Petition to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Prisoners who identify as female follow different pathways into criminal behaviour than those who identify as male;
The assessment of a female prisoner’s risk should not be conflated with the needs of the prisoner;
Women’s needs in federal prison, often expressed through self-injury and reactions to trauma, are constructed as an institutional risk, leading to punitive interventions, such as increased security levels;
The voices and standpoints of female prisoners are largely ignored;
The Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women produced a report, Creating Choices (1990), which enabled a gendered knowledge of punishment and offending; and
The Prime Minister mandated the Minister of Status of Women to ensure government policy, legislation, and regulations are sensitive to the different impacts that decisions can have on men and women.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to conduct a thorough study on the need for a restructured classification system for female-identifying offenders in Correctional Service of Canada institutions, with the goal of creating a feminist policy for risk assessment and security concerns, which recognizes the voices of female prisoners and creates an individualized approach to prisoner intervention, rehabilitation and reintegration.
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