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The daughter of Russian Jewish refugees, Claire Culhane was born in Montreal and moved to Vancouver in the early 1950s. In 1976 as a member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee at the B.C. Penitentiary, she began working tirelessly for prison reform. Founder and most vocal member of the Vancouver-based Prisoners' Rights Group, Culhane has written two books on prison reform and her experiences in fighting the prison system entitled "Barred from Prison" (1979) and "Still Barred from Prison" (1985). A biography was written about her by Mick Lowe entitled "One Woman Army". Claire Culhane passed away in 1996.