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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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FEDERALLY SENTENCED ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN MAXIMUM SECURITY: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PROMISES OF "CREATING CHOICES"?

Introduction

This report is a reflection of interviews that took place between December 1997 and February 1998 in Springhill Institution, Prison for Women, the Regional Psychiatric Centre (Prairies) and Saskatchewan Penitentiary. The report presents opinions, observations and suggestions of federally sentenced maximum security Aboriginal women and CSC staff on the procedures, policies and programs that CSC has in place to help reduce the security levels of Aboriginal women. This research project provided prisoners with an opportunity to express their views. It offers CSC recommendations and insights into better serving the Aboriginal women in maximum security. This report is also a reflection of what Aboriginal women have to say about their security level. It states what needs to be done to help them achieve a reduced security level, in order to transfer out of maximum security and eventually be released into the community.

This report is divided into a variety of sections that focus on different areas relevant to Aboriginal women in prison. Background information is provided on current legislation and policy as it applies to the Aboriginal women. The research method and other information on how the interviews were conducted are covered under "Research Methodology". What the Aboriginal women had to say regarding a number of areas and what CSC staff had to say is covered extensively. The final section of this report discusses "Findings and Identified Needs", "Conclusion" and "Recommendations".