It’s the ideal scenario for a would-be commentator: to become so strongly identified with the issue you’re most knowledgeable and passionate about that when a news story about the topic breaks, you’re the first person that editors, producers and reporters think to call.
Kim Pate has been an authoritative and persistent advocate for prison reform and women in conflict with the law for more than two decades. In her capacity as the Executive Director of the Coalition of Elizabeth Fry Societies, she’s seen – and heard, and read – it all. So when a judge made available contentious police video tape of Roxanne Carr being handled by the police, Kim was among the first people contacted by the Ottawa Citizen for context.
Although the analysis she wrote providing some historical context to the released video tape was commissioned by the paper, her compelling commentary was also picked up by the Regina Leader-Post and the Montreal Gazette (because – as she points out – the mistreatment of female prisoners is, regrettably, not an isolated incident.)