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Announcing Elizabeth Fry Week 2023


The goal of Elizabeth Fry Week is to enhance public awareness and education around the issues impacting criminalized and marginalized women and gender-diverse people. In 2023, we are focusing Elizabeth Fry Week on the theme of “Understanding Parole”.

The legal framework of parole – and the lived reality of being on parole – is not widely understood by the Canadian public. This lack of understanding leads to sensationalistic media coverage and lends itself to punitive legislative reform efforts.

We see this week as an opportunity to increase public understanding and broaden the narrative about the ways in which parole, and the people who are on parole, are characterized.

Why is “Understanding Parole” important now?

CAEFS is concerned that public narratives that focus on egregious and outlying cases can lead to reactionary policy and legislative reforms that have direct and lasting impacts on the lives of everyone on parole. During this Elizabeth Fry Week, we will raise public awareness and create positive narratives about the evidence-practice of parole and to spotlight the stories of many inspirational people in the CAEFS network who are both on parole and who are pillars of their communities. As part of this, we will also highlight the challenges and barriers that people on parole currently face, particularly as conditional release and “community corrections” become increasingly restrictive and punitive.

Join us!

We invite you to join CAEFS for two live events that will contribute to this goal! And stay tuned to our website or follow #EFryWeek 2023 for more details!

Understanding Parole: with CAEFS and the PBC 

Wednesday, May 10th from 3:00 – 4:00pm eastern

Description: Sensationalistic media coverage and political narratives continue to trigger reactionary tough-on-crime reform efforts in Canada related to systems of release, and conditional release from incarceration. However, little attention is paid to the root causes of social harm, the impacts of pandemic conditions, and within this, the failures of multiple social systems that occur prior to and during processes of criminalization.  As a result, parole is often mischaracterized and targeted as in need of more punitive reform. We invite you to join the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies in an in-depth conversation with the Parole Board of Canada, as we raise public awareness and understanding of the legal and social context, purpose, functions, and changing scope of parole in Canada.

Contributors: Jennifer Oades (Chairperson of the Parole Board of Canada), Sylvie Blanchet (Executive Vice-Chairperson of the Parole Board of Canada), nyki kish (Associate Executive Director of CAEFS), Emilie Coyle (Executive Director of CAEFS).

Register here

Stories of Community Re-entry: A Community – Academic Partnership

Friday, May 12th from 3:00 – 4:30pm eastern 

Description: In this panel, contributors will discuss the collaborative processes they have engaged in to create a community-academic partnership that explores the barriers to re-entry faced by people on parole. Their partnership strives to move beyond merely ‘giving voice’ to those with lived experiences to promoting leadership within the community, collaborative knowledge production, and actionable policy solutions.

Contributors: Cathee Porter, Ed Dante, Tamara Humphrey, Audrey Yap, Patrick Falle, and Bristol Hobson

Register here