This week, we would like to share a press release posted by the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.
Canadian National Media: Fact Check
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies would like to address several misconceptions currently circulating in the Canadian National media about the conditions of women’s imprisonment.
• The Okimaw Ochi Healing lodge (OOHL) is not a prison. FALSE
OOHL is a CSC prison for medium and minimum security women.
As a CSC prison, public safety is the paramount consideration.
The same punitive and harmful security measures, such as invasive strip searching and segregation, are heavily relied upon at OOHL.
OOHL is isolated: the nearest urban centre is located 150 km away from OOHL.
While there is a mother-child program, there are currently no children at OOHL.
• Non-status Indigenous women do not deserve access to culturally relevant programming. FALSE
The requirement to prove Indigenous heritage is a remnant of a colonial system that continues to determine our government’s policies and practices.
It is not in the interest of public safety to restrict a woman’s access to culturally relevant programming needed to support community integration.
• There are max security prisons for women in Canada. FALSE
The 5 federal prisons for women in Canada are multi-level prisons, and have maximum, medium, and minimum security sections.
In 2007, CSC’s own researcher, Dr. Moira Law, recommended that all women be classified as minimum security because overall women do not pose a risk to public safety.
Most, if not all, women prisoners will inevitably be released to community. Punitive or harsh security measures, including higher levels of security, do nothing to prepare them for their release or to contribute to community safety.
CAEFS is an association of self-governing, community-based Elizabeth Fry Societies that work with and for women and girls in the justice system, particularly those who are, or may be, criminalized. The association exists to ensure substantive equality in the delivery and development of services and programs through public education, research, legislative and administrative reform, regionally, nationally and internationally.
For further information, please contact:
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Association Canadienne des sociétés Elizabeth Fry