31 May, 2012
What is Open Door? You could say it’s a place to chill, to forget about the rest of your day, a good temporary absence from prison or a chance to get out of the halfway house. Or you could be more formal and say it’s a reintegration activity where inmates who are nearing the end of their sentence and those who have already returned to the community regain their foothold in society.
Every week, Open Door is a little like Christmas: friends gather, refreshments are served and music plays, and there’s a weekly surprise for everyone. Recently a guest speaker plopped a big white pillowcase on the table, inside which was his beloved African python. The smaller version of that was the speaker who brought her wiggly worm composter. Intersperse that with an Indonesian political prisoner, a diamond miner, Montreal student strikers, local filmmakers and philosophers, and you get a good idea of why our numbers keep growing. Open Door enables us to discover hidden facets of ourselves by coming in contact with unfamiliar elements of our community.
It’s the diversity of people that makes Open Door exciting: our members span from ages 20 to 80, come from all backgrounds and livelihoods, and represent Canada from BC to Newfoundland and beyond. Whether you like to dig in and debate or sit back and muse, people rarely come to Open Door just once. We’re in the eleventh year of being one of the most exciting places to spend a Tuesday night in Montreal. Open Door is a solid example of the power and beauty of Restorative Justice that flies in the face of our country’s sharp shift to the right.
Open Door Coordinator