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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Ten-Year Status Report on Women’s Corrections
1996-2006

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Message from the Deputy Commissioner for Women

The chances of success for a progressive correctional experiment are highest in women’s corrections.

The Honourable Louise Arbour,
Preface to the Commission of Inquiry, 1996

Message from the Deputy Commissioner
for Women

Much has been accomplished since the report of the Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women, Creating Choices, was released in 1990. Most notably, the regional institutions for women, envisioned in Creating Choices, have marked, or are approaching, their tenth year of operation. In 1996, the Arbour Report expressed optimism regarding CSC’s initiatives toward a new vision for women offenders. The Report put forth recommendations that would further affect our policies and practices for women offenders in key areas such as cross-gender staffing, Aboriginal women offenders, security classification, management of security incidents, programs and community transition. This Ten-Year Status Report addresses the recommendations and change that resulted from the Arbour Report, as well as from the subsequent major reviews of the past decade.

I am proud to say that CSC is recognized as a world leader in women’s corrections. This has been affirmed in the correctional literature and by our international counterparts from various correctional jurisdictions, particularly those who visit CSC’s women’s institutions with a view to learning from our operational model and experiences. This accolade coincides with the transformations in this area over the past decade. As with other examples of progress, the foundation of CSC’s accomplishments is based on the combined dedication and efforts of many individuals and organizations over time, including staff, volunteers and representatives from various government and non-government organizations. I gratefully acknowledge all those – and there are many – whose commitment has served to strengthen CSC’s work with women offenders. I am also appreciative to the women offenders who, along the way, have shared their experiences with us, and in doing so, have helped shape women’s corrections.

The efforts since the Arbour Report underscore CSC’s continued commitment to meeting the needs of women offenders and to a just and healthy correctional system. I trust that, together with our criminal justice partners and stakeholders, we will continue in the spirit of innovation and further solidify the success of our progressive endeavours in women’s corrections.

Anne Kelly, Deputy Commissioner for Women
Correctional Service of Canada

April 2006