the laying of charges and the completion of trial longer than 30 months is a violation of an accused person’s Charter right to be tried within a reasonable time.

Mr. Capay has been held without trial for 52 months. And he has been in solitary confinement 100 times longer than the 15-day maximum the UN considers to be the threshold for torture.

This young, native Canadian man’s human rights have been stolen from him. And he would still be forgotten in a prison basement, were it not for a brave prison guard who brought his plight to the attention of Ontario’s chief human rights commissioner.

The inhuman treatment of Adam Capay defies categorization. He must be released from solitary and given medical care – by the end of this week. His murder charge should be stayed. And those who allowed this to happen must be held to account. Nothing less can compensate for this sickening cruelty.

if you’re with someone with a stutter/stammer/speech problem, don’t talk for them/finish their words unless you ask you to

nothing makes you feel worse about your stutter/stammer than when someone finishes your word

it can make the person feel like you don’t have time for them, that their speech problem is an inconvenience, it can make them feel like there’s not much point in talking if no-one will let them finish

stop finishing the sentences/words for someone with a stutter/stammer/speech problems unless you’re fucking asked

  • Reminder that Simon has admitted to having speech problems and not speaking much at all during his first year
  • Reminder that Simon tends to communicate non-verbally, through shrugs and gestures
  • Reminder that Baz said that whenever Simon does talk he trips over his own words more than anyone else he had ever spoken to
  • Reminder that when Simon was with Baz and Penelope he would often let them do all the talking
  • Reminder that after the Mage died Baz said that he and Simon would often sit together in silence
  • Reminder that Simon is probably not a very talkative or loud person given his history with speech problems
  • Reminder than Simon probably has a speech disorder like developmental verbal dyspraxia or Alalia or possibly even selective mutism

Dear everyone who doesn’t have speech/communication problems,

You don’t get to decide what methods of communication are valid. You don’t get to tell me that my words don’t count as “real words” and that the things I say don’t have meaning because I might not say them in a way that you consider “the right way.” All communication methods are valid and meaningful.