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A message from Manon Bisson – ICPA’s new Executive Director

Dear ICPA members,

In these unprecedented times for our people and the correctional services worldwide, it is with a sense of duty and honor for that I have joined this July the ICPA organisation as Executive Director.

To undertake this exciting new chapter of my career, I am bringing the ICPA Executive Team 25 years of experience in several management positions with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), combined with a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Psychology from McGill University. My operational background is wide, ranging from Parole Officer in the community and institution, Unit Manager, Assistant Warden of Correctional Programs/Interventions to Assistant Warden of Management Services. This extensive experience comes from my work in a broad range of correctional institutions accommodating various categories and classes of offenders of all security levels, including a Regional Treatment Centre for offenders with mental health issues.

In 2008, I was promoted to Deputy Warden in a major correctional institution in the Province of Quebec, Canada. During my 10 years’ tenure, I was a key contributor to the development of several projects such as the merge of two sites in a context of governance change and restructuring and the implementation of the Indigenous Intervention Centre and Pathways.

Over the course of my career, I also held executive positions as Acting Warden and as Director of Operations in Quebec’s Regional Headquarters. In 2018, I was asked, by the National Headquarters, to serve as the team’s Deputy Director in charge of developing the policies and guidelines for eliminating segregation and implementing structured intervention units across Canada. This was a major reorganisation for CSC, nationwide. I am proud of my contribution to this transformational change in Canadian Federal Corrections. Following the Royal Assent of Bill C-83, we implemented a new correctional model guiding the work with inmates who cannot be safely managed within a mainstream inmate population. This new model introduced important and innovative reforms that provide structured interventions and programs that address both their specific needs and associated risks. The goal being to facilitate their reintegration into mainstream inmate population as soon as possible by addressing their behavioral patterns which led them to these units. My responsibilities were to develop a contingency plan and lead the IT team in designing a new integrated information management system, using an innovative digital solution available on mobile devices for recording, in mere real-time, daily inmates’ activities transferred to these structured intervention units. As part of this technology, we have developed a new decision-making framework to ensure CSC meets its legal obligations.

In addition, I assumed the role of Team Liaison for the Quebec Region, ensuring roll-out, training, and implementation of structured intervention units in four facilities. With this reform, Correctional Service Canada was not afraid to push boundaries. In the context of COVID-19 public safety measures, agility, and courage in tackling barriers that limit us will be of utmost importance for correctional services. This may create some discomfort but represents a stimulating challenge in this era of renewed international cooperation. ICPA is demonstrating agility by adapting and exploring new ways and partnerships. It will be my mission to ensure we pursue to do so.

I look forward to meeting you all very soon.

Kind regards,

Manon Bisson

Author: Manon Bisson, ICPA Executive Director