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Cold justice made warm: Winter clothes needed at the Ottawa courthouse

For 25 years, the Ottawa police special constable has been collecting warm clothes to give to people being released from the Elgin Street courthouse. With a scarf or a ski jacket or maybe a pair of wool socks, Kelly has made cold justice a little warmer.


“It’s pretty shocking. When people are released from the Ottawa courthouse, whether they get bail or through trial or they get sentenced and released, they just get sent out the front door,” said defence lawyer Michael Spratt, who tweeted this week about the need for winter clothing donations.

“Disproportionately, most people who are in custody are living with instability and going through a rough time. It’s very rare that you get wealthy bankers in jail getting released from the courthouse,” Spratt said.


Kelly cleans and organizes all the donations and searches them for contraband. Most needed are large sizes of hoodies, scarves, toques, gloves, ski jackets and oversized boots. Donations can be brought to the courthouse or to Spratt’s office, Abergel Goldstein & Partners, at 116 Lisgar St.

“It’s not a three-piece suit we’re looking for,” Kelly said. “It’s just something warm to get them to where they’re going.”

Read Blair Crawford’s full article: Ottawa Citizen

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