Local Partnership Supports Rehabilitation of Incarcerated Indigenous Women

Local Partnership Supports Rehabilitation of Incarcerated Indigenous Women

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post | Contributors: Candice Reeves, Marketing Director, Valent Legal | Published: November 23, 2021

Indigenous women are the fastest growing prison population in Canada. One reason for this startling fact is that indigenous women are the most victimized and oppressed group in Canada and 90% of incarcerated women report being victims of assault. When we fail to protect women from a justice system that perpetuates inequality, they are often at risk of returning to a cycle of criminalization.

The over-incarceration of indigenous women has unified a local charity and law firm to fight against the systemic failures of the Canadian criminal justice system. This trailblazing partnership is redefining how companies and non-profit organizations can impact cultural and social institutions when they operate collaboratively.

“Our mission at Elizabeth Fry is to support criminalized individuals, primarily those inside our prisons and jails, and during the period of reintegration following a period of custody,” states Emma Halpern, Executive Director for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia (EFMNS). “Through our partnership with Valent Legal, we can provide wrap around services that address the human rights violations that exist within our jails and ensure marginalized women get the access to justice they deserve.”

The combined services aim to break the cycles that can lead to criminalization by offering critical supports for transitional housing, programming both in jail and in the community to help women develop essential life skills, and a range of court navigation services to provide women with the access to justice they deserve.

Patricia Whyte, a Mi’kmaq woman who has lived experience with incarceration, is an inspiring example of the impact programs can have when they foster rehabilitation. Since her release from prison, Patricia has worked with Elizabeth Fry to reintegrate back into the community. Today, Patricia is now a Residential Housing Support Worker with Elizabeth Fry, managing a housing unit in partnership with Tawaak Housing and provides one-on-one supports to indigenous women and girls who are victims of human trafficking.

To celebrate this partnership, EFMNS will be releasing a series of profile pieces and videos as part of a GivingTuesday campaign, featuring Patricia and other inspiring women who transformed their lives from a cycle of poverty and insecurity to one of stability, growth, and hope. GivingTuesday is a grassroots movement that illustrates the impact we can have when we all pull together.

For more information or to make a donation in support of GivingTuesday and essential EFMNS programs that help society’s most vulnerable women, visit efrymns.ca

To learn more about Valent Legal and the social justice work they do to advance victim rights, visit valentlegal.ca.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post

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