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Elizabeth Fry Week: Understanding Parole, May 2023

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.

We invite you to join CAEFS for two live events that will contribute to this goal! 

Understanding Parole: with CAEFS and the PBC 

Wednesday, May 10th from 3:00 – 4:30pm 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).

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

Daily Overviews

Click below to read daily overviews or what we shared each day.