ANNONCE – Semaine nationale Elizabeth Fry : 8 au 14 Mai 2017

National Elizabeth Fry Week – May 8 – 14, 2017

CAEFS is now accepting applications for Executive Director

Click the links for more information:

CAEFS Executive Director Job Description – 2017

CAEFS Executive Director Job Posting – 2017

Sign the E-petition: A push to end segregation

Petition to the House of Commons

  • Ms. Terry Baker, born July 14, 1985, was pronounced dead on July 6, 2016, when doctors removed the life support that allowed them to retrieve the organs she wished to donate. Terry had significant, well-documented mental health issues and spent much of her 14 years in prison in segregation. She died in the same segregation unit where Ashley Smith died in 2007, more than 30 months after the jury in the Ashley Smith inquest condemned the use of segregation for women with mental health issues;
  • Indigenous women and those with disabling mental health issues are amongst the fastest growing prison populations in Canada, and at the greatest risk of being harmed by or dying in segregation;
  • The Honourable Louise Arbour recently called for an end to the use of segregation and a review and remediation of the cases of those whose sentences have been made harsher due to their conditions of confinement;
  • The United Nations, Ontario and Canadian Human Rights Commissions, Supreme Court of Canada, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have variously urged Canada to remedy the inequalities, isolation and over-incarceration of Indigenous Peoples, those with mental health issues, and women; and
  • The Prime Minister mandated the Ministers of Justice and Public Safety to implement the recommendations from the Ashley Smith Inquest and reduce incarceration.

We, the undersigned, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, call upon the Government of Canada to review and remedy the cases of all women prisoners placed in segregation in federal prisons for women over the past five years.

The Petition is open for signature until November 30, 2016, at 1:16 p.m. (EDT)

Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on the Occasion of the Committee’s Eighth and Ninth Periodic Review of Canada


Live stream Link: The A Word: Reclaiming Advocacy

For those who cannot attend CAEFS and Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa’s conference, The A Word: Reclaiming Advocacy, you can live stream the event June 3rd, from 8h00-17hr30

CAEFS / Elizabeth Fry Ottawa 2016 Conference Poster: The A Word: Reclaiming Advocacy

CAEFS conference poster 2016

CAEFS: EFRY Conference Poster 2016

Announcing Elizabeth Fry Week: May 2 to May 8, 2016

The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) celebrates National Elizabeth Fry Week annually. Elizabeth Fry Societies across the country organize public events in their communities throughout the week.

Our goal is to enhance public awareness and education regarding the circumstances of victimized and criminalized women involved in the criminal justice system.

We hope to gradually break down the negative stereotypes that exist about women who are imprisoned and institutionalized.

National Elizabeth Fry Week is always the week preceding Mother’s Day. The majority of women who are criminalized and imprisoned are mothers. Most of them were the sole supporters of their families at the time they were incarcerated.

When mothers are sentenced to prison, their children are sentenced to separation. We try to draw attention to this reality by ending Elizabeth Fry Week on Mother’s Day each year.

By focusing on “Meeting Women’s Needs in the Community and Alternatives to Institutionalization”, our 24 member societies encourage Canadians to examine some productive and responsible means of encouraging community responses to addressing criminal justice matters from coast to coast.

Our hope is that, particularly in this time of fiscal restraint, this sort of proactive focus will encourage the development of and support for community-based alternatives to costly incarceration.

CAEFS challenges Canadians to reach behind the walls and bring women into our communities, so that they may take responsibility and account for their actions in ways that make sense to them and to us.

National E Fry Week 2016 (Word)

National E Fry Week 2016 (PDF)

Sallows Fry Conference Schedule of Presentations (with Links)

Sallows Fry Conference

A Canadian Crisis:  Criminalization & Imprisonment of Indigenous Women & those with Disabling Mental Health Issues


Web site:


THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015

Ceremonial Opening

Welcome Remarks (Video): Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights Kim Pate, Acting Dean Beth Bilson,Senator Lillian Dyck, Chief Commissioner David Arnot


  • Canada’s treatment of Immigration detainees with disabling mental health issues: Brainstorming effective advocacy strategies – Paloma van Groll
  • A Tort Remedy: Misfeasance in Public Office and Administrative Segregation – Aliya Chouinard, Margaret Hall
  • Project Access: Telephone and Visitor Access in Saskatchewan Correctional Centres – Sarah Buhler, Amanda Dodge
  • A torture-free U of S: not just a pipe dream – Dan LeBlanc
  • Buffalo Sage Wellness House (BSWH) Section 81 Healing Lodge Process Review – Amy Pilon
  • Listening to ‘Talk Story’: Lessons from the Hawai’i Girls Court for Women’s/Girls’ Corrections in Atlantic Canada –Josephine Savarese
  • Understanding Past Mistakes, Pursuing Social Equity, and Fostering Belonging: Responsible Citizenship for Restorative Outcomes – Chief Commissioner D. Arnot
  • PAWSitive Reflections: How the Work of a St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Supports a Trauma-Informed Approach to Prisoner Health – Nancy Poole, Colleen Dell
  • Indigenous Girls and the Violence of Settler Colonial Policing – Jaskiran Dhillon


FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015


  • Legal Strategies to Address Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls – Kim Stanton, Mary Eberts, Pippa Feinstein, Christa Big Canoe
  • Shoplifting as a Mental Health Issue – Helen Smith-McIntyre, Doreen Burns, Delores Kenny
  • Colonization, the Indian Act, and the Criminal Code all have a direct impact on the negative attitudes currently faced by many Indigenous Women across Canada – Colleen Whitedeer
  • Innovative Programming for Aboriginal Prisoners – Diann Block, Allison Piché, Nancy Van Styvendale
  • Gender, Race and Custodial Space – Carmen Plaunt, Chantel Huel
  • An arrow through my heart: Survival from the Streets to the Height of Academia – Sharon Acoose and guests
  • Through the Eyes of Women: What a Co-operative Can Mean in Supporting Women through Confinement and Integration – Isobel Findlay
  • Risky Business: Democratising Success and the Case of Federally Sentenced Aboriginal Women – Nancy Poon
  • Claiming Digital Space: Violence Against Women and Indigenous Women’s Filmmaking/Short Film Screening and Discussion – Tasha Hubbard
  • Using a Macro Cultural Psychological Approach to Expose Realities and Transform the Conversation – Alyssa Benedict
  • The Situation of Aboriginal Women in Canada: The Journey Forward – Native Women’s Association of Canada –Teresa Edwards



Ripple Effect: The relationship between law, advocacy and the criminal justice system

To read this online, click here.

Ripple Effect: The relationship between law, advocacy and the criminal justice system

By Debora Senger

Order of Canada recipient Kim Pate was appointed by the University of Saskatchewan College of Law as the Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights in June of 2014.

The Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights was the first endowed chair in human rights to be established at a law school in Canada. It resulted from an estate gift agreement with the late Ariel F. Sallows, QC, in 1979.

But the inaugural one-year appointment is just one of many firsts for Pate, an esteemed advocate for social justice. To date, she has developed and taught human rights courses at three institutions—the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan—and has seen graduate law students who took her courses obtain social justice work.

In 2006, Pate joined the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law as the inaugural Law Foundation of Ontario Community Justice Fellow. There she developed the institution’s first prison law course, and together with Professor Elizabeth Sheehy, its first defending battered women on trial course.

Seven years later, Pate became the first faculty member to develop and teach an intensive prison law course at the Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law.

“At each of the institutions, there seems to be a ripple effect,” said Pate. “Students have gone on to do human rights work in other areas throughout the country.”

But this was not always the case, according to Pate.

“Historically there was not a lot of interest in doing any kind of work in and around prisons,” she said. “Although access to justice issues abound, there is very limited access to financial and other resources, such as legal aid. As a result, it is not generally considered an attractive or lucrative career for lawyers.”

However, this appears to be changing. Pate noted that one of the contributing factors for the change has been the development of human rights programs and courses for law students that are focused on providing educational and practical experiences to address the needs of women in prisons. This is evidenced by the production of the Human Rights in Action manual with, by and for women in and from federal prisons, for students in Dalhousie University (2013) and the University of Ottawa (2014) prison law courses, and for regional advocates with the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. Pate oversaw the development, translation and production of the manual.

“I think that prison law in particular is an area very few students get exposed to, except in some sentencing or criminal law classes,” said Pate. “And yet it can impact family law, criminal law, immigration, human rights and social justice issues.”

Today, students taking Pate’s prison law course at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law have a similar opportunity. In addition to prison law, Pate taught human rights and social justice, contributed guest lectures, and supported undergraduate and graduate students undertaking research in human rights, criminal and social justice.

The prison law course final exam requires that students update and present a human rights primer for prisoners. They are also producing a manual developed for and delivered to Saskatchewan prisoners. The manual will be distributed in partnership with the Community Legal Services for Saskatoon Inner City (CLASSIC.)

For Dan LeBlanc, a third-year law student, the reason for taking the human rights classes offered by Pate, was primarily the instructor herself. “I wanted to meet and spend time with Kim, to learn from someone who has been struggling for justice for a long time.”

In Pate’s prison law class, LeBlanc worked with colleagues to create and deliver a prisoners manual to those in provincial facilities. “The requirement to speak about complex legislation and regulations in a way that most prisoners can understand was a very helpful experience. An ability to communicate across the language barriers between lawyers and historically subjugated clients is an important skill for anyone interested in poverty law.”

Another invaluable takeaway from the course for Le Blanc was the importance of “discreet advocacy tactics … the ability to use secondary sources (such as the Arbour Commission Report) in convincing judges to advance prisoners’ rights.”

Judging from the national media coverage Le Blanc received for a paper he wrote on the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act legislation (SCAN), applying these tactics work. “As a result of the story, Solidarity for Those in Solitary has received wider attention and following. I like to think it’s also shown an example of the way problematic laws such as SCAN can be used for good purposes.”

Craig Mracek, a second-year student, took Pate’s human rights and social justice course. Much like his colleague, Mracek noted that Pate’s teachings encouraged  “introspection and critical independent thought.” And if you ask Mracek, “rarely are these attributes which are encouraged in law.”

In addition to these learnings, Mracek expressed appreciation for what he explained was a deviation from standard practice. “Most formal education systems – law included – follow a prescribed format: memorize and mimic,” he said. Moreover, Pate’s class offered much more than the ability to reiterate “social justice platitudes. She guided us on an introductory journey through some of the most pressing social justice issues of our time.”

While it may be too early to see the effect of Pate’s course offerings on future generations of lawyers, LeBlanc and Mracek believe the practical learning opportunities have prepared them for legal careers.

Pate agreed. “Students are learning from prison law that the law alone won’t change what happens. Often it requires the collaboration of many and the building of partnerships and coalitions to create or inspire the pressure of public opinion, of media, or of a coalition of other groups. Learning this and how to think creatively about the many opportunities to contribute to the development of law and policy is a feature of these courses.”

For Pate, satisfaction lies in knowing these law students will enter their profession “with new ideas about how to creatively challenge the law and develop new precedents for how they may contribute to and change the world.”

Photo: Kim Pate, Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights


Pate is currently the executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, a federation of autonomous societies that work with, and on behalf of, marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized women and girls throughout Canada. A lawyer and teacher by trade, she has completed post-graduate studies in the area of forensic mental health and has worked extensively with youth and men during her 30-year career in and around the Canadian legal and penal systems.

Throughout her distinguished career, Pate has received numerous awards for her work on equality and human rights as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and St. Thomas University.

On Feb. 13 of this year, Pate was invested into the Order of Canada for “advocating on behalf of women who are marginalized, victimized or incarcerated, and for her research on women in the criminal justice system.”

Kim Pate

Photo: Kim Pate, CM, (left) receives the Order of Canada from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston Governor General of Canada. Photo credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall ©Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG), 2015. Reproduced with permission of the OSGG, 2015.