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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Implementing Choices at Regional Facilities: Program Proposals for Women Offenders with Special Needs


This research project has only been possible with the support of a large number of people within the Correctional Service of Canada. I would like to thank the women offenders and staff who have provided me with a unique opportunity to understand their lives within the federal penitentiaries in Nova Scotia and Ontario. I have done my best to honour their voices and experiences in synthesizing this report and developing program proposals. These proposals have greatly benefited from the stories, difficulties and lessons that they have shared with me. My hope is that they will be repaid by the implementation of more effective programs as the result of this research process.

A number of individuals deserve particular mention for the roles they have played in facilitating this work- pointing me in the right directions, opening doors, taking a positive can-do approach to problems, and serving as consultants along the way: Sandra Lyth and Jennifer Macdonald from National Headquarters, Sylvia Frausin and Mary Ennis from Nova Institution, and Lori MacDonald and Fred Tobin from Prison for Women.

Finally, I am particularly indebted to Donna Pineo who has provided me with invaluable consultation throughout this research process by participating in interviews, sharing ideas, critiquing proposals, and providing a very positive perspective on the project. The proposals are much better for her efforts.