Helping Women Offenders Move Forward Essay

2525 words - 11 pages

The Task Force
We have often said that the women inside have the understanding to help themselves, that all is required is the right kind of resources, support and help. The money spent on studies would be much better spent on family visits, on culturally appropriate help, on reducing our powerlessness to heal ourselves. But the reality is that prison conditions grow worse. We cry out for a meaningful healing process that will have real impact on our lives, but the objectives and implementation of this healing process must be premised on our need, the need to heal and walk in balance (L. Fox and F. Sugar)
Commissioning the Task Force was an essential part of change that was necessary in order to implement a better, more structured, and rehabilitative environment for incercerated women (Solicitor General Canada, 1990).
Extreme problems within the system when dealing with sentenced women was the cause of having to commission the task force. Problems were occurring not only within facilities, but once the women were released, they did not receive adequate programming in order for them to be successful when released back into the community. Prior to the task force, an issue within prisons for women was that it was over-secure. With the general population of women who are incarcerated serving time requiring minimum or medium amounts of security but getting maximum security amounts resulting in them being treated as if they were men (Solicitor General Canada, 1990).
In order for inmates, regardless of sex, to be able to heal and learn how to achieve a crime-free lifestyle, programming is required and prior to the Task Force, programming for women inmates was poor. Women were not presented with the same opportunities for programming that were available to men resulting in women not being able to over come their pre-incarceration issues. Women were isolated away from their families and presented to be extremely unacceptable especially those with young children. With being isolated away from their families, it also undermines the success of being reintegrated into the community (Solicitor General Canada, 1990).
Prior to the Task Force as well, the Needs of Aboriginal women were not met either. They require particular programming because of their culture but were forced to abide by the “white mans” rules and regulations causing them to put their culture and beliefs on the back burner. The Task Force was commissioned for the sake of creating rehabilitative, healing, and equal environments and to promote post incarceration success for federally incarcerated women (Solicitor General Canada, 1990).
The Task Force, as a result of the hearings, learnt about the everyday struggles federally sentenced women endured while being incarcerated. They learnt that women were oppressed, dealing with racism, addictions to drugs and/or alcohol, and the outstanding inequalities these women were dealing with. The Task Force realized they need to start focusing on more...

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