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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Federally Sentenced Women On Conditional Release: A Survey Of Community Supervisors

Aboriginal FSW In The Community

As indicated under the Demographics section of this report, the majority of the surveyed FSW in the community were Caucasian. Thirteen percent of the sample were Aboriginal -- 16 women in this sample. Another 16% were a combination of other ethnic groups. This section provides a separate analysis of the Aboriginal FSW in the survey sample.


The mean age of Aboriginal FSW in the community at the time of the survey was 34 years old. The average age at admission from their releasing institution was 29 years old.

Releasing Institution

The majority of Aboriginal FSW in the community were released from Prison for Women. The remaining women were released from various institutions across the country.



Prison for Women 7
Pinegrove Corrections Facility 3
Oskana 1
Gabriel Dumont 1
Lethbridge Corrections Center 1
Portage 2
Total # of Aboriginal FSW


into the Community


Index Offense

The most frequent offense committed by Aboriginal women was manslaughter (n=6). Ninety four percent of the offenses were violent in nature. Violent offenses are considered to be manslaughter, robbery, assaults, murders, and sexual offenses. Non-violent offenses committed by the FSW in this sample were Break and Enter. Six percent of the offenses committed were non-violent.




Manslaughter 6
Robbery 4
Assaults 2
Second Degree Murder 1
Non-Capital Murder 1
Sexual Offense 1
Break & Enter 1

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Release Type

The majority (44%) of Aboriginal FSW were released into the community on Full Parole. Twenty five percent were in the community on Statutory Release. The remaining (31%) women were on Day Parole.

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Time Served

There were two Aboriginal FSW who received life sentences in this sample. They are not included in the following calculation of sentence length and time served.

The average sentence length was approximately 4 years. Sentences ranged from 1 to 11 years. Time actually served in an institution was on average 3.5 years. Ranging from 7 months to 9 years.


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The majority of Aboriginal FSW in the community were single at the time of this survey (88%). Only two women were married.


There were five Aboriginal women who had primary responsibility for children once they were released into the community. At least three of these women were single mothers.

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Regional Location Of Aboriginal FSW

There were no Aboriginal FSW in the Atlantic or Quebec Regions. The majority were located in the Prairies at the time of this survey (n=9). Ontario reported having 6 Aboriginal FSW in their community while the Pacific only had one woman.

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Municipal Location Of Aboriginal FSW

The overwhelming majority (88%) of Aboriginal FSW living in the community are residing in urban areas. Only one woman was on a reserve and another in a town


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Location In The Community

The majority of Aboriginal FSW in the community live in non-subsidized housing (38%). This could be their own house/apartment, sharing an apartment or living in a rooming house. A further six percent live with friends or relatives. Subsidized housing is utilized by 13% of Aboriginal FSW in the community.

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Thirty eight percent of Aboriginal FSW in the community were unemployed at the time of this survey. Five of the women were upgrading their education and four were "at home". Only one of the 16 Aboriginal women released into the community was working -- not even stable full time employment but rather unstable work.


Three quarters of the Aboriginal FSW in the community at the time of this survey had not completed high school. Four women had finished high school and two of these women went on to some post-secondary education.

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Financial Support

The majority of Aboriginal FSW (81%) in the community are receiving some sort of financial assistance; 19% are not.

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Risk Level

Seventy five percent of the Aboriginal FSW in the community were "assessed" by their supervisors to be average risk. Only one individual was considered to be high risk, while three were evaluated to be low risk.

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Needs Level

The majority of Aboriginal FSW in the community have high needs (n=10). Four of the women were considered average needs level while two were considered to have a low needs level.

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Supervision Time

Supervisors reported 44% of the Aboriginal FSW in the community required more time to supervise than the average client . Thirty eight percent required an average amount of time, while only 13% were considered to need less time to supervise then the average client.

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Amount of time required by the FSW was related to both their level of needs (p<.01) and risk (p<.05). Those with higher needs and risk were considered to be more time consuming by their supervisor then those assessed to be a lower needs or risk level.

Length Of Meetings

Most meetings (64%) between supervisor and client last from 30 to 60 minutes.

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The length of meetings between the supervisors and clients were not related to their level of needs and risk. That is higher needs and risk cases were not being seen longer.

Number Of Meetings

The majority of women were seen by their supervisor at least once a week.

There was variability however in the number of supervision visits that occurred monthly.

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The number of times a client visits with her supervisor every month is not related to risk or needs level.

Topics Of Discussion

The most important topics that the clients wanted/liked to discuss with their supervisor were their social adjustment (24%), child care/parenting issues (20%), and substance abuse problems (17%).

Discussion Topic % of Aboriginal FSW who discuss this topic
Employment Issues 11
Program Progress 11
Finances 8
Legal Issues 4
Child Care / Parenting 20
Social Adjustment 24
Health 1
Substance Abuse 17

Current Program Participation

Most Aboriginal FSW had participated or were currently participating in substance abuse (n=22), community skills (n=10) and counselling (n=9) programs.

Type of Program # of Participants
Substance Abuse 22
Community Skills 10
Counselling 9
Educational/Vocational 5
Victims of Violence 2
Perpetrators of Violence 2
Residential/Agency Programs 1

Suggested Programs for Surveyed Clients

Supervisors were asked what program(s) they would recommend for their client

in the near future. Programs that were suggested are not necessarily available for the FSW in her community. Employment (n=4), Anger Management (n=3), Education (n=2) and Living Skills (n=2) Programs were the most highly recommended programs. Other suggested programs are listed below.

Suggested Programs # of FSW recommended to participate in these programs
Employment Prep 4
Anger Management 3
Education/Upgrading Program 2
Living Skills 2
Parenting Courses 1
Parolee Support Group 1
Substance Abuse 1
Support Group for Parents of Young Offenders 1
Healing Circle 1
Breaking Barriers 1

PreviousTop of pageTable of ContentsNext

| Introduction| Summary Of Findings| Demographics |
| Supervision Status| Programs | Information On Existing Programs |
| Aboriginal FSW In The Community |
| Recommendations For Future Research| Appendix A| Appendix B |
| Appendix C | Appendix D |
| Appendix E | Appendix F | Appendix G | Appendix H | Appendix I |

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