HepCBC Prison Visitations (Community Resource Expos) to Federal Prisons in British Columbia, organization MANY THANKS to John Howard Society

Schedule of Upcoming Visits to Federal Institutions:

VISIT #4, November, 2019

Monday, Nov. 4, 2019: Matsqui Institution, Abbotsford, 8:30 am – 11:00 am
Monday, Nov. 4, 2019: Pacific Institution, Abbotsford, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 Kwikwexwelhp Healing Village, Harrison Lake, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 Mountain Institution, Agassiz, 12:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 Kent Institution, Agassiz, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 Kent Institution, Agassiz, 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 Mission Institution, Mission – Minimum Security, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 Mission Institution, Mission – Medium Security, 12:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 Fraser Valley (Women’s) Institution, Abbotsford, 9:00 am – 11:45 am
Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 William Head Institution, Metchosin, 12:45 pm – 3:00 pm


Previous Visits (news and photos):

Visit #1, June, 2018

Visit #2, Nov. 2018
Article and Photos: HepCBC Reaches Inmates through Info-Fairs at 8 Federal Prisons in BC: November 5 – 9, 2018 – Abbotsford, Harrison Mills, Agassiz/Harrison Hot Springs, Mission, and Metchosin, BC

November 13, 2018 – One of the most likely places to acquire and/or to be living with hepatitis C is prison, with 20-40X the national prevalence of HCV (https://ctac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Access-to-Treatment-in-Federal-Institutions-Web-1.pdf). Conversely, with its concentrated and highly-regulated population, a prison can be one of the easiest places to treat, cure, and even eliminate, the disease. With this in mind, between November 5 and 9, 2018, two HepCBC Volunteers, Leon Anderson and Cheryl Reitz, drove between Vancouver and several Fraser Valley communities every day for a week (Monday through Friday morning) to participate in federal prison “Community Resource Expos” (also known as info-fairs) sponsored by the John Howard Society. Another HepCBC Volunteer, Douglas Laird, organized and manned HepCBC’s resource table at the Vancouver Island info-fair in a prison outside the community of Metchosin on Friday afternoon. These federal prison info-fairs are held every June and November. This was our second round of fairs, though our first round in June included a couple “lockdowns” which prevented us from visiting the affected prisons. This time we were fortunate that there were no lockdowns.

Our main “outreach” goals were to encourage/educate inmates (and any staff we could) about:

  • Accessing HepCBC’s peer-driven viral hepatitis education, navigation, and advocacy services (including toll-free help line)
  • Prevention of viral hepatitis, including use of harm reduction methods (condoms, lubrication, and dental dams available now, with needle exchange programs being added in all Canadian federal prisons by August, 2020)
  • Regular testing, especially if still engaged in high risk activities
  • Vaccination and treatment for hepatitis B, and treatment/cure for hepatitis C
  • Follow-up monitoring
  • Confronting stigma and self-stigma, and
  • Discovering any possible barriers to the above which stand in the way of linkage to care and eventual elimination of hepatitis C (and B) in BC’s federal prisons

The rest of this detailed article with lots of PHOTOS is available as a pdf, which you can download here:


VISIT #3 June, 2019