Approaches to Supervising Women Offenders in the Community

Key Words

community supervision, parole, federal women offenders, supervision strategies

What it means

The current results provide an overview of the approaches that the Community Parole Officers report are most often employed with women under community supervision. Most of these approaches made use of Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) resources rather than community resources external to CSC. Although additional research is necessary, promoting and facilitating the most effective supervision approaches can contribute to increasing women’s successful reintegration into the community.

What we found

Many of the Parole Officers reported relying heavily on frequency of contact in supervising women in the community (91%; see Table)Footnote 1. Other commonly used supervision approaches and resources included psychologists, team approaches to supervision, community partner run halfway houses and Community Employment Centres. The least frequently used approaches were the use of hostels, personal home placements, Citizen Advisory Committee members, and CSC-run Community Correctional CentresFootnote 2.


The Revised National Community Strategy for Women Offenders (2010) notes that community supervision aids in the successful reintegration of women. Many approaches and resources, whether mandated by the Parole Board of Canada as a condition or chosen by a parole officer, can be used in community supervision; however, to date little research has focused on frequency of use of these approaches. Identifying the most frequently used supervision approaches can inform practice and aid in promoting successful reintegration.

What we did

As part of a larger project examining the needs of women offenders under community supervision, 45 Community Parole Officers completed an online survey regarding approximately half of the total number of women under supervision in the community (n = 264). Surveys were completed between January 14 and February 5, 2013.

Approaches to Supervising Women Offenders
Approach Frequency %
Never Sometimes Frequently/Always
Frequency of Contact 2 7 91
Psychologists 16 20 64
Team approach to parole supervision 21 19 60
Halfway House (Community Residential Facility) 23 18 59
Community Employment Centres 16 34 50
Increased family involvement 19 36 45
Police Reporting 28 28 44
Regular communication with the Community Corrections Liaison Officer 37 30 33
Curfew 30 42 28
Community Support Worker 36 45 19
Spiritual support 23 58 19
Treatment Centre 41 43 16
Volunteers 44 42 14

For more information

Please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.

You can also visit the website for a full list of research publications.

Prepared by: Michael-Anthony Lutfy & Jennie Thompson


Footnote 1

Frequency of contact refers to the number of contacts required between the parole officer and the offender per month, and is based on the offender's assessed level of risk. Where frequency of contact was not used, parole officers were not asked whether they contacted women at lower or higher frequencies.

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Footnote 2

Notably, there is only one Community Correctional Centre for women in Canada.

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