These letters were received by CTV News from Christine Lewis-Bivens, the mother of Nicole Kish, an inmate at Kitchener’s Grand Valley Institution for Women.

The letters were dictated over the phone by Kish and a group of several inmates in the prison’s maximum security wing.

CTV News was unable to verify the allegations in the letters, as the Correctional Service of Canada would not speak on the issue citing the Privacy Act.


Letter from Nicole Kish dated April 3, 2013

I have recently been severely punished because I didn’t tell on the actions of a woman I was double bunked with.

I am essentially confined to the pod, I have been institutionally charged and removed from my University class and all of the other positive activities that I regularly engaged in.

Double bunking is a hideous experience with our being responsible for the actions of those we are confined with.  It’s a recipe for disaster and it has cost me everything I have on inside.  However being that the staff’s discipline of me is so excessive many people are wondering how much it actually has to do with the blog.

I stopped blogging as the backlash I experienced became too severe.

I believe dialogue between prison and community is tremendously important and that CSC should strive for transparency in their operations.  But CSC has demonstrated, by their treatment of me and by their denying us our right to speak to media that they do not appreciate any dialogue or transparency in their system. 

This, like so much else in CSC needs to change.

Nicole Kish


Letter from ‘The Women of the Max Unit’

Watching the report, we want to stress that the cells are much smaller than they appear on TV and how over disciplined and over secured we are.

Also our being denied to talk to the media is not a new thing.  When the Ashley Smith Inquest began a meeting was called where the Regional Deputy Commissioner, Laurie McDonald advised the population to avoid media, to focus instead on getting parole.

We don’t want to use our names as we see how the staff treats Nyki for speaking out.