In Canada, a life-sentence does actually mean life. It might not all be spent behind bars but someone serving a life-sentence is never truly free. In 1978, Rick Sauvé was then a member of the Satan’s Choice MC who was convicted of first degree murder in the killing of a rival gang member, a conviction he contests. Rick has twice taken the battle for prisoner voting rights to the Supreme Court of Canada, and won both times before earning parole after serving 17 years of his life sentence under the now defunct “Faint Hope Clause”. For winning voting rights for prisoners and his work coaching other “lifers” he earned the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award, the first time a former prisoner had ever won the humanitarian award. In this episode, Rick talks about his own experience as a “lifer” and about the challenges and conditions that anyone serving a life-sentence faces, knowing full-well that a breach of any of those conditions could land them swiftly back in prison. In the next episode, we discuss the programs that Rick provides, designed to help lifers, inside and out, cope with the stresses of their lives.
This episodes raises some significant policy questions:
Learn more about Rick: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/rick-sauves-prisoner-coaching-program-life-line-faces-potential-cancellation/article37337967/