Women Offender Programs Correctional Service Canada

Women Offender Programs Correctional Service Canada

For women offenders in Canada, many advances have been made to encompass a more holistic approach to their specific needs during and after incarceration.

In 1990, the Task Force Report on Federally Sentenced Women, entitled Creating Choices, was created. Creating Choices was founded on empowerment, meaningful and responsible choices, respect and dignity, supportive environments, and shared responsibility.

Creating Choices was founded on the principles of empowerment, meaningful and responsible choices, respect and dignity, supportive environments, and shared responsibility

Since then, five new and modern regional facilities have been built. An Aboriginal healing lodge has been constructed. Several women-centered programs have been developed. They have also established a community strategy to expand and strengthen residential and non-residential programs and services for women on release.

Programs in the Women Offender Programs

The Women Offender Substance Abuse Program was established for women who were assessed as having a moderate to high need for substance abuse intervention. This program approaches healing from substance abuse through community building to help create a supportive environment for remaining drug and alcohol-free in the immediate surrounding community. Even though this program is targeted at substance abuse, it also looks at personal emotional issues, including:

  • Self-awareness and self-esteem symptoms linked to past experiences of abuse;
  • Issues related to sexuality;
  • Emotion regulation issues; and
  • Relationship issues linked to intimate partners, children, friendships, and acquaintances.

Education and Employability Programs provide current marketable work skills. Vocational training, resume writing, and job-searching strategies are included in this program. Following course completion, offenders will be better equipped to keep a job and become more capable of sustained employment, more successful at reintegration, and less likely to re-offend.

Programs for Survivors of Abuse and Trauma deal with issues of domestic violence and abuse.

Mother-Child and Parenting Program provides parenting skills and deals with issues concerning children of incarcerated mothers, such as the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the child.

Social Integration Program for Women is a short pre-release program of 12 group sessions and two individual contacts with the facilitator of the Social Integration Program for Women. This program’s objective is to increase readiness and reintegration into the community.

For women incarcerated in Canada, there is hope for a new life and reduced recidivism through the Women Offenders Program-Creating Choices.