Message from the Deputy Commissioner for Women, Correctional Service of Canada

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End of an Era, the closing of the Prison for Women in Kingston

In 1996, I became the Correctional Service of Canada's (CSC's) first Deputy Commissioner for Women. It was a time of profound change for federal women offenders, as the Service responded to challenges represented both by the complexity of the inmate population and the environment within which sentences were carried out.

Indeed, the treatment of women offenders in this country has come a long way since the early days of the Prison for Women. Recognizing that the rehabilitative needs of women inmates are different from those of their male counterparts, we have moved from a "onesize fits all" approach to one where the chances of reform and social reintegration are better than ever before.

The goal of women's corrections in CSC is to identify creative, practical, gender and culturally sensitive solutions to housing and assisting women offenders. The focus today is on education, programs and treatment interventions, and, where appropriate, support from the women's families and communities.

However, none of these innovations would have been possible without the hard work of the staff at the Prison for Women, who strove to meet the special requirements of the inmates. They truly paved the way for the future, and their efforts and compassion will never be forgotten.

The story of the Prison for Women is one that reflects the dedication of all those who have served on staff, stretching over a period of seven decades. To all these women and men, I would like to express my gratitude for a job well done.

Nancy Stableforth
Deputy Commissioner for Women Correctional Service of Canada