Mavis Gallant interviews prisoners and staff at Canada’s first women’s prison, the Mercer Reformatory for Females in Toronto.
Neglected, abandoned, often abused, their characters were formed long before they reached the Mercer with its indelible stamp of prison. Some of the girls are never visited. Others, paroled home, are constantly reminded that they were lawbreakers.
Check out some of the news reports about Mercer Reformatory during the summer of 1948: about the riot and about an escapee.